A Japanese company has finally created the futuristic technology we've been waiting for. No, not a warp drive or a way of converting seawater into drinking water in an energy-efficient manner: a robot that transforms into a car.
Tsubame Industries is taking five preorders on its new robot “Archax”, at the reasonable price of 400 million yen ($2.6 million). Unlike the Transformers of Transformers, Archax requires a human driver who pilots it from inside, like a real Gundam robot. The pilot operates the 3.5-ton robot using two joysticks, two pedals, and a touch panel, while watching the outside world through multiple cameras and screens.
The team says they were motivated specifically by "transforming the world of science fiction into science reality" in creating the 4.5-meter (14.8-foot) robot/car.
Though awesome to watch a car rear itself up into a robot with movable arms and fists, or a robot shrink down into something resembling a car, don't expect to be running around fighting the Decepticons any time soon. The robot – with wheels on the end of its limbs – is unable to walk, and has a maximum speed of 10 kilometers per hour (6.2 miles per hour), towards the lower end of walking speed. Not that you'll care when piloting a workable transforming robot.