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Transformers Come to Life

A 13-foot Japanese robot has superpowers straight out of the movies.

By Laura Leigh Davidson

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to pilot one of those giant fighting robots from the movie Avatar? Or perhaps you’ve watched the Transformers movies, and in your dreams, you actually owned an autobot like Optimus Prime. Well, dream no longer—a giant, 13-foot-tall robot in customizable colors is now available for purchase!

For a mere $1.3 million, you can pilot your own Kuratas robot. It has a 30-joint exoskeleton and four wheels that can move the robotic fighter at speeds of up to six miles per hour. A pilot can operate Kuratas from a cockpit in the center of the robot. The giant metal bot can also be controlled remotely with a specially programmed 3G touch phone.

Kuratas is equipped with pellet guns that can shoot BBs with a rapid-fire lock-and-load system. When the pilot smiles, the robot fires. Kuratas also has rocket launchers that can be equipped with fireworks or water rockets. And if that isn’t enough, the bot has giant claws that can pick people up!

The weapons systems are designed not to be lethal, but the pilot needs to be careful. Kuratas could still inflict serious damage.

A VISION OF THE FUTURE

Japanese artist Kogoro Kurata designed the robot and named it after himself.

“When I was a kid, I thought there were going to be giant robots in the future,” Kurata told reporters. “But no matter how long I waited, people were only able to make small robots. . . . I thought, ‘I can’t wait anymore,’ and set out to make one myself.”

The Kuratas robot took almost three years to build. But its creator does not see his robot as a killing machine or a tool of the military. Kurata says his creation is an “art piece” that will serve as an inspiration for other artists and inventors.

“They might be able to make a society that uses robots in a way I can't even imagine,” Kurata says.

Image credit Kazuyoshi Kato


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