Did you miss the golden opportunity to acquire a real-life driveable mecha suit when it went on sale 8 years ago? Well, fret not my filthy rich friends because another Japanese company has created a similar mecha and would love to sell it to you for an exorbitant sum.
Tsubame is the company and it has developed a mecha on wheels called Archax. Much like the Kuratas, it has a regular robot upper torso and mid-section with a pair of arms, complete with hands and articulated fingers. The arms are not for show; they can carry objects up to 15 kilograms (about 33 lbs).
Also like Kuratas, it has four “legs” but instead of walking which the current technology does not permit, each leg has a wheel. It is like a hybrid of an automobile and mecha which reminds us of the Evangelion Provisional Unit-05 but less deadly, obviously.
The mecha has two modes: robot and vehicle i.e. raised and lowered mode. The vehicle mode allows for entering/exiting the cockpit using a ladder on the mid-section. In addition to onboard operation by a pilot, Archax can also be controlled remotely. However, the operation may be limited.
In robot mode, it towers at 4.5 meters (about 15 feet) but at the expense of a shorter wheelbase of 4.4 meters (14 feet). Meanwhile, in vehicle mode aka when lowered, it is 3.9 meters (13 feet) tall but with a longer wheelbase of 5.9 meters (19 feet).
It can travel in both vehicle or robot mode, btw. The latter affords a brisk 10 km/h (about 6.2 mph) while the latter limits it to 2 km/h (or about 1.2 mph) for obvious reasons.
The main frame is constructed from iron and aluminum and it is clad in fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP). This combination results in a hefty 3.5 tons (around 7,716 lbs).
The Tsubame Archax Driveable Mecha is electrically driven, though it is not clear how many electric motors it is outfitted with. I am going to guess two, one on each wheel but that’s just my guess. It is rear-wheel drive and like a regular vehicle, it has front steering.
The pilot depends on 26 cameras to relay images from the outside which he or she can view on three monitors, along with other information.
Tsubame Archax was revealed on August 19, 2023, that the Tsubame Archax is available to buy. Obviously, you have to be in Japan to be able to buy it. Only 5 units are available, each commanding a cool 400 million yen which is roughly US$2.74 million based on today’s going rate.
Images: Tsubame Industry Co., Ltd. [JP].
via Robotstart Inc. [JP].