Whether as a kid or full grown adult watching the Michael Bay movies, a lot of us have wanted a Transformer of our very own. It’s no wonder. The Transformers are huge, both literally and figuratively. They’ve survived over twenty years. A lot of our attics are full of old Transformer toys, comics, and tapes of the TV show. Anyone who didn’t want to be a Ninja Turtle, Jem, She-Ra, or Spider-Man either wanted a Transformer as a best friend or wanted to be a Transformer (kids have some strange priorities). Well, we’re all grown up now and the future isn’t quite as advanced as we wanted. We don’t have working rocket boots and none of us did become superheroes, but one man really has put together a Transformer of his own!
Japanese designer Kenji Ishida has created a small remote-controlled car that can transform into a pretty Transformer-like humanoid form and back all on its own. It is the 8th in a series of design experiments, and he has dubbed it “Brave Robot”. The Brave Robot is just one creation he’s invented with the help of JS Robotics. Its smooth transition is possible because there are 22 servo motors packed in this tiny robot man. Try not to laugh at his jittery little walk. Brave Robot not only goes from car to robot in a really cool way, he apparently also packs a mean punch. Its fists are just as controllable as its wheels and it looks like Brave Robot can throw down about as well as anyone in Real Steel.
Brave Robot is a far cry from our Transformer toys that had a tendency to lose limbs and mostly transformed with the power of our imaginations. It’s not quite time yet to settle into grandfatherly envy over what the next generation is getting, though. Pack away your cane and your “in my day"s. There’s no sign that Brave Robot will be commercially available in the next few years. Even if it was possible, odds are good that a little robot like this one would come at a pretty penny. Still, the possibilities are really great to think about!
Mallory "Friday" Soto is the Editor of Cool Sh!t, Joonbug's source for internet culture, tech, charity, and the arts. A former Lit zine editor and comic book fan, she comes from a background of short stories and tales of masked vigilantes. She's a native New Yorker and avid video game fan.