Video: 15-foot mech taking its early steps
The final version will move at 20mphBy Rob Thubron 8 comments
At last year's CES, a company called Furrion unveiled Prosthesis, a 15-foot tall, 16-foot wide mech. It only stood in one spot during 2017's event, but the firm has now released a video showing that it really can move around.
Furrion is best known for its high-end appliances and luxury electronic devices, but it is also "pioneering a new breed of human-piloted, electric powered mechs" with its Robotics research initiative.
Prosthesis weighs around 8000 pounds, and the final version should be able to run at 20 mph. Its battery provides between 60 to 90 minutes of operating time, depending on the terrain, and the exoskeleton is controlled by the amplification of the human driver's movements.
Furrion has grand ambitions for its robots. The company envisions a fleet of the machines coming together to compete. Rather than engaging in some Robot Jox-style battles, the mechs will race each other in what is being called the X1 Mech Racing League.
"Once we're happy with the level we're at with the technology and the human training [...] the next step is to build a second mech or a third mech, and then within two years, hopefully, we launch the first X1 mech racing league," co-founders Matt and Aaron Fidler told Digital Trends.
Prosthesis is still in the prototype stage, which is why it seems to be moving a lot slower than 20mph in the video, so the league's two-year time frame could be a bit optimistic. No word on how much one of the mechs will cost but expect them to be very expensive.
In other mech news, Megabots, the team behind the US entry in the giant robot battle, canceled its Kickstarter to start a robot fighting tournament in November after it became clear the campaign wouldn't reach its $950,000 goal.