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Pilotable Transforming Robot Could Be Yours for 400 Million Yen

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Macross co-creator Shōji Kawamori plans to work with robot manufacturer

Five 4.5-meter tall (14.7ft) transforming, pilotable robots are now available to purchase for wealthy would-be mecha pilots. Tsubame Industries revealed the ARCHAX robots, and reservations opened to prospective buyers for 400 million yen (about US$2.7 million USD) on August 19.

Tsubame Industries unveiled the robot at a Yokohama warehouse. The ARCHAX has two modes, "robot mode" and "vehicle mode." Twenty-six joints allow ARCHAX to pivot and move with relative freedom. While in robot mode, it has movable arms and articulated fingers. While in vehicle mode, it can move at 10km (6.2 miles) per hour and weighs approximately 3.5 tons. Powered by an electric battery, the robot's cockpit is located in its chest. Inside the cockpit are four displays allowing riders to see their surroundings via nine mounted cameras. The cockpit is also airconditioned to keep the rider cool. The robot is controlled via two joysticks and two pedals, while a touch screen allows the driver to change between modes.

The robot takes its name from the archaeopteryx, implying it is the first of its kind.

Tsubame Industries is run by just nine employees in Edogawa Ward, Tokyo. The company primarily focuses on industrial and agricultural machinery, automobiles, parts manufacturing, and other equipment. Tsubame Industries CEO Tatsuo Yoshida stated the company developed ARCHAX to "make the science-fiction world a science reality" and "it's a product that condenses Japan's strengths in anime and robot culture." He added that the robot could be used in disaster recovery efforts, space development, and other scenarios. The company's Chief Technology Officer is Hironori Ishii, the previous technical director for the life-size moving Gundam in Yokohama.

A company representative said that due to the robot's price tag and currently limited uses, prospective buyers would be very wealthy, like those who buy supercars. It is not yet possible for Tsubame Industries to mass-produce the ARCHAX, but the company is considering entertainment uses before moving on to other uses for the robot. The robot's standard colors are dark blue and yellow, but buyers can alter the color combination when ordering their robot. The ARCHAX is made-to-order, and Tsubame Industries plans to ship the robots approximately one to one and a half years after the order is placed.

Macross co-creator Shōji Kawamori is collaborating with Tsubame Industries to bring his own mecha designs to life. Kawamori shared photos of himself with the ARCHAX on his X (Twitter) account on August 19, writing that the robot's power was "deculture."

More details about Tsubame Industries and Kawamori's collaboration will be announced in November.

The public will be able to view the ARCHAX at the upcoming Japan Mobility Show 2023 event at Tokyo Big Sight. The event will run from October 26 to November 5.

Source: Yahoo! News (IT Media News), Robot Start (神崎 洋治)

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