Listen up, people–in just a couple of years, we’ll seeing the closest thing possible to a realization of Transformers in real life.
Japanese firms Brave Robotics and Asratec, along with the support of toy manufacturer Takara Tomy, have teamed up with the joint goal of creating a 3.5-meter-tall (11.5 feet) humanoid robot that is capable of transforming itself into a drivable car. While the project, which is titled J-deite Ride, won’t come to fruition until sometime in 2017, the collaborative team has already produced a similar transformable robot on a smaller scale–and the video of its transformation sequence is pretty awesome.
Under this ongoing joint venture, Brave Robotics is mainly in charge of the hardware components of the project, while Asratec is handling the robotic control system (for all you techies out there, the V-Sido OS is being utilized). In October 2014, developers gave the public a progress report in the form of a short video showcasing a smaller, 1.3-meter-(4.3 feet) tall version of the transforming robot, aptly named the J-deite Quarter. Similarly, the J-deite Half, which will stand 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) tall, is slated to be completed in 2016, while a model even bigger than the J-deite Ride, a 5-meter-(16.4 feet) tall robot, is projected to be finished in 2020, the same year that Tokyo will host the Olympics.
▼ Long-term goals of the J-deite Project
▼ Don’t mind some of the broken English below.
▼ Check out this progress update video from last October, which includes a clip of the J-deite Quarter undergoing its transformation.
However, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves at this moment in time. The J-deite Ride will come equipped with two different modes: the humanoid-looking “Robot Mode” and the driveable “Vehicle Mode“:
▼ Robot mode (left) and vehicle mode (right)
▼ Robot mode is silently judging you.
In Robot Mode, the robot will be able to walk on its two legs at a maximum speed of only 1 km/h (0.62 mph), whereas Vehicle Mode will allow a maximum driving speed of up to 10 km/h (6.21 mph). OK, so J-deite Ride won’t be as practical as some of its big-screen movie star pals, but hey–baby steps, right?
Sadly, one of the few things that the completed J-deite Ride won’t be able to do is to carry human passengers in its Robot Mode, as a cockpit isn’t part of the blueprint design. Looks like we’ll have to put our childhood fantasies of piloting a Gundam on hold for a few more years…