Japanese startup Tsubame Industries, spearheaded by 25-year-old inventor Ryo Yoshida, has opened pre-orders for their innovative “Archax” mech suits. These impressive machines can seamlessly shift between robotic and vehicular modes. Standing at nearly 15 feet tall and weighing around 3.5 tons, one of these colossal joyrides can be yours, provided you have a spare $3 million.

The revelation about the production launch was reported by Reuters. In a conversation with Yoshida, he shed light on the inspiration behind these futuristic giants, which derive their name from the famed winged dinosaur, archaeopteryx. Yoshida stated, “Japan is very good at animation, games, robots, and automobiles, so I thought it would be great if I could create a product that compressed all these elements into one. I wanted to create something that says, ‘This is Japan.'”

To operate the Archax, individuals need to ascend a small ladder and enter a cockpit located within the robot’s chest. Once inside, a system of nine cameras linked to four view screens offers riders a view of the outside world, alongside crucial information such as battery life, speed, tilt angle, and positioning. The Archax can reach speeds of up to 6 mph in either of its two configurations: a four-wheeled upright robotic mode or a sleeker vehicle mode, in which the cockpit tilts 17 degrees as the chair remains upright. Control of the mech suit’s movement, along with its articulated arms and hands, is managed via joysticks and two floor pedals.

However, unlike numerous other robots designed for practical tasks, the Archax is currently more of a statement piece. As per the company’s description, it’s meant to be “cool.”

Nonetheless, Yoshida and his team at Tsubame Industries are optimistic about developing future Archax models that are better suited for real-world applications. The inventor envisions these pilotable robotic suits being utilized in search-and-rescue missions, disaster relief efforts, and even within the space industry. For now, Tsubame seems content with the luxury toy status of the Archax.

According to the product’s description, “Archax is not just a big robot that you can ride inside. A person can climb into the cockpit and control the vehicle at will. Each part moves with sufficient speed, rigidity, and power.”

“And it’s cool,” Tsubame Industries emphasizes.

By Impact Lab