When Japanese mecha turns from science fiction to science fact, you get four metres and four tonnes of armoured metal robot! Watch out-Metal Gear is no longer the stuff of video games!
Meet Kuratas-a giant Japanese robot designed by Suidobashi Heavy Industry and presented at the Chiba Wonder Festival. This metal monster is controlled by a human who sits inside, but can also be piloted by a 3G smartphone.
The robot uses augmented reality technology and an automatic alignment system to lock on to targets. Plus, shooting is activated by smiling (see video, below), so you'll have to be seriously careful about your facial expressions. The robot is loaded with all kinds of (non-lethal) weapons, including a water-based missile launcher and a "Twin Gatling Gun" that can fire off 6000 BBs (airsoft pellets) a minute. Kuratas moves around on wheels built into its feet, and can reach speeds of up to 10 kilometres per hour. Pedestrians beware!
If you fancy bagging yourself one of these robots, powered by no less than 30 hydraulic joints, you'll have to shell out around €1.500.000.
Engineers Wataru Yoshizaki and Kogoro Kurata spent two years designing and building Kuratas. Only in Japan.
You can build your own Kuratas at www.suidobashijuko.jp.