By Rob Bricken in Tech
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm
A group called the Suidobashi Heavy Industry created the Kuratas, a human-controlled robot. Standing more than 12 feet tall and weighing 9,920 pounds, the ...Kuratas features a humanoid upper body and four insect-like legs with wheels. It's designed to seat one person in its "chest," which pivots above a waist and has one fully-articulated arm on either side. ...
You can pre-order -- and even customize to a certain degree -- your own Kurotas here for a mere $1.3 million. It's worth noting, however, that this does not include shipping. Of course, there may also be a discount for being a whiny teenage boy with crippling psychological issues, so you might want to ask about that.
Controlling the robot is handheld through a custom control stick that's part steering wheel, part puppetry rig. It can be turned to pivot the bot's waist and steer it when moving -- the Kuratas has a top speed of six miles per hour -- while a pair of joysticks operates the arms.
Twisting and bending these sticks allows you to control the arms similar to how puppeteers move the elaborate animatronics used in movies. Users can also control the robot's movements with an app installed on an iPhone.
In addition to its literal pair of arms, the Kuratas is armed with a multi-rocket launcher and two Gattling cannons. The former fires plastic rockets filled with compressed water, while the latter can shoot a terrifying 6,000 plastic BBs per minute when you smile.
The robot is fitted with a Xbox Kinect sensor in order to pick up your gestures and facial expressions, including the one needed to unleash what its creators have dubbed the "smile shot."
Jokes aside, this is fantastic and amazing and the beginning of something big. Seriously, what one company does, another will try -- and they could do it smarter, cooler, cheaper, or any combination of the three. You may need to win the lottery or something first, but now you can technically pilot your own giant robot in your lifetime. It's not just fantasy anymore (or, er, science fiction). It's real. It exists. Truly, a world where giant robots are for sale is significantly better than the world last week, in which they weren't. Thanks to everyone who sent in the tip!