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Fastest in class, robot feline

TRANSFORMER - giant robotic beetle hits the streets of Japan

Japanese engineer Hitoshi Takahashi spent the past 11 years building an 11 meter high robotic walking beetle called KABUTOM RX-03. the mobile sculpture, which takes its name from kabuto - a type of rhinoceros beetle typical to Japan - features characteristics typical to the insects like pointing horns and 
elongated legs. 


With over 30 moving parts, the machine includes a variety of technological details, such as the ability to shoot steam from the top of its head and its remote controlled legs that can reach speeds up to 4 kilometers per hour. 





The giant transformer robot weighs in at 17 tons and can transport up to seven people with one driver riding on top and six occupants fitting in an internal compartment.


Hitoshi Takahashi decided that once he turned 50 he was old enough to do whatever he wanted, and took steps to realize his dream to build a giant robot.

Takahashi is the owner of a machine shop in Ibaraki Prefecture. One of the prefecture’s largest cities is Tsukuba, a planned city built in the 1960s and home to numerous engineering colleges and scientific research centers. Possibly inspired by all that science around him, Takahashi came up with the idea of creating the KABUTOM RX-03.





The robot tank takes its name from kabuto, a kind of Japanese beetle, the KABUTOM RX-03 measures 11 meters (36 feet) tall and 3.6 meters long. This superb creation is powered by a pair of diesel burning internal combustion engines.

Starting in 1997, when Takahashi was 50, the robot took 11 years to go from concept to completion. Even more impressive is the fact that Takahashi did the entire project by himself. “I did it as a hobby, while still maintaining my regular work schedule,” he explains.

Since finishing the KABUTOM RX-03, Takahashi has displayed the robot at a number of events. At the Matsuri Tsukuba, visitors could even ride the robot for 200 yen (US$2).



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