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article imageOp-Ed: Giant robot with Gatling gun, run by a smart phone, and it’s real

By Paul Wallis     Jul 30, 2012 in Technology
Tokyo - From the country which gave the world Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, Nomura Securities and Transformers comes everyone’s most useful household appliance- A 4.5 ton, 4 metre tall robot which can be told to open fire by smiling into your smart phone.
Kuratas has a cockpit and can, perhaps predictably, be controlled from an iPhone. This thing is literally the home maker’s best friend, as The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
The KR01 Kuratas Battle Mech, or Kuratas for short, was unveiled by Suidobashi Heavy Industry in Tokyo yesterday at the Wonder Festival.
It sports a Gatling gun capable of firing 100 rounds a second (ball bearings, not bullets), which is activated via facial tracking technology when the pilot smiles. Suidobashi call this "the smile shot" - trigger happy indeed.
The somewhat impressionistic Guardian video includes a road shot of Kuratas heading down the road on all four wheels, which makes it look very practical and believable indeed. Kuratas has some style to it. Its movements are very fluid, and you can’t help thinking of a lot of heavy lifter machinery when you see the arms.
Perhaps most hilarious part of the video is the fact that Kuratas can also be colour-matched. You can have your 6000rpm firing robot decked out in thoughtful pastels.
Good engineering and more
Kuratas looks like a combination of good fundamental mobility and power/weight engineering combined with very well organised electronics. The sort of software required to reliably run a “fly by wire” land machine is about as complex as the flying version, for articulated machines and robots. There are big issues with operating something as powerful as Kuratas. Kuratas is good physical engineering, well-disguised as a fun machine, but with a lot of practical applications.
It also has the capabilities of an exo-skeleton, but with a lot more options. There are many roles a modified version of Kuratas could fill, easily. Highly articulated vehicles are always extremely valuable assets- They can do more, and when piloted do it faster and better than the relatively inefficient one-trick simple machines.
A search and rescue Kuratas, for example, could power its way through debris and dangerous environments. An underwater model could do a lot for salvage capabilities and make things like underwater engineering a lot safer. A construction version could manage and maneuver heavy materials on site.
The very large surface area on Kuratas could also carry wearable special electronics, the new transparent photovoltaic cells, etc. It could be equipped with packs for special operations or customized capabilities.
The most obvious use, as a domestic robot, however, will always be the core business of Kuratas. What could be more useful for tidying up kids’ rooms than a heavily armed robot? When you want to get rid of guests, 6000rpm says so much. You can say hi to the neighbours with advanced ballistics and a smile. Go shopping with someone to carry the groceries and deal with anyone who gets in the way. Also useful for pillaging, baby sitting and talking to salespeople.
Get one now!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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