$24,000 Transform Robot goes from car to humanoid

By: | December 9th, 2012

We’ve seen transforming robots before, and I’m not talking about anything related to Hasbro.

Researchers from MIT are among many engineers and tinkerers trying to design robots that perform different functions by changing their shape or appearance.

Japan-based Brave Robotics has designed a 1/12-scale RC car that can transform into a humanoid robot. It can shuffle around, grab footage with its Wi-Fi camera, and even fire little missiles from its arms.

But the intriguing part about the Transform Robot is its scope. Not only has Brave Robotics hobbyist Kenji Ishida put 10 years into building robots in disguise — he began in 2002 with a simple pair of legs and the Transform Robot is version 7.1 — he wants to build a full-scale transforming, drivable car with artificial intelligence by 2030.

Transformers fan gone wild? Perhaps.

Even though building a real Autobot seems highly unlikely due to the enormous power requirements, not to mention the sheer cost and AI hurdles, Ishida is an undaunted dreamer.

He showed off his RC transformer last weekend at Maker Faire Tokyo, which also witnessed the appearance of 13-foot mecha marvel Kuratas, inspired by a different sci-fi franchise.

The Transform Robot is partly made of 3D-printed components and runs on lithium-polymer batteries.

The car even has room for two seats in case your action figures want to hop a ride. Check it out in the vid below.

Ishida will make only 10 Transform Robots, custom painted and already programmed, each for $24,000. Yes, that’s the 1/12-scale version.

Well, how else is he supposed to fund Autobot development?

Check out more information here.

Jeremy Helms

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