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Robot maker dreams of turning sci-fi into reality

TOKYO (AFP) – Ryo Yoshida has monster-sized dreams for his driveable, Gundam-like robot, even though its huge size makes it hard to park and the USD3-million price tag will crush most wallets.

An imposing 4.5 metres high and weighing 3.5 tonnes, Archax can be moved and operated by a pilot who clambers up to the high-tech cockpit.

“I want to make people’s dreams come true, the dream people once had as a child, which is to get on board a robot and control it just like science fiction movies,” said Chief Executive Officer of the start-up Tsubame Industries Yoshida. “This is a product to help people taste a bit of that world,” the 25-year-old told AFP at the Japan Mobility Show where his monster was a star of the show.

When manoeuvered in the vehicle mode, Archax is capable of moving at 10 kilometres per hour, according to the company.

It has 26 joints including on two huge hands, which a pilot controls with two joysticks, two pedals and a touchscreen.

One fun use could be getting several of the robots together for a shoot-em-up with toy guns like in the Gundam anime series, Yoshida suggested.

Japanese robotics startup Tsubame Industries exhibit the ARCHAX robot during the press day of the Japan Mobility Show in Tokyo. PHOTO: AFP