Created by Japanese engineer Hitoshi Takahashi, the KABUTOM RX-03 is an 11-meter-long, 17-tonne-heavy robot shaped like a rhinoceros beetle. The impressive mecha can walk with its six legs, blows smoke from its nose and always gets Japanese crowds raddled when it makes an appearance.
The KABUTOM RX-03 is definitely one of the most impressive functional robots unveiled in recent years, especially since it was designed and built by one man, 60-year-old tech-wiz Hitoshi Takahashi. The Japanese engineer started working on his personal giant robot in 1997, as a hobby, and 11 years later, in 2008, he unveiled his creation to all of Japan, during a popular television show. The KABUTOM RX-03 was an instant hit and ever since then, Takahashi and his giant beetle mecha have been performing at events all over the country. We’ve seen big, cool-looking robots from Japan before, like the life-size RX87 Gundam or the Tetsujin 28-go aka Gigantor, but unlike them, this one actually works.
Takahashi’s KABUTOM RX-03 may be 17-tonnes-heavy, but it can move with ease, thanks to six diesel-powered legs and supporting wheels. The giant robot may look like it’s walking, but the legs do no nothing more than push the body in the right direction. It’s the wheels underneath that support the beetle’s weight and move it where it needs to go. Althought it features a cool-looking control panel and has enough room inside to carry a group of passengers, the KABUTOM RX-03 can also be operated from a distance, via remote-control.
A lot of people call Hitoshi Takahashi an eccentric for dedicating 11 years of his life to creating a giant rhinoceros beetle robot, but he and I know the true motive behind his long-term project – if Godzilla attacks again, the people of Japan will have something to fight it off with.