Japanese engineers have teamed up to create a real-life transformer that can switch between a working car and a giant humanoid robot. The insanely cool prototype is called J-deite RIDE and comes to life, thanks to a collaboration between three separate robotics and machinery companies.
The team have been working on the project since 2014 and are now proudly showing off their prototype at Japanese exhibitions. They also have plans to bring the transformer to the IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018 in Florida this November.
J-deite RIDE's distinct look comes from mechanical designer Kunio Okawara who is famous for his work with the Gundam series. It can carry two humans and its developers say that they eventually have plans to commercialize the machine and make it available in theme parks.
Robot favors appearance over speed
But don’t worry, if you get behind the wheel, you won’t be experiencing any supersonic suit changes. While based heavily on transformers, the inventors of J-deite RIDE couldn't match the instantaneous transformation speeds we are used to in the films.
Currently, J-deite RIDE takes a minute to transform from car to robot and the same back again. It is also a little slow to move around.
In car mode, J-deite RIDE can hit a reasonable top speed of 60km/h. When transformed to its robot form it has two methods of moving, first rolling along on its car wheels, and in this way, the J-deite RIDE can reach about 30km/h, but when the robot goes into walking mode, things really slow down.
When mimicking humans the J-deite RIDE can only manage about 100 meters per hour. In addition to J-deite, the team has developed smaller transforming robots.
Bumblebee 20 is a bright yellow transformer that can move between car and robot in just a few seconds. It is named Bumblebee 20” because it is 1/20 of the size of the original Bumblebee robot the team produced.
Japan home to weird and wonderful robot applications.
Japan continues to cement its reputation as a place where fantasy becomes reality. In addition to these extraordinary transformer robots, Japan is also the home to Robot-sumo and Megabots.
Robot-sumo as you probably guess is when two robots attempt to push each other out of a circle or Sumo ring (called a Dohyo). The fights are fast and furious.
So fast, in fact, it doesn’t make much of a spectacular sport, unless you are happy to sit through hours of YouTube videos where fans have slowed down the most exciting fights so we can watch in slow motion.
Megabots, on the other hand, are massive clunky heavy robots designed for hand to hand combat. Late last year, Japan's Kuratas Megabot took on the U.S.A's Iron Glory and Eagle Prime bots in a slow but exhilarating battle.
At the rate that robotics is being developed, there is no doubt that these kinds of robot battles will become more and more popular and perhaps even rival other kinds of human sports in the future.