The human-controlled robots from science fiction films and cartoons such as Pacific Rim and Gundam are now a reality, with a giant, fully-mechanized robot suit now posted for sale on Amazon Japan.
Kuratas, a 13-foot tall robot with a weight of 5 tons and a top speed of 10 kilometers per hour, does not come cheap though, as the asking price for the machine is about $1 million.
The development of Kuratas has been led by Kogoro Kurata, a Japanese blacksmith that established the company Suidobashi Heavy Industry.
The project has been going on for several years, with Kurata working alongside Wataru Yoshizaki, currently a doctorate student on his second year. The partners developed the V-Sido software, which operates the 30 hydraulic actuators of the robot. In addition, the software allows the wearer of the Kuratas to control the hands of the robot, as well as allows connectivity with an iPhone.
Kurata has dreams of a world wherein humans wear robots as suits to operate them for various purposes, in a setting that seems like it would have been something out of a Hollywood movie. However, with Kurata's work, the dream is certainly taking steps towards reality.
While the Kuratas has a label of being a "toy," the massive robot has several weapons systems onboard. One of these weapons is a BB Gatling gun that is capable of firing 6,000 rounds per minute. Ironically, the violent Gatling gun triggers when the robot's systems detect that the pilot is smiling.
The arms of the robot, however, are not included in the starter kit that is up for sale in Amazon Japan. This means that the buyer of the Kuratas will need to shell out even more money to be able to purchase the weapons intended for the robot.
The Kuratas and its creator was previously featured in 2012 at news website The Verge, wherein Kurata said that the robot suit project had gained a huge following of fans coming from all over the world after a website was created that allows people to send in orders for their own customized robots for the sum of $1.35 million.
Suidobashi Heavy Industry then received more than 3,000 orders through the website for the customized robots. However, according to Kurata, all the customers backed out from their orders.
"It's funny to see the panicked emails come in from people abroad, saying they thought it was a joke," Kurata then said.
There is only one unit in stock for the Kuratas that is posted on Amazon Japan, and it will be interesting to see who would be shelling out the cool $1 million to purchase the massive robot suit.