You should probably be sitting down for this, because it’s probably one of the most incredible things to come out of Japan in recent years. Unveiled at the 2012 Wonder Fest convention in Tokyo yesterday is the Kuratas human-controlled robot, standing at 4 meters (13 feet) tall, weighing over 4.5 tons (9,900 pounds), and able to be operated either by climbing into a cockpit or with an iPhone app. And this is where you’ll want to be sitting down: you can customize and purchase your own Kuratas, for a mere $1.35 million.
Remember that news a little while back about how a few Japanese politician were going to discuss what it would take to build a real, working Gundam? Well, the team of engineers and artists calling themselves Suidobashi Heavy Industry, lead by iron worker Kogoro Kurata, have more than one-upped talking about a Gundam with this real working mech. The Kuratas features a humanoid upper body, with room in the “chest” for the pilot. There are four legs with wheels, capable of moving at 6.2 miles-per-hour, and two fully articulated arms.
The robot can be controlled with an iPhone app, which is impressive, but nowhere near as cool as climbing inside and taking the controls in hand. A steering mechanism controls directional movement and the pivoting waist, while two joysticks are used to operate the arms. Inside the cockpit is LCD display along with an Xbox Kinect sensor. ‘Why?’ you ask? Because it is used to track your gestures and facial expression, most notable when you smile, because (you should be sitting down again) that’s how you can get the dual gatling guns to fire up to 6,000 plastic BBs per minute! There is also a “rocket launcher” that can fire plastic bottles filled with compressed water.
Suidobashi Heavy Industry have a webpage where you can customize your mech prior to order, with options like paint schemes and upholstery choices. Despite the incredible $1.35 million asking price, if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking “shut up and take my money!”, so I’m just going to let you enjoy the full debut video while I go and talk to my wife about our credit limit.