Christened Archax, the company's pilotable humanoid mech takes its name from the flying dinosaur Archeopteryx. A series of videos posted by Tsubame Industry on their YouTube channel shows a prototype of the robot in action, and the company says a working version will be showcased at this year's Japan Mobility Show in November.
The Archax robot mech looks like a real-world transformer bot and stands a whopping 14.8 feet (4.5 meters) tall. This crazy machinery has a cockpit meant to accommodate the human pilot and draws power from a 300V battery.
Tipping the scales at around 3.5 tons, it is a mammoth robot that isn't just looking cool but is also functional. It has four legs fitted with wheels as well as functional hands with articulated fingers that will help it manipulate objects of up to 33 pounds (15 kg) in weight.
It can switch from standing to driving mode and vice versa at the push of a button by increasing and decreasing the wheelbase of the platform and can attain a top speed of 10 km per hour (6.2 miles per hour). In standing mode, the maximum speed it can reach is 1.2 mph (1.9 kph). This ability to transform is perhaps its most appealing function.
The real-life robot's structure is made from iron and aluminum alloy, with an outer shell crafted from fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP). In the cockpit, the pilot will make use of two joysticks, three large monitors, and several pedals to operate the giant mecha, while no less than 26 cameras will help with navigation.
Talking about this gigantic contraption, Tatsuo Yoshida, Representative Director of Tsubame Industries, said, "Science fiction world to science reality…We want to cherish romance. Dreams and romance. It also has the role of heavy equipment useful for disaster recovery and space development, such as a boarding type robot that has actually been made into a shape and has functions that extend the human body, such as feedback of the feeling of what the robot is holding in the hand, and carries heavy objects. My ultimate goal is to develop a robot that is based on this technology."
Archax is not the first functional mecha made in Japan, but it definitely stands out as one of the most advanced in both appearance and underlying technology. The first prototype of the machine is currently undergoing testing, and the startup says it will only produce five units, which are expected to be available in about a year.
However, don't get your hopes high of ever experiencing the thrills of piloting the Archax, not only because of its exclusivity but also its high price tag. In order to own one, you'll have to churn out 400 million yen ($2.75 million), so unless you are one of the world's billionaires, content yourself with watching the giant humanoid robot in the videos below.