Any child who grew up watching the Transformers cartoons wished he could have his own giant robot to pilot (at least, we did). But one of those fanatics grew up, became a roboticist and turned that desire into reality.
Brave Robotics, a robotics company based in Tokyo founded in 2014, just announced the development of J-deite Ride, a 12-foot (3.7 m) high robot, 1.6 tons (1.45 tons) that can be transformed into a car that works in just over a minute.
The robot will not jump into combat as Optimus Prime: it has a maximum speed of 100 meters per hour (109 yards) in humanoid mode.
But in vehicle mode, it can reach 60 kph (37 mph). And the two passengers of the car can sit inside the car while it is transformed around him in the form of a robot.
Brave Robotics developed J-deite Ride in conjunction with Asratec, a subsidiary of SoftBank, which also owns the Boston robotics company behind our fatal leaps ] and favorites. door opening robots.
Sansei Technologies, a game developer based in Osaka that also creates attractions in the amusement park, also collaborated on the project.
Asratec's "V-Sido" software taught the robot to walk on two legs and allows people to remotely operate J-deite Ride in robot and car mode. Brave Robotics, meanwhile, developed the real hardware behind the "transformation mechanism".
Kenji Ishida, the CEO of Brave Robotics, told ABC that he started the project based on the beloved heroes of his childhood anime.
"The robots that I have seen in animation films since childhood have this kind of aspect and they transform or combine with each other to become something more with the people on board," said Ishida. "So I grew up believing that robots had to be capable of such things, which became my motivation to develop this robot."
So far they have kept their giant robot confined to the factory floor, but they will show it in public in Japan during a May Race Event. Then, this November, they plan to take J-deite Ride to IAAPA expo in Orlando, Florida.
Your son's new favorite ride?
IAAPA is considered the main exhibition of amusement parks to show new travel ideas, and it seems that Brave Robotics and Sansei Technologies are seriously considering placing visitors in its gigantic transformer.
"Sansei will seek to develop and market diversion-type fun robot games for amusement parks, such as transforming go-karts" or "transforming demonstrations into parades", says the press release. press. They included some nice concept sketches about how they visualize the robot that is being used.
In practice, it's hard to imagine how a go-karting experience would work with cars that could start to turn into a heavy monster in the middle of the track . And, as it is, 100 meters per hour would be too slow to keep up with the parade floats, much less to make an exciting race.
Still, the prototype will likely improve its specs over time, and it's exciting to think that kids (and kids at heart) can live their Transformers fantasies at Disneyland one day.