Japan's $20,000 Mech Made for Kids

By Norman Chan

This pint-sized mecha is also available for rent.

You might not be able to afford Suidobashi Heavy Industries' $1.35 million Kuratas mech, but here's a $20,000 alternative that's still pretty cool. Sakakibara Kikai is a company that makes industrial machines for food processing factories, but in the past few years, they've also dabbled in manufacturing small mechs for amusement parks. The Kids Walker Cyclops, seen below, is the latest in Sakakibara Kika's line of kid-friendly robots, which also includes a pilot-able boxing machine (not quite Real Steel). The Cyclops is a battery-powered exoskeleton with two controllable arms--one equipped with a clawed grip and the other with a spinning "drill." And if $20,000 sounds like a silly price to pay for a mechanized amusement park robot, consider that the company has reportedly sold eight of its mechs already--presumably to the eight luckiest kids in the Japan.

Photo credit: sakakibara-kikai

Despite being named the Kids Walker, this robot also doesn't really walk, but has wheels under its two legs that allow it to spin in place and roll forward. Watch the mech being tested (by a small child, natch) in the videos below.