Japanese 28-Foot Tall, 7-Ton Armed Robot: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

courtesy nypost.com and Reuters

We’re not anime fans, but Japanese engineer Masaaki Nagumo apparently is. The engineer is enough of one, in fact, that he’s spent a fair amount of time and his employer’s money (he works for Sakakibara Kikai, a farm equipment maker) to build himself a Mobile Suit Gundam-style robot called Mononofu.

“I think this can be turned into a business opportunity,” Nagumo, 44, told Reuters, noting the popularity of the iconic series that has spawned movies, manga, video games and more.

Sakakibara Kikai has developed other robots and amusement machines alongside its main agriculture equipment business and rents them out for about $930 an hour, for kids’ birthday parties and other entertainment, he said.

The behemoth is controlled by a driver who sits in a cockpit, pulling levers and turning knobs.

It can move its fingers and turn its upper body and walk forward and backward. It is no speedster, however, moving at less than 1 kilometer per hour, which is about half a mile per hour.

And because a 28-foot tall human-controlled suit isn’t much fun if all it does is walk around, Masaaki armed the thing.

But what it lacks in pace, it makes up for with power: the bazooka-like air gun on its right arm shoots sponge balls at around 87 miles per hour.

Just for comparison’s sake, your average Nerf gun launches its foam projectiles at about 35 mph. But there’s no reason Mononofu can’t be armed with something more powerful.

It likely won’t be long before these things can be remotely controlled, drone-style, by someone sitting at a computer somewhere. That way, when Mothra descends on Tokyo, Mononofu will be able to go up against the giant flying insect without risking the driver.

And could autonomous control be far behind?

 

comments

  1. avatar Nanashi says:

    Mononofu is an alternate, generally archaic, reading of 武士 (Samurai).

    “But there’s no reason Mononofu can’t be armed with something more powerful.”

    Well aside from the laws of Japan. Even in the US you’d have problems with Emperor Roosevelt’s anti-freedom legacy and his ban on “destructive devices”.

    1. avatar Flinch says:

      As long as these robots are not sold to anyone under 21 and there is a three day waiting period, I’m fine with them.

      1. avatar SouthAl says:

        And get rid of the ‘Mononofu show’ loophole.

      2. avatar California Richard says:

        Flinch, you’re a murderbot FUDD! Sure they all say they wont take our 40-foot power armor suits, but your support for waiting periods and age restrictions are a slippery slope toward the FBI coming to our houses and taking our ED-209’s and EDI’s! /s/

    2. avatar Molon Labe says:

      Legal problems: On paper…yes.

      If you built and armed one appropriately, there’s not much they could do to stop you. A recoilless rifle and a mini gun should be enough for most uses.

    3. avatar anonymoose says:

      There are even laws limiting the power of airsoft guns, which makes this thing and other “armed” robots kinda boring in Japan. Maybe give it a giant riot baton like they used in Patlabor.

      In America, the best armament you could get without registered machineguns or cannons would probably be a pair or 2 of semi-auto M240s set up with solenoid triggers.

  2. avatar DoomGuy says:

    I just couldn’t resist:

  3. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

    It’s too tall. Too lightly armored. One grunt with a LAWS would put ‘The End’ on the drivers medical records.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Ewoks + rope would end that thing in a second

    2. avatar Mark says:

      What is LAWS?

      1. avatar Bloving says:

        Light Anti-tank Weapons System
        A small, disposable rocket for disabling lightly armored vehicles.
        …and Ewoks would totally wreck that thing and eat the driver.
        🤠

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon) as the good old M72

          There is no “S”. I bet that is MARK’s point

    3. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      But he’ll be good to go for the zombie apocalypse…. until he runs out of power of course.

    4. avatar RCC says:

      As much as my first thought was LAW (66 mm rocket) I imagine a few pit traps or Molotov cocktails would work on this model.

      Being Japan only the government will be allowed armed ones for your safety.

    5. avatar anonymoose says:

      You could probably hit it with an M203 or a couple shots from a .50cal and cripple it. It’s all for show, not real practical combat.

  4. avatar Gun Owning American says:

    Coming soon to a militarized police department near you.

    1. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

      2+ Million thumbs up!
      “News flash: New Government/Law Enforcement tool. New Robotic Police assistants for the execution of High Risk Protection Orders and The Robotic Police Commandos of the Gun 🔫 Confiscation Squad…”

  5. avatar andrewinVa says:

    I really do need to watch robocop again one of these days

    1. avatar EWTHeckman says:

      No you don’t. It’s bad. Really bad. Mind bleach required bad.

      The writers have zero clue about intellectual consistency and wrote characters with massive self-contradictions. “Idiocracy” is a better movie. Heck, Aahnold’s Conan is better. Can you tell that I wish there was such a thing as mind bleach?

      (I’m talking about the 2014 version. The original one starring Peter Weller is at least tolerable.)

  6. avatar GunGal says:

    Children’s birthday parties? Thinking the parents aren’t going to be happy with screaming kids who have nightmares into their teens.

  7. avatar Middle age tactical mall ninja says:

    Everyone knows “Chicks digg giant robots”!

    1. avatar MouseGun says:

      Too bad it doesn’t have a Hemi ‘Cuda for a head…

  8. avatar Zeke says:

    [ quietly goes to measure for a garage expansion… ]

  9. avatar rt66paul says:

    But does it change into a car?

  10. avatar ironicatbest says:

    The future is robotics. One concern I have is when the human soldier ( cannon fodder) is took out of the equation. …. On a brite note, I’ve wrapped copper wire around my tin foil hat and I feel extra safe, it’s like a class VI body armor for microwaves.

  11. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    “YOUR TERMINATED !!!”

  12. avatar JW says:

    If I’m going to be inside mobile armor much bigger than me, I want it to have treads. There is a reason tanks don’t walk.

    1. avatar J says:

      If we learned anything from the battle of Hoth…

  13. avatar Peter says:

    50 BMG under your bed will let you sleep well. 😉

  14. avatar MIO says:

    Skynet became self aware

  15. avatar CLarson says:

    +1 for the Robocop reference. 🤖

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