• All Share : 51519.17
    UP 0.79%
    Top 40 : 4276.16
    UP 0.99%
    Financial 15 : 14912.81
    UP 1.35%
    Industrial 25 : 60022.98
    UP 0.45%

  • ZAR/USD : 10.7386
    UP 0.69%
    ZAR/GBP : 17.7342
    UP 0.10%
    ZAR/EUR : 14.0936
    UP 0.64%
    ZAR/JPY : 0.1023
    UP 0.03%
    ZAR/AUD : 9.9739
    UP 0.20%

  • Gold : 1266.8750
    DOWN -1.53%
    Platinum : 1412.0000
    DOWN -0.84%
    Silver : 19.2300
    DOWN -1.21%
    Palladium : 886.5000
    DOWN -1.94%
    Brent Crude Oil : 101.980
    DOWN -0.82%

  • All data is delayed by 15 min. Data supplied by INET BFA
    Hover cursor over this ticker to pause.

Tue Sep 02 16:09:04 SAST 2014

Japanese man’s childhood dreams give birth to giant robot

Reuters | 29 November, 2012 09:58

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.

His four-tonne, four-metre tall Kuratas robot is a grey behemoth with a built-in pilot's seat and hand-held controller that allows an operator to flex its massive arms, move it up and down and drive it at a speed of up to 10 kph.

"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.

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."

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 $1.3 million.

Kurata said while he has received thousands of inquiries about buying a robot, he's also received a large number of cancellations and declined to specify how many people have actually bought one.

But that's not so important.

"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.

"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."

If you dig giant robots, check out the intro to Cartoon Network's Megas XLR here:

SHARE YOUR OPINION

If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.
Tue Sep 02 16:09:04 SAST 2014 ::