Business / Tech

Tokyo companies begin work on Transformer-like robot

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

Two Tokyo-based firms said Friday they have begun developing a transformable robot that can be operated from inside, both as a humanoid robot and a vehicle.

Asratec Corp. and Brave Robotics said they plan to complete development of the J-deite Ride in 2017.

The robot-makers said the unit will be able to walk on two feet when in humanoid mode, while as a car it will be capable of reaching speeds of 60 kph.

In its humanoid form, the robot will stand 3.5 meters tall. As a car it will be 3.8 meters long. They said it will be able to transform in just 10 seconds.

Asratec, a SoftBank subsidiary that develops V-Sido software for controlling robots, said it has no immediate plans to sell the J-deite Ride commercially.

The Transformer-like robot is part of the firms’ Project J-deite, which was launched last year to explore next-generation robotics technology. Brave Robotics specializes in creating transformable robots.

The project team has already built a 1.3-meter J-deite robot it calls Quarter, which can transform into a vehicle.