Oh Japan, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. Is it your semi-sentient toilets? Your delicious deep fried squid balls? Your insanely punctual public transport? Or could it be your obsession with massive, weaponized robots? Yeah, I think it's mostly the last one.
We all know Japan loves a good robot. Their movies, manga and anime often overfloweth with depictions of mechanized warriors and skyscraper sized robo-dudes. Most recently the West also got a slice of the piston-powered action with Pacific Rim, but now one Japanese company wants to bring robots out of fiction and into reality.
Suidobashi Heavy Industry is a Japanese company which make custom-ordered, pilotable robots called Kuratas. They're certainly rather impressive to behold, but if you want to get your hands on one, you'd better start saving up your pennies because they're certainly not cheap. Check out the bombastic promotional video below:
Getting hold of a Kuratas is going to put you back at least $1,353,500 - and that's without any of the optional extras, which include weapons, armor and, most importantly, genuine leather seats. All told, you're probably going to be forking out 2 million if you want a Kuratas you can invade a small city with.
Of course, I should probably point out now to avoid embarrassment or confusion later, the Kuratas' weapon systems aren't actually lethal, although it's gatling gun system can apparently fire 6,000 BBs a minute - which, to be honest, could probably could kill a small man or a large dog.
Suidobashi Heavy Industry has also released a training demonstration video showing how to board and operate the robot. We get to see some of the weapons in action, while the video also goes through important safety issues. The wearing of camouflage hotpants is also obligatory while driving the Kuratas.
Ok, so maybe the Kuratas isn't quite ready for combat just yet, although the artist behind the project, Kogoro Kurata, has stated that one day he'd like to see robots like the Kuratas fighting hand-to-hand Real Steel style.
To this end, he's also began developing some rather sophisticated technology, such as this glove controlled robot hand.
Is the Kuratas worth $1,353,500?