Children of the 80s may soon rejoice as the stuff of their Saturday morning cartoons sees a step towards realisation in the form of the J-deite RIDE. Japanese engineers have just created a functional sports car which also changes neatly into a Transformers-style robot.
A joint effort between two Japanese companies, Brave Robotics and Sansei Technologies has seen the creation of a life-size and fully functional sports car which seats a driver and passenger and also pretty smoothly transforms into a bipedal robot, complete with Transformer/Mega Zord style head. What’s more, the transformation can take place with its two occupants remaining safely inside the entire time. This is the J-deite RIDE.
The J-deite RIDE is reportedly the brainchild of Kenji Ishida and can transform into a 12-foot tall robot in about 60 seconds. Ishida was a fan of anime as a child and felt the need to show that robotics could realise some of his childhood dreams. This is far more than a lifesize version of so many robot action-figures. According to The Next Web, the RIDE can reach up to 60 km per hour as a car and can theoretically run at up to 30 km per hour as a bipedal robot. Give that this is a very early attempt at this form of transforming technology, that’s no small achievement.
While the initial applications of this technology may not seem like more than recreating scenes from Power Rangers or having one’s own giant robot for sheer novelty’s sake, there are many potential advantages for exploration or even for search and rescue efforts to having vehicles which can re-orient themselves so dramatically. For the time being, the practical applications are certainly limited, but if this avenue of technology is pursued in the future, there may one day be much more to J-deite RIDE and its descendants than meets the eye.