This has got to be the coolest “toy” ever created. In this video we can see that it’s a fully working 1/12 scale “Transformer” remote control model car. This Transforer car has been in development for over 10 years and BraveRobotics in Japan have created around 8 previous different development versions before reaching the current version that you see in the video above.
In the video the Transformer switches between the car and robot in an impressively quick and accurate movement. One of the challenges during development was to get all of the parts moving very accurately so that they don’t interfere with each other causing the deformation mechanism to fail.
In 2012 BraveRobots changed their production methods to start to create some of the mechanism’s moving parts and the body using a RepRap DIY 3D printer. This allowed for more accurate production of the parts and enabled BraveRobotics to improve the accuracy and smoothness of the motion of the switch between robot and car.
There’s no word on whether this Transformer robot will be made available to buy but there’s got to be a big worldwide market for this cool toy.
For future versions of their Transformer robot BraveRobotics hope to increase its size to 1/8 scale and then 1/5 scale by 2015. With the advance of 3D printers we can assume that all parts will eventually be 3D printed, including the metal skeletal frame parts. It’s great to see 3D printers being used to make this robot car as 3D printing is a perfect manufacturing method for a project such as this.