The future is now. Well, it will be soon. Japanese company Suidobashi is offering to speed things up, announcing plans to build custom, actual, operational mechs -- for over $US1 million.
Named the "KURATAS", the vehicles will come at a standard price of $US1.3 million, with additional accessories like shields and weapons available for around $US50,000-$US80,000 each. You even get to choose the paint scheme.
While there's the whiff of a scam to the whole thing -- especially given the fact we never see one actually moving on a road -- there's at least one operational model that you can see in a promotional video below, which also gives you a fairly comprehensive breakdown of how it actually "works".
Those expecting a futuristic level of driver comfort, be warned: the creators state that each vehicle is an "art piece", designed to make "your dream of becoming a robot pilot" come true. Or, more bluntly, "it doesn't guarantee you safety and comfort".
That's OK by me. This thing has a computer targeting system and functional (if non-lethal) weaponry. It's even got iPhone compatibility. If a bumpy ride is the price I have to pay to be able to drive a mech around in 2012, then you know what, so be it.
Republished from Kotaku.