Want to channel your inner Tony Stark and pilot a giant metal robot suit? Thought you might. The opportunity may not be as far off as you think. Japanese blacksmith Kogoro Kurata—along with a group called Suidobashi Heavy Industry—has designed and built what is best described as epic battle armor, called, simply enough, Kuratas.
Kurata talks about his history with metal working (his father was a blacksmith), how he never had much in the way of formal training, and how his massive mech suit is patterned more on the machines from anime series Armored Trooper Votams, rather than Mobile Suit Gundams. His reason for this is, “that AT Votoms doesn’t need any specially trained pilot. Anyone can ride.” One of the most interesting things about this is that Kurata has no experience with any of the mechanics involved. When he came to a point where he needed something specific, he did his research, found out what he needed to know, and incorporated it.
Kurata wasn’t bluffing about not needing any training. Inexperienced human pilots can actually maneuver Kurata’s suit, and even fire a BB Gatling gun. In addition to that, the suit can be controlled via remote control, or with your smart phone. How cool is that? You can use your goddamn telephone to control what is essentially a huge, armor-plated war machine.
Now you may be thinking, “Well, that’s all well and good, but this isn’t anything I’ll ever be able to own.” Not so fast. Suidobashi Heavy Industry has plans to develop the Kuratas and offer customized versions for sale in the “very near future.” I like the sound of that. All you’ll need is a place to park your giant suit of armor, and somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.35 million. And that’s just the starting price. If you want the CD player and power windows you’ll have to cough up some more dough. Still, totally worth it.