Japan unveils 15-foot-tall transforming robot | Inquirer Technology

Japan unveils Archax, a 15-foot-tall transforming robot you can pilot

09:58 AM August 28, 2023

The land of anime and manga brings giant robots into reality as tech company Tsubame reveals Archax. It is a 15-foot-tall transforming robot piloted by a human. You can select between standing and driving modes and manipulate objects with their mechanical arms. It is prohibitively expensive, but it could pave the way for widespread robotic adoption.

Science and technology turn our wildest dreams into reality. Many of our favorite devices, like the smartphone and virtual worlds, were once only within science fiction. Nowadays, intrepid engineers and scientists bring them into the real world, transforming our lives in unprecedented ways. Perhaps one day you’ll have a mech for your next job!

This article will elaborate on the Archax transforming mecha. Later, I will discuss similar robotics projects from Japanese experts and other countries.

How does the Archax transforming robot work?

On August 19, 2023, Japanese firm Tsubame Industries posted a YouTube video showing its latest project. Automobile news website Autoevolution says the company got the name “‘Archax” from the flying dinosaur Archeopteryx.

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This robot is reminiscent of numerous iconic mecha in media history. For example, it looks like a robot from the Hollywood film “Pacific Rim” and a “Gundam” from its namesake shows and comics.

Yet, the legs may remind you of office chairs or leg parts from the video game Armored Core 6. Instead of two legs, this transforming robot has four legs with wheels.

The video shows a man entering the machine’s central compartment. It closes, and the operator switches between its “robot” and “vehicle” modes. The former contracts the legs closer to the body, allowing the machine to stand taller than before.

Archax is 14.8 feet or 4.5 ms tall in its robot mode, but it can only move at 1.2 mph or 1.9 kph. More importantly, it enables the pilot to control the arms and fingers.

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The hands have articulated digits that let you manipulate objects of up to 33 lbs or 15 kg. On the other hand, the vehicle mode extends Archax legs and lowers its torso.

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The new configuration exchanges height for speed, boosting its top speed to 9.65 kph or 6 mph. Unfortunately, only the ultra-rich could afford this transforming robot worth $2.5 million!

Interesting Engineering reports Tsubame director Tatsuo Yoshida’s purpose for its flagship project. He admits Archax is “partly” for the extremely affluent, but he says it could inspire further robotics applications in numerous industries.

For example, the Japanese government could use it for disaster recovery and space development. Further research and development could expand its practical uses.

What are the other robotics projects?

Diverse Robotics Projects

Photo Credit: animenewsnetwork.com

Most people still believe robots in daily life remain a fantasy. Contrary to popular belief, development has been progressing rapidly worldwide.

For example, Japan hasn’t only been focused on piloting robots but attaching them to human bodies, too. University of Tokyo researchers created Jizai Arms to study how people respond to having mechanical limbs.

Jizai Arms don’t implant themselves into your body like prosthetics. Instead, a person wears an exoskeleton that enables a Jizai Arm to mimic the wearer’s movements.

As a result, these robotic limbs move like ours. They attach to a backpack-like power supply that accommodates four simultaneously. The researchers swapped arms to manipulate them for each other.

The experts realized they had noticed the loss of these cyborg arms. Respondent R-1 said, “I didn’t feel much of anything after it was attached, just a little heavier. But I felt more of a sense of loss after it was detached.”

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The most impressive development comes from China, which unveiled the “world’s first mass-produced humanoid robot.” Its tech firm Fourier Intelligence unveiled its GR-1 prototype that can walk on two legs at 5kph while hauling a 50kg load.

Co-founder Zen Koh explained the robot’s purpose. “As we move forward, the entire GR-1 could be a caregiver, could be a therapy assistant, can be a companion at home for the elderly who stay home alone,” he stated.

“We can program it to sit, stand and jump. You can program the arms to pick up utensils and tools and perform tasks as the engineers desire,” he added.

Conclusion

Japan demonstrated its Archax prototype on YouTube. The transforming robot can travel up to 9.65 kph and carry heavy objects with articulated machine arms and hands.

The $2.5 million price tag may discourage most from taking this transforming robot for a ride. However, it has a more important role in guiding robotics applications for various industries.

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Further research and development may enable everyone to use robots daily. Learn more about other robotics projects and similar trends at Inquirer Tech.

TOPICS: interesting topics, Japanese robots, Robot, Trending
TAGS: interesting topics, Japanese robots, Robot, Trending

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