The menacing Kuratas pilotable mech (via Suidobashi Heavy Industry)
For those of us who have ever dreamed of piloting a battle-mech that day has finally come true. SUIDOBASHI HEAVY INDUSTRY has introduced their fully configurable Kuratas robot. Designed by artist/ironworker Kogoro Kurata, along with Wataru Yoshizaki (controls/electronics) and Yusuke Kitani (engineer), the Kuratas robot stands 12 ½ feet tall, weighs in at over 4 tons and features roughly 30 hydraulic joints which enables the robot to move its arms, 4 legs (each with its own wheel) and torso independent from each other. Powering the mech is a diesel engine (unknown as to what engine, or drive-train for that matter) that has a top speed of just over 6 mph, which may be slow but I doubt that anyone driving behind you will be honking their horn in a fit of road-rage. The company can outfit the Kuratas, based on your preference, with multiple ‘less-than-lethal’ weapons systems that include dual Gatling guns (for $70,000 US), Iron-crow grip claw ($80,000 US), Iohas rocket launcher ($100,000 US), Kuratas hand-gun ($70,000 US) and Pilbunker rifle. Each weapon fires either plastic bio-degradable BB’s or water bombs, so don’t expect to do much damage to your target. This is intentional. The designers meant to do as the robot is actually a piece of art rather than a war machine. However, you could probably replace those with actual weapons platforms and weaponry if you so desired.
Kuratas cockpit controls (via Suidobashi Heavy Industry)
Controlling the mech is accomplished in several ways including a master/slave control set-up (much like an airplane) that controls the robots arms and legs (which can be raised or lowered), as well as steering while driving. The pilot can twist the torso for ‘automatic alignment’ to acquire targets using a Microsoft Kinect that tracks the pilot’s head movements. The camera is also used as an option to fire the robots weapons, done through smiling; the more you smile the more the weapons fire (be careful listening to jokes while piloting). For those who may have difficulty piloting the mech, control the robot using any 3G-based smartphone or tablet that features a touch-screen which can be used to control the robots various limbs and systems. The team used a modified version Asura Engineering’s V-SIDO software for real-time control of the robot which provides real-time IK control (human-robot interface), gravity compensation, an auto-balancer and virtual AR cockpit simulation. The team’s version eliminates the need for a keyboard and mouse and replaces those with the Kinect for controlling the robots functions. For those interested in getting the Kuratas robot, the base price for a non-configured version starts at $1,353,500 USD and increases when optional add-ons a requested such as composite armor for cockpit protection, faux-leather seat, smartphone compartment, custom paint-job and even a cup-holder (for $90.00 US). The team does state that there is no guarantee of comfort or safety, so the pilot assumes all responsibility when driving the robot (unknown if it’s actually street-legal).
Is this real?