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Gun-toting robot controlled by your smartphone

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James Manning

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Kuratas the wearable battle robot

Electronics company Suidobashi Heavy Industry ushers in a new era of mechanised combat with a multi-tonne robot that can be controlled from a phone.

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A Japanese electronics company has revealed a $1.2 million gun-wielding robot that can be controlled from your smartphone.

The KR01 Kuratas Battle Mech, or Kuratas for short, was unveiled by Suidobashi Heavy Industry in Tokyo yesterday at the Wonder Festival.

The diesel-powered machine stands at four metres and weighs a humble 4.5 tonnes, moving around on four wheels at a top speed of 10 km/h.

Pilot Anna salutes after demonstrating the Kuratas at the Wonder Festival.

Pilot Anna salutes after demonstrating the Kuratas at the Wonder Festival.

It sports a Gatling gun capable of firing 100 rounds a second (ballbearings, not bullets), which is activated via facial tracking technology when the pilot smiles. Suidobashi call this "the smile shot" - trigger-happy indeed. 

Perhaps the most exciting feature of this behemoth is the fact that the "pilot" can control it from the safety of their smartphone. An app, known as the MasterSlave control system, will allow smartphones and tablets full control of the device when connected to a 3G network.  

The beast can also be controlled from inside the cockpit, where augmented reality-style controls are overlaid on a display of the outside world. Motion sensor technology allows the pilot to move the torso, arms and hands via 30 hydraulic joints. Kuratas can also grab and pick up things with its claw-like fingers.

The AMP suit in James Cameron's Avatar: The Game

The AMP suit in James Cameron's Avatar: The Game

The exterior of the Kuratas, which features "shot-proof" armour, is reminiscent of Japanese anime that features giant robots or "mecha", such as Gundam and video games such as MechWarrior. Comparisons were also quick to emerge between it and the Mitsubishi MK-6 Amplified Mobility Platform (aka AMP suit) in James Cameron's epic Avatar, not to mention Robocop.

Kuratas can play nice as well as naughty, and can be programmed to perform such duties as firefighting and cleaning. It comes in 16 different colours, and will be made to order, including a $90 optional cupholder in the cockpit.

Suidobashi Heavy Industry have been working on the robot since 2010, and created a similar prototype earlier this year that was controlled partially with Microsoft's Kinect sensor. 

47 comments so far

  • Well, just jamm the 3G network and the network is broken. "You no longer have control"....

    Commenter
    Mech warrior
    Date and time
    July 31, 2012, 10:49AM
    • Haha......true!

      Commenter
      Gerson
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 31, 2012, 11:09AM
    • iRobot

      Commenter
      Mary
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 31, 2012, 12:32PM
    • Johnny 5 is Alive!!! - Seriously that thing would not last in a real War... It must be just a Manga Comic Day in Japan...

      Commenter
      James
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 31, 2012, 3:08PM
    • "Put down the weapon, you have 20 seconds to comply"

      Commenter
      Bob
      Date and time
      July 31, 2012, 3:40PM
  • "$90 optional cup holder". I assume there's an ashtray? The japanese car manufacturers all have them as standard.

    Commenter
    Neil
    Date and time
    July 31, 2012, 11:04AM
    • I think Australian laws forbid you to smoke if you have children with you in your battledroid. I want to know if it comes with one of those sleep shattering sound systems with the deep earth vibrating sub woofers. Just dare your neighbours to complain about the noise while facing down your gattling gun.

      Commenter
      Private Citizen
      Location
      Redfern
      Date and time
      July 31, 2012, 12:01PM
    • Real men don't care where the ashes fall. lol
      Fat cigars of course, no sissy cigarettes hehe.

      Commenter
      brian
      Location
      Adelaide
      Date and time
      July 31, 2012, 1:39PM
  • I, for one, welcome our new iPhone-controlled overlord.

    Commenter
    Malcolm
    Location
    Cinnamon Park
    Date and time
    July 31, 2012, 11:09AM
    • I think this might be the first ever comment that made me laugh.

      Commenter
      Hospes
      Date and time
      July 31, 2012, 12:41PM

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