Drop everything you’re doing right now. The transformer you dreamed about owning since childhood is real.
A Transformers-style, humanoid robot that can shape-shift into a sports car in about 60 seconds was unveiled in Japan on Wednesday. That’s right, Japanese engineers have built a working Transformer. The “J-deite RIDE” robot is the brainchild of Kenji Ishida, CEO of Brave Robotics and a fan of anime featuring robots that could transform or combine with each other.
“I grew up believing that robots had to be capable of such things, which became my motivation to develop this robot,” Ishida told Reuters Television.
The car is 12 feet tall and can carry two passengers in human or car form.
As exciting as this transforming robot car is, compared to the almost instantaneous transitions made by the original Transformers – to say nothing of the almost ridiculously quick transformations seen in the Michael Bay movies.
J-deite RIDE is a bit of a slouch.
While this giant robot can indeed transform its shape, if it were an Autobot, there’d be virtually no chance of saving the day from the evil Decepticons. It takes J-deite RIDE a whole minute to change from a robot into a car (or vice versa), and if you think that’s a little on the slow side, we haven’t even touched on its walking speed.
When the robot walks, though, it’s almost comically slow: 100 metres (328 ft) per hour. Let’s just say we’re talking about turtle speeds here.
On wheels, J-deite RIDE’s engineers say it has a ‘theoretical’ driving speed of 60 kilometres per hour, and the same wheels enable the robot to roll along at half that speed.
That doesn’t mean it’s not awesome. This robot can do its amazing transformation while carrying two people inside it, and the best bit of all is, you might even get to be one of those people one day. The robot makers, Asratec, Sansei Technologies, and Brave Robotics say that once their prototype is fully developed, they’re intending to commercialise the technology for use at amusement and theme parks.
So no, it won’t defeat the Decepticons. But it’s guaranteed to drop a few jaws, and make an awful lot of people happy.