Japanese engineers create real-life transformer

Robotics engineers say prototype can transform from a four-metre tall robot into a wheel-driven vehicle and back again

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A Transformers-style humanoid robot that can morph into a sports car has been unveiled in Japan.

Dubbed the "J-deite RIDE", a collaboration headed by Brave Robotics say they can get a walking four-metre tall robot to transform into a wheel-driven vehicle and back again in 60 seconds.

"I grew up believing that robots had to be capable of such things, which became my motivation to develop this robot," Kenji Ishida, chief executive of Brave Robotics said.

Up to two people can be inside during its transformation and can be operable from the driver's seat or remotely.

In robot mode, it walks at a very leisurely pace of 100 metres a hour, but the specs sheet suggests a theoretical top speed of 60kph while in vehicle form.

For a heavy robot weighing over 1600 kilograms, it's quite nimble, too, with a turning circle of five metres.

While it doesn't look like it is ready to roll out the CGI versions of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and the rest of the Autobots brethren, it's not expected to take on the fight against the Decepticons.

It's creators eye the more sedate pace in amusement parks or parades around the world.