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Japan tech startup brings Gundam to life with giant $3 million robot

Japan tech startup brings Gundam to life with giant $3 million robot
  • PublishedOctober 2, 2023

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This combination of images shows a Gundam from the Japanese animated series (L) and  ARCHAX, the Gundam-like robot. — Reuters
This combination of images shows a Gundam from the Japanese animated series (L) and  ARCHAX, the Gundam-like robot. — Reuters

If you are a die-hard Gundam fan, prepare yourself because you can now experience becoming a Gundam yourself in real life but only if you are dedicated enough to spend $3 million.

With their sleek and awe-inspiring design, Gundams are the ultimate embodiment of power and technology and one tech expert was so inspired that he got his company to make a real one.

A startup based in Tokyo, Tsubame Industries, is selling a four-wheeled, 4.5-metre-tall (14.8-foot) robot that resembles “Mobile Suit Gundam” from the hugely popular Japanese animated series, for $3 million.

The robot, named ARCHAX after the bird-like dinosaur Archaeopteryx, includes cockpit monitors that display views from cameras attached to the outside so that the pilot may control the arms and hands with joysticks from inside its body.

The 3.5-ton robot has two modes: an upright “robot mode” and a “vehicle mode” in which it can move up to 10 kilometres (6 miles) per hour. The giant robot will be unveiled at the Japan Mobility Show later this month, according to Reuters.

“Japan is very good at animation, games, robots and automobiles so I thought it would be great if I could create a product that compressed all these elements into one,” said Ryo Yoshida, the 25-year-old chief executive of Tsubame Industries.

“I wanted to create something that says, ‘This is Japan’.”

Yoshida plans to build and sell five of the machines for the well-heeled robot fan, but hopes the robot could one day be used for disaster relief or in the space industry.

Yoshida became interested in manufacturing at an early age, learning how to weld at his grandfather’s ironworks and then going on to found a company that produces myoelectric prosthetic hands.

He said he is eager to keep Japan’s competitive edge in manufacturing alive.

“I hope to learn from previous generations and carry on the tradition,” he said.

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