With all the power of modern science and technology, it is actually a little surprising that a real-life Transformer doesn't exist. Turns out making a giant robot shape-shift into a relatively compact car isn't as simple as it looks in the movies or on television.

But that may soon change, thanks to a group of enterprising Japanese engineers, who have created a 1.3-meter-tall transforming robot that can only be described as a Transformer. Its name is J-deite Quarter, and it even comes complete with this amazing transformation sequence and a completely made up (and fantastic) cosmic origin story involving a meteorite falling from space and telepathy. Really.

The robot is the result of work from a team at the company Brave Robotics, but the best part about this entire project is that it isn't even done yet. J-deite Quarter is just a stepping stone in a much larger project, the goal of which is to create a full-scale, 5-meter (16 feet) tall transforming robot by 2020. A midway, 2.5 meter tall robot is expected be completed by 2016. Let that sink in: in six short years we may have a full-scale Transformer roaming the streets of Japan.

Project originator Kenji Ishida doesn't waste time with boring old "humanoid" robots. To him, if it can't turn into a car, it isn't a robot. Taken from the official Project J-deite website:

"For Kenji Ishida, a Transformable Robot Creator, a common humanoid robot is not a true robot. A robot that can be transformed and incorporated is a true robot. For him, this is definition of a robot."

Transformers are serious business. Let's all hope Ishida and his team can pull this off, because there is no doubt the world would be a better place if his dream becomes reality. 

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