Ginormous Armed Robot Controlled by Phone

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From outward appearances, a Japanese robot unveiled this week makes Godzilla look cuddly. The 13-foot-tall robot is armored, armed and can be controlled from the cockpit or remotely by smartphone. But under its tough exterior, the robot responds to smiles.

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An outfit called Suidobashi Heavy Industry created the diesel-powered robot, named Kuratas, which can go from a low to a high position on wheeled legs and move at a top speed of about 6 mph. Touch controls inside the cockpit allow the pilot to move the arms and body smoothly. If you're not inclined to climb up like the Japanese woman in the hilarious how-to demo video, the whole thing can be controlled remotely using a smartphone touchpad.

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The weirdest part might be the "weaponry." Although it has iron claws and a carbon shield, the "LOHAS launcher" shoots full water bottles with poor aim and no pivoting, only hitting targets occasionally. A twin Gatling gun can spray BB bullets on a locked-in target. When the pilot smiles, the BB bullets fly. Despite having this "smile shot" feature, the robot doesn't lob cupcakes.

Kuratas could be an addition to your dorky lair for a mere $1.3 million, and it comes in seven characters as well as a number of different colors. When not in use for some sort of robot battle a la "Real Steel" (um, yeah, I did watch that) the company suggests the robot could be used as a helping hand for firefighters, and even cleaning.

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Still, Suidobashi Heavy Industry is clear about the robot's limits. "Kuratas is an art piece," their video says. "It is not a normal vehicle, so it doesn't guarantee your safety and comfort." The upshot is that the monstrous machine could make your dream of being a robot pilot come true. If it doesn't fall into the wrong hands first.

Photo: The huge remote-controlled Japanese robot Kuratas. Credit: Suidobashi Heavy Industry

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