YOKOHAMA, Japan, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Tokyo-based start-up Subem Industries has developed a 4.5-meter (14.8-foot), four-wheeled robot that looks like the “Mobile Suit Gundam” from the popular Japanese animation. Series, it can be yours for $3 million.
Called the avian dinosaur Archeopteryx, the robot has cockpit monitors that receive images from externally attached cameras so the pilot can manipulate its arms and hands with a joystick from its torso.
The 3.5-tonne robot, which will be unveiled at the Japan Mobility Show later this month, has two modes: an upright ‘robot mode’ and a ‘vehicle mode’ in which it can travel up to 10km (6mph) per hour. .
“Japan is very good at animation, games, robots and automobiles, so I thought it would be good to put all these elements together and create a product,” said Ryo Yoshida, the 25-year-old chief executive of Tsubame Industries. .
“I wanted to create something that said, ‘This is Japan.'”
Yoshida plans to build and sell five machines for the well-heeled robotic fan, but hopes the robot could one day be used in disaster relief or the aerospace industry.
Yoshida developed an interest in manufacturing at an early age, learning how to weld in his grandfather’s ironworks and later starting a company that produced myoelectric prosthetic arms. He said he was keen to keep alive Japan’s competitiveness in manufacturing.
“I hope to continue the tradition by learning from the previous generation,” he said.
(This story has been reprinted to add the omitted word in paragraph 1)
Reporting by Satoshi Tsukiyama, Chris Gallagher and Miu Ito; Editing by Sang-Ron Kim and Miral Fahmy
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