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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Get Your Own Riding, Killing Robot!

Have you ever wanted your own robot? Not the cute little wind-up ones that shake across a table, but rather the huge ones you can sit in and destroy your enemies?

I know I have a lot of enemies... mortal enemies from my time as elevator operator in Yaita, Tochigi-ken, Japan.

Just kidding... I would never be caught in Yaita unless I was sleeping with someone. Which was twice.

Anyhow... for ¥110-million (Cdn/US $1.326-million), you can own your very own 4-ton, 4-meter (13-foot) tall robot you can walk to work to show that useless boss of yours exactly what you think of his new job description for you.

Meet the Kuratas, a giant robot with a built-in driver's seat for you to sit your vengeful ass in, and a hand-held controller that allows you to move and flex its two humongous humanoid arms and four wheeled legs and fire weapons - nothing too dangerous... just plastic bottles and or BB gun pellets - BBs that fly out at an astounding 6,000 rounds per minute.

And guess what makes the weapons work? A smile. OMG. I wonder if a smirk counts as a smile?

His prototype robot comes equipped with an operating system that also allows remote control from an iPhone, and the weapons system is powered by a lock-and-load system fired by the pilot’s smile.
Duck! He's smiling!

I know, I know... you're thinking about how you could modify the weapons system, too, aren't you?

And... the Kuratas 'bot can travel at a 'speed' of 10 kilometers per hour (six miles per hour).

Designed and built by Kurata Kogoro (surname first), he is a 39-year-old artist/blacksmith who enjoys working with iron and other hard metals. Inspired by his love of Japan's cartoon robots, he always wished he could build his own and drive it himself.

Unlike you or I, he has made his dream a reality. I salute him, not that it means much to him, as he is probably too busy crushing the puny gnats who made fun of him back in elementary school.

Says Kurata, "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.

"But it really was my dream to ride in one of them, and I also think it’s one kind of Japanese culture. I kept thinking that it’s something that Japanese had to do."

Interesting. Kurata built it because he wanted to, but also because he thought it was something an entire race of people needed to do.

The Kuratas robot took two years to build - actually, that was two years from conceptualizing it to actually putting it together into a working model.

MS Gundam
The robot, according to the designer is based on a 1980s Japanese animated television show called Armored Trooper VOTOMS (装甲騎兵ボトムズ Sōkō Kihei Botomuzu) AND the MS Gundam (Mobile Suit Gundam) robots also a animated show from 1979-80. 
AT VOTOMS

The differences are, according to Kurata, that while his robot is similar-looking to the AT VOTOMS, that robot doesn't need a pilot, but the MS Gundam does. Oh my god... I have no idea what any of those shows are about and I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I am not as big a nerd as I thought I was. Though, it has been suggested that if I had grown up in Japan I would would have been a big nerd.

And, if you think I was kidding, Kurata really will build you one - if you have the money. Too bad. Although it might indeed be the slowest get-away vehicle ever, perhaps it could be used to get the money (illegally) to allow you to buy one. I know... a Catch-22. Good book, by the way.

So... did you know that if you do place an order for one (I'm sure it will be cash upfront so he can afford to purchase the necessary components), you can get a few customized options with your killing machine awesome Japanese robot of the future, like paint schemes or style of cup holders for your coffee or energy drink.

What is cool about Kurata, in my opinion, is how he built the robot. He says he was never formerly trained in anything - saying that while his father was a blacksmith, he never received training from him... only... well, in Kurata's own words:

"All what I did was only looking at the surroundings and doing the same things. It’s somewhat like experience is the best teacher. The most effective style of study is study as necessary. For example, I study about oil pressure when I need knowledge of oil pressure. And soon I apply it on works and see the results. I put my first priority on what I want to do, not on technique. I just move forward on what I want to do, and make it."

This guy is awesome. I admire people like that... and it's not just because he built a robot. I admire people who start their own business and learn how to run a business. I admire people who when times get tough in that business find alternate ways to try and continue that business. They possess something I fear I lack.

The Kuratas Robots are being built by Kurata and engineer Yoshizaki Wataru (surname first) through their company Suidobashi Heavy Industries.

From Left: Yoshizaki, sexy Japanese babe, and Kurata. Oh, and giant Kuratas Robot standing behind them.
"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," sums up Kurata. "They might be able to make a society that uses robots in a way I can’t even imagine. I expect more from the implications of building it than from the robot itself."

Cheers,
Andrew 'I am Iron Man' Joseph

2 comments:

  1. I love your blog, Cliff, and have been reading it for years. But just wanna say that I miss the days when you'd post frequently about your own life. Reading your advice columns/editorialI love your blog, Cliff, and have been reading it for years. But just wanna say that I miss the days when you'd post frequently about your own life. Reading your advice columns/editorials are really interesting and useful, of course, in their own right. However, I do miss the aspect of blogging on here lately that comes from gaining insight into someone else's personal experiences, and not just their personal experiences as aggregated into a more general advice/editorial piece.
    s are really interesting and useful, of course, in tI love your blog, Cliff, and have been reading it for years. But just wanna say that I miss the days when you'd post frequently about your own life. Reading your advice columns/editorials are really interesting and useful, of course, in their own right. However, I do miss the aspect of blogging on here lately that comes from gaining insight into someone else's personal experiences, and not just their personal experiences as aggregated into a more general advice/editorial piece.
    heir own right. However, I do miss the aspect of blogging on here lately that comes from gaining insight into someone else's personal experiences, and not just their personal experiences as aggregated into a more general advice/editorial piece.
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay... I'll post some more about my personal experiences. It takes a lot out of me to recall that I might have been a jerk sometimes...

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