‘Real-life Transformer’ turns from robot into electric car

‘Real-life Transformer’ turns from robot into electric car
A Japanese robotics company has produced a fully-functioning prototype of a real-life Transformer that turns from robot into electric car at the flick of a switch.

Asratec Corp, founded just five years ago, has partnered with a range of companies as it works to put robots to practical use.

Its intriguing new model, developed in conjunction with Tokyo-based Brave Robotics and amusement park ride manufacturer Sansei Technologies, is called the J-deite RIDE.

The robot – which draws similarities to the toys featured in the world-famous film franchise – is four metres high, weighs 1.6 tonnes and can walk at modest speeds of up to 100 metres an hour in upright mode.

But it only takes a click of a button to transform the robot into a vehicle capable of travelling at almost 40mph, using a lithium-ion battery pack.

The vehicle’s two passengers can even remain seated inside the car while it transforms back into a humanoid robot.

Asratec’s software taught the robot to walk on two legs, while Brave Robotics developed the hardware behind the transforming mechanism.

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Kunio Okawara, who created the J-deite RIDE, aims to sell the robot to theme parks.

He reckons the eye-catching novelty could become the first of a whole new generation of robotic rides and attractions, such as transforming go-karts.

Asratec is now looking for firms interested in getting their names on the side of its latest co-creation.

If you want to get a first look at the J-deite RIDE, Asratec is putting it on display at the DokiDoki Japanese Festival in Manchester later this year.

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