If you have ever approached Japanese media, you must know of their love for mechas. Mechas, the Japanese abbreviation of the word mechanical, took Japan by storm in the late 70s and eventually reached the entire world. The typically giant pilotable robots never ceased being popular. You can find them in anime, manga, action figures, and films. Heck, you can even even find a life-sized moving mecha in Japan. But what if you could own a real functional mecha? This is no longer just a dream with Tsubame Industries‘ Archax, although it may cost too much for the average person.
Shake hands with Archax. pic.twitter.com/9dvTyePvH8
— ツバメインダストリ(株)/Tsubame Industries Co.,Ltd. (@Tsubame_HI) October 5, 2023
Bringing mechas to life
Japanese startup Tsubame Industries recently started taking pre-orders for Archax, the first commercial mecha. Before this, there have been attempts at making a real-life mecha, but they never quite reached mass production. This functional robot comes with two modes: walking and driving. To pilot the robot, the user must climb the cockpit using a small ladder to enter it.
There, the user can control the robot with joysticks, pedals, and touch screens. With the four screens around the cockpit, the pilot will have a full overview displaying feeds from the nine cameras of the robot, not to mention having access to its various statuses such as battery and tilt angle.
A giant piloted robot called Archax has gone on sale in Japan for $3 million a pop. The single-seater machine stands 4.5m tall, weighs 3.5 tons and has a top speed of 6km/hr. The transformer-style robot can switch between walking and rolling modes. pic.twitter.com/RcLshudQxu
— Byte (@ByteEcosystem) October 5, 2023
The full control of this 4.5-meter-tall beast is surely something to try, but what’s its use? While more advanced than other mecha projects, Archax still lacks the potential usefulness of other modern robots. The question of whether it is just a glorified toy arises, especially with its price of around $3 million and that only five units are being produced at the moment. In an interview with Reuters, CEO Ryo Yoshida admits this initial batch is meant for enthusiasts. However, he adds that he hopes these mechas could soon find use in disaster relief or the space industry.
YouTube: Introducing the Archax Mech from Tsubame Industries | Get Ready To Be Amazed [Footage]
Photo credit: All media shown is owned by Tsubame Industries and was provided to us with permission to be used.
Sources: Emma Steen (TimeOut) / Andrew Paul (Popular Science) / Satoshi Sugiyama and Chris Gallagher (Reuters)