Japanese Mech Kuratas Becomes Drivable From Cockpit And iPhone
Just when you thought that the Japanese were slowing up on their stereotypical production of groundbreaking and expensive robotics, Tokyo-based firm Suidobashi Heavy Industry have revealed a new brand named Kuratas, a product said to have been 2 years in the making.
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Currently only consisting of one ‘model’ of mech (KR01), the 4m-tall product (weighing over 4 tonnes) was launched this week to the Japanese market (despite the current version only being a prototype), along with orders being accepted from overseas, with prices starting from $1.35m (¥105m, €1.1m, £900,000).
However, the product appears to be a clear representation of ‘you get what you pay for’, as the Kuratas, which qualifies as a road-legal vehicle (at least in Japan, though the KR01 is limited to a top-speed of 10km/h), is also a device controllable by touchscreen (inside the cockpit), and externally via an iPhone app (a feature available as a $600 add-on, and rumoured to also cover other smartphones with a 3G connection), with plans to also include Xbox-style Kinect functionality.
With the release also accompanied by an official product trailer and guide video (both of which can be seen below), Suidobashi have also talked up the ‘harmless’ optional weapon features of their mech, which include a water cannon, iron claw, and most prominently, a gun capable of firing over 6,000 BB bullets per minute, a weapon disturbingly activated by pilot smiling.
Suidobashi describe the main selling points (if they are needed) on their website as: “KURATAS is the first giant boarding-robot, which is about four meters height. Robot pilot, an occupation most man would want to be, comes true at last. KURATAS has the AE “V-Sido”, the control system of the computer technology is watched by all world with interest. Not only operating by boarding the pilot’s seat, but also enabling you to control and interact KURATAS with Kinect. Moreover, without taking a professional training such as a combat plane, people can operate it easily. Furthermore, you can control KURATAS via the mobile 3G Internet access.”
Further additions currently available towards this very unique product include protective shielding, 16 different paintjobs, a ‘third eye’, and a $100 cup-holder, amongst others. Because you wouldn’t want to be driving one of the world’s most enviable interactive vehicles and not have a place to store your drink…
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