13-foot tall mecha robot built by Japanese enthusiasts

Summary:A Kinect-technology controlled robot that reaches 13 feet has been built by Japanese enthusiasts.

A group of Japanese robot enthusiasts have created a 13-foot tall robotic suit that can be piloted by a human and controlled through Microsoft's Kinect technology -- relatively cheap but powerful gesture-based control systems.

Called Suidobashi Heavy Industry, the group built the 4.9 tonne robot using the V-SIDO system for controls, whereas Kinect technology is used in the cockpit. By using this, the human pilot can move their head and turn the robotic suit accordingly.

Named Vaudeville, the robot was recently discovered by the Plastic Pals blog. The control systems can be likened to those found in science fiction movies such as Avatar -- a person can either move the robot through the Kinect-based technology to detect head movements, or it can be controlled through handle bars built within the suit.

The designers are looking to sell Vaudeville once it's complete, and hope to have it fully operational by the end of the year.

We're likely to see more frequent development of these inventions by home-based enthusiasts, just as Kenji Ishida and JS Robotics have built a generic radio-controlled car that shifts, turns and becomes an upright mini fighting-machine likened to the movie Transformers, interest in robotics seems to have surged in recent years.


This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation


Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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