The Future is Here: The Child’s Mecha!

cyclops_walkerMove over coin-powered rocket ship! A Japanese company has just produced a robotics mecha suit for kids. It’s known as the Kid’s Walker Cyclops, a bright green robot that measures 2 meters (6’9″) tall, a meter (3’6″) wide, weighs in at a cool 750 pounds, and runs off rechargeable batteries. And most cool of all, it comes with two appendages: one a grappling claw and the other a drill, most likely for intimidating your enemies!

And much like the Kuratos robot that was unveiled at the Wonder Festival in Tokyo by Suidobashi Heavy Industry in July of last year, this machine does not walk, but glides along on foot-mounted wheels. This lends it the appearance of shuffling along as the driver moves it forward. It can also rotate in place, and has a range of movement for its arms.

Naturally, this design doesn’t come cheap. The manufacturers, Sakakibara Machinery Works, are selling it for nearly ¥2m (about $20,500), but it is apparently available for rent as well. Good thing too, since just about every kid I know will want to take a ride for their birthday! The only downside is that the time will come to give it back, a tear-filled and tantrum-ridden moment no doubt.

Landwalker_robotThis is actually Sakakibara’s second mecha design, coming on the heels of their Landwalker robot, an armless mecha that comes equipped with some seriously badass air cushion ball guns! That machine sells for a much heftier ¥37,800,000 (about $387,500), measures 3.35 meters (11 feet) and weighs a full metric ton. And apparently, they offer boxing robots that actually fight each other too. Take that, Rock em Sock em Robots!

Good to know that every day, we get close to something out of Battletech or Macross Plus! And as they say, its never too early to educate our kids on how the use of battle mechas. Someday, we might all have to know how to use one…

And of course, there’s a video of a child operating the Kid’s Walker Cyclops. Take a gander:


Source:
Wired.com, sakakibara-kikai.co

The Future is Here: Real Mechas!

It’s official. Now you can buy a real mechanized suit of armor… provided you have 1.3 million dollars just lying around. Unveiling their latest invention this past weekend during this years Wonder Festival in Tokyo, Suidobashi Heavy Industry has created the world’s first fully operational mecha! It seems that all that anime was right after all.

Unlike their previous work – the giant robot named Vaudeville which could only move it’s arms – the new Kuratos model can moves its arms, torso, and even wheel itself around, though only at a modest speed of 10km/h. Still, beats the hell out of walking!

It also comes equipped with a full-on master-slave control system, a state-of-the-art display and targeting system, an integrated cockpit with display devices, and even some curious weapons! This includes an H2O rocket launcher, perfect those summer water-pistol fights, and two arm-mounted Gatling guns that are capable of firing 6000 BB’s a minute. Oddly enough, the gun’s controls are linked to the cockpits interactive display device which fires the gun when the pilot-controller smiles!

Oh God, that’s going to be hard to control! One minute, you’re walking along in downtown Tokyo, the next minute, you’ve triggered a shooting spree because you can’t stop thinking about that funny joke somebody told the night before. You ever try not laughing in church or some other public forum? Well, it’s a little like that, except with heavy firepower!

And given the nature of this invention, it’s only a matter of time before someone puts some serious money into weaponizing it. For the rich and world-weary, it’s also the perfect toy for alleviating stress and making an impression on those snooty neighbors. I don’t envy the traffic cops which have to pull them over and issue a ticket though!

And yes, it’s not exactly Macross or Full Metal Panic material, but once again, it’s a step in that direction. Soon enough, we may be seeing mechas designed for the military use and crowd control. I can see how those water rockets would prove useful, and if the BB guns were upgraded to fire rubber bullets instead of tiny, put-your-eye-out shards of metal, then so much the better. And Robocop would have his work cut out for him having to compete with SWAT mechas like these!

Below is a helpful instructional video provided by Suidobashi. Enjoy and try not laugh. It makes the robot open fire!