Two Japanese engineers have developed a real life, 4-foot tall, working transformer bot that not only walks around, but also morphs into a car and drives. And they’re not even done yet.
Transformers are the kind of toy that appeals to various generations. If you were a kid in the 80s, you dreamed of Optimus Prime and his gang taking you on an evil alien fighting adventure. But if you were a kid who was raised after that, chances are you share the same love for the earth-protecting bots, because after the Transformers films began hitting theatres in 2007 the generational toy gap quickly closed.
Two Japanese Developers, Kenji Ishida and Watur Yoshizaki, have set out of make every Transformers lover’s dream come true; to create a life-sized Transformer. They’re goal is to have a working bot that will stand 16 feet tall (5.0 meters), and be fully capable of turning into a car, by 2020. The developers are receiving support for their creative efforts from the companies they work for, Brave Robotics and Asratec Corp, who are leading the project. Additional support is being provided by Tomy Co. Ltd (yes that probably means that this bot will hit toy shelves one day).
Though Optimus Prime’s real-life cousin, who will be called J-deite King, isn’t set to hit the ground running—or driving I guess—until 2020, the ongoing phases of the project are just as exciting and they’re already here.
Meet J-deite Quarter
As the first phase in their project, Ishida and Yoshizaka have rolled out J-deite Quarter. And you guessed it—the name is reflective of the model’s progress toward their ultimate goal. The fully functional, transforming, walking, and driving robot stands at 4 ft tall (1.3 meters), weighs 77 pounds (30 kg), and can walk at a speed of 0.6 MPH (1 kilometer per hour). That may seem slow, but when you see the robot in action you’re kind of thinking more about how cool the darn thing is. When transformed into a car, J-deite Quarter’s speed increases to 6 MPH (10 kilometers per hour).
J-deite features a bright blue finish and a face that was intentionally modeled to resemble Optimus Prime himself. Running on software called V-Sido, which comes from Asratec Corp., the robot can not only walk, but can move his arms, hands, and fingers. A single battery charge allows J-deite to function for about one hour.
The next step for the project will be rolling out J-deite Half, who will stand 8 ft (2.5 meters) tall and is on track to emerge in 2016. The smallest installment of the project was a desk-sized version that Ishida created in 2012, thus beginning the quest for a life-sized Transformer bot.
For more information and to follow along with the J-deite series progress check out the project’s website.