Monster mecha with smile-controlled gatling guns makes public debut


July 30, 2012

Kuratas in the high-slung position

Kuratas in the high-slung position

Image Gallery (55 images)

Hold fire on those Christmas lists. Japanese artist Kogoro Kurata has unveiled a 13 ft (4 meter) tall, 9900 lb (4500 kg) prototype mecha robot called Kuratas, which comes complete with "weapon systems" and is apparently cable of being driven by an onboard human pilot.

Kuratas is controlled via a software system called V-Sido, which, in addition to the cockpit dash, allows control of the robot by smartphone (over a 3G network), or a master-slave system that sees Kuratas mimic the moves of a much smaller model, which can be manipulated into shapes by the user from a remote position. From the cockpit, a steering column is used to steer the robot, which also includes arms of its own which for manipulating the robot's upper limbs. Kinect controls are also an option.

Although Kuratas has legs, it has wheels rather than feet. It can be driven in both high and low configurations, with a diesel-fueled top speed of about 10 km/h (6 mph).

Of course, no mecha is complete without a fearsome arsenal of weaponry, and Kuratas does not disappoint. The water-powered LOHAS launcher appears to fire water bottles over a range of several meters. Its two gatling guns can fire 6000 BBs per minute, and Kuratas can supposedly auto-target and track humans. Most fearsomely of all, the gatling guns fire when the pilot smiles.

Kogoro Kurata points out that this is a work of art rather than a vehicle, and not designed for safety. Despite this, both promo video and website suggest that Kuratas will be available to buy in the future. Starting at a mere US$1,523,500, it appears that your Kuratas will be highly customizable, with a design-it-yourself paint job designer apparently built in to the online ordering tool.

Plasticpals reports that Kuratas made an appearance at this year's Wonder Fest, so there's at least one of these things out there somewhere. Whether the control systems work quite as well as the videos make out, and whether these will ever truly see a commercial release (however limited) remains to be seen.

A user's video reference guide is embedded below. I suggest that watching it is worth the 4 minutes and 41 seconds required.

Source: Suidobashi heavy industry, via Plasticpals

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life. All articles by James Holloway

I'm not quite sure I see the "Art" in this that the creators wold like. However I do see a massive potential for saying the phrase "You'll shoot all the eyes out!!"


Zombie Apocalypse problem solved....

Michael Hissom

The future of war or possibly just new way to vent your road rage.


ooo...A Fully-Functional Mecha.

Of course, the Ultimate Mecha is the MACROSS SAGA Valkery / ROBOTECH Veritech Fighter.

The Non-Military Toy Weapon Systems look really cool.

I wonder if the Weapon Systems could be modified for fighting Forest Fires.

I do believe that the Kurata Mecha does work smoothly. However, I believe that the Torso Twisting & Arm Movements & Leg Stance Change Movements are extremely slow. Too slow for Real Life Military applications.

I think that a Ladder Mounting System should be a Required Feature.

Being a fan of Mecha Technology, I do like the Kuratas.

However, I am no Millionaire or Billionaire; thus, I won't be buying one anytime soon.

Mecha will be the future of Military Warfare; especially, for celestial bodies like Luna & Mars.

I am also of the belief that Mecha Technology will be about the extinction of the Human Species.

"!!! NO WEAPONS IN OUTERSPACE !!!" -- Steven T. Querin


Having owned a .177 BB/Pellet Rifle, I am opposed to a 6,000 RPM .177 BB Weapon System as a Civilian Mecha Toy Weapon.

I am not a "Paintball" Fighter, or Weapon, expert; but, I do believe that in some "Paintball" circles, the Paintball Ammo is called BBs.

I am not opposed to a 6,000 RPM "Paintball" Weapon System as a Civilian Mecha Toy Weapon.

I think that the BB Weapon System is a "Paintball" Gun based on the Gun Barrel Caliber.

Having looked at the all of 55 Article Pictures, Kogoro Kurata has done an excellent job at designing and constructing a Fully Functional Real Life Mecha (albeit a very expensive, and very large,"Toy") in the spirit of Japanese Anime.

The Diesel Engine is definitely more Civilian, and Environmental, Friendly than the Atomic Power Systems of Japanese Anime Mecha Designs; if, the Mecha experiences Catastrophic Failure (Explosion).


Q-lab, I hunt, play paintball, and own bb guns. You are IMHO wrong on several fronts. BB guns average around Velocity: 1200 FPS Paint ball guns (A chronograph is used to measure the speed of the ball and generally speaking usually most fields want it between 260 and 290. Anything over 300 is almost always unacceptable.) paintballs have never been called BB's in my hearing, because BB's are .177 or .22 cal metal balls driven through air rifles. And since paintballs are a gel shell over a liquid paint center, any ball (.177 cal ) would be nothing but hard shell. even rubber crowd control bullets would be more merciful. It takes only 26 pounds of force to destroy an eyeball (per paintball safety manual) and that is why goggles are mandatory on all fields though face masks are optional. People use BB's in air rifles and air pistols only. They are for plinking, and for hunting small game such as squirrels, and rabbits. They are not really a toy, even as a single shot. At 6,000 RPM it could well be fatal to humans.

Let's just say a military power buys this weapon-What then? How much influence would that give to a government system? How would you go about affording this system to security teams and corporations who intend to use such a machine for whatever purposes they intend to utilitze for this machine? That price tag is only affordable by billionares who have nothing better on their hands than to make weapon ranges to test their new toys. Maybe once the price drops by 1/3, then there possibly might be more distribution. The scary thing is how easily it could possibly be to steal one using proper coding technology to hack the Operating Software for personal use. There needs to be a bit more encoded security so that your own Kurata won't be hijacked by the wrong hands. A few security measures in terms of making sure these machines are properly locked up are to use physical key locks on the steering wheel and then putting a multi-encoded lock system for the OS so that when you enter the cockpit, the machine can identify you as the main owner. Besides that, if someone put a hydraulic/pneumatic mix system for the upper torso, there could be possible increases in movement for the arms. Physics can be a painful reminder that mechas like the Kurata need to be careful as to not strip their metal connectors or tear their rubber "muscles" so that they can move. Hence why it moves slowly. The only material that can possibly move fast with a motor are spinning axles, plastic robots, and propeller fans. Other than the negatives, this is a massive improvement in robot development. Big kudos to Kogoro Kurata for creating such a machine. I would definitely love to tinker with a robot like that someday when I am done with my college goals. Darktiger2156
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