Well, that fiction has now come to life in Japan, where a group of engineers just unveiled their "J-deite Ride," a 4-meter-tall (roughly 13 feet) “ridable transforming humanoid robot,” according to a press release put out today by Asratec, one of the robotics companies involved in building the fully functioning prototype.
Sure, we've seen some impressive one-off "real-life Transformers" before, but these babies are being planned for mass production. The J-deite is being imagined as a type of amusement-park ride, or as part of a bigger transforming attraction.
The J-deite could also serve as transportation, considering it’s propelled on wheels at roughly 18 mph in robot mode and 37 mph in vehicle mode. Or if you prefer to travel much slower, it goes 100 meters per hour in bipedal walking humanoid form. And as you can see below, it doesn’t exactly transform at the speed of movie, either.
Have a look …
Sure, it takes a minute, but dude, it’s a ridable, drivable transforming robot, which you can operate either via the driver’s seat or by a remote control.
The prototype — made of an aluminum alloy frame, powered by a lithium battery and electric motors — will be on display next week at GoldenWeek DOKIDOKI Festa All Working Cars Assemble in Tokyo, and at the IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018 trade show in Florida this November.
And the joint venture J-deite Ride LLP has big plans for this technology, at an amusement park near you, including “transforming go-karts” and “transforming demonstrations at parades.”
Cool! But when do we get our transforming bumper cars?