Tristan GreeneEditor, Neural by TNW
Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: He/him
A team of Japanese roboticists have made the dreams of countless Gundam, Transformers, and GoBots fans come true in a magnificent way. Check out “J-deite RIDE,” a fully-functional robot capable of walking and transforming into a car.
This inner-child affirming piece of metal and joy is, as far as we know, the world’s first robot that can completely transform into a sports car, all the while safely carrying up to two passengers.
It was designed by Japanese robotics company Brave Robotics and theme park company Sansei Technologies. As you can see in the video, it not only completely transforms, but it looks amazing.
And it’s not just eye-candy either. The Ride can travel at speeds of up to 60 km/h (37.3 MPH) in car mode, and in its full 3.6 meter tall (12 ft) robot stance it can, theoretically, run at speeds of up to 30 km/h (18.6 MPH).
In a world where we’ve been inundated with terrifying tales of how killer robots will one day descend upon us all, or at a minimum just take our jobs, this is a much-welcomed diversion.
Automation will radically change the global workforce over the next few decades, perhaps ushering in a new industrial revolution. And if it does, one thing is certain: the vast majority of so-called ‘robots’ on the planet will be boring.
The rule of useful robots dictates that the more fun and interesting a machine appears, the less useful it is. Go ahead, try and use a Ferrari as your everyday grocery-getter and you’ll see what I mean.
The J-deite Ride isn’t the robot we need, it’s the one we deserve.
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