3 December 2012

Kuratas – The Giant Robot Controlled by an iPhone

Do you remember the scene from Aliens when Ripley, confronted by the queen which is about to mince up poor, tragic Newt, screams Get away from her you bitch! and proceeds to fight the monster in her exosuit cargo-loader? Fortunately for us, perhaps, the alien is still classified as fiction. The exosuit, on the other hand, just came a little closer to being reality. This is Kuratas.

This leviathan is currently being exhibited at a Maker’s Faire at Miraikan, The National Museum of Engineering, Science and Innovation in Tokyo.  It was created by a team which combined science and art. Kogoro Kurata (above) is the artist behind Kuratas, and so has named it after himself (adding an s and why not). Wataru Yoshizaki is the engineer (aka tech guy) who helped Kogoro make Kuratas come alive.

Billed as the first gigantic boardable robot in Japan (and the world, too, perhaps?) Kuratas looks almost human with his face and body.  He has four legs and two arms and – of course – the cockpit where the robot can be controlled manually or with an iPhone.  No wonder artist Kogoro Kurata’s motto is build anything. His giant creation is something to behold.

Weighing in at over four tonnes and standing 13 feet high, this goliath amalgamation of engineering and art is enough to intimidate any rampaging extra-terrestrial with an eye on you for dinner.  Kuratas comes at quite a cost too – over $US1m. I would probably want him on my side in a fight but don’t expect too much in the way of pursuit. At the steady rate of 10km an hour I expect even ET could outrun him. For now.

In fact, we will leave the final word to the artist. In this video he explains the inspiration behind his work – and his beloved Kuratas.

First Image Credit Flickr User klipsch soundman