Japanese man's childhood dreams give birth to giant robot
| November 29, 2012, 4:48 pm
Like many Japanese, Kogoro Kurata grew up watching futuristic robots in movies and animation, wishing that he could bring them to life and pilot one himself. Unlike most other Japanese, he has actually done it.
The four-meter-high, limited edition, made-to-order robot is controlled through a pilot in its cockpit, or via a smartphone.
The four-tonne (4,000 kg) "Kuratas" can be customised in 16 different colours, and is armed with a futuristic weapons system, including a multi-rocket launcher that fires plastic rockets filled with compressed water.
"The robots we saw in our generation were always big and always had people riding them, and I don't think they have much meaning in the real world," said Kurata, a 39-year-old artist.
His prototype robot comes equipped with an operating system that also allows remote control from an iPhone as well as optional "guns" that shoot plastic bottles or BB pellets and are powered by a lock-and-load system fired by the pilot's smile.
The robot, which took two years to pull together from concept to construction, also comes with a range of customised options from paint scheme to cup holders.
It isn't cheap. The sticker price for the most basic model alone is around 110 million yen.
"By my building this, I hope that it'll sort of be the trailblazer for people who can do more than myself to make different things," he said.