Design Engineering

Japanese engineers bring Transformers to life


Automation Robot transformer

J-deite RIDE transforming robot has the capability to change between a four metre tall bipedal walking humanoid robot to a functional car.

Transformer robot

Photo courtesy of J-deite RIDE.

With millions of young girls and boys (and some adults) playing with Hasbro Transformer toys and major franchise success at the box office, it was just a matter of time before someone attempted to create a working, transforming robot of their own.

A joint venture of Japanese companies have done just that. J-deite Ride, Asratec, Sansei Technologies, and BRAVE ROBOTICS announced a prototype of the ridable transforming humanoid robot dubbed J-deite RIDE.

J-deite RIDE transforming robot has the capability to change between a 4-meter tall bipedal walking humanoid robot form to a functional car. Engineers have designed the robot to include up to two passengers who can operate the unit from a driver’s seat. However, for passengerless operation, a “driver” can remotely control the bot via wireless network.

The companies worked together to develop various parts of the transforming system. BRAVE ROBOTICS designed and developed the hardware, including the unique transforming mechanism. Asratec’s robot control system “V-Sido” performs the robot motions such as the transformation, bipedal walking, wheel driving and more. Mechanical designer Kunio Okawara cooperated in the robot design.

transformer robot

Photo courtesy of J-deite RIDE

The transformer was developed with an aluminum frame and is able to move using two-wheel drive.  J-deite RIDE’s engineers say it has a theoretical driving speed of 60 kph as a vehicle with the same wheels allowing the humanoid robot to roll along at half that speed. However, if the vehicle is in walking mode, it can only move at a slow crawl of 100 metres per hour.

And for now, while this Transformer robot may not have the capabilities to defeat Megatron and the antagonist faction of Decepticons, the technology opens the doors for new and futuristic applications. Sansei Technologies is currently working to commercialize the transforming robot technology for amusement park rides.

The company boasts their goal is to develop an advanced 5 meter tall transforming robot to be completed around 2020.


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