Robotics Expert Brings His Childhood Fantasy to Life

Typically, it is cartoonists, animators, CGI artists, writers, toy makers and theme park creators who spark the imaginations of children and the child-like awe of adults. However, in Japan, it is the engineers and robotics experts who brought this dream to life—in the style of the Transformers, a team of dreamers has built a human-like robot that can change into a sports car. And it can do it in about one minute.

The robot is named “J-deite-Ride” and was created by Brave Robotics. The company’s CEO, Kenji Ishida, is the man behind this futuristic fantasy. As a child Ishida was a fan of all the animated movies with transforming robots.

Ishida’s real-life transforming robot is white and blue and 12 feet tall. It can also carry two passengers in either of its two forms. Ishida has been criticized by some for creating an “expensive toy”, but Ishida told Reuters his intention was to inspire others.

J-deite Ride was developed along with Asratec, the robot consulting firm and amusement ride manufacturer, Sansei Technologies.

Under Pressure Regulatory Pressure Jaguar Culls Its Heard

Auto maker Jaguar is eliminating the its XE and XF S models, which employ their supercharged 6-cylinder engine. Jaguar sited poor sales as well as emissions regulations as their reasoning. The nearest replacements are the 300 models which employ Jag’s 296bhp 4-cylinder turbo. The same engine from their entry level F-Type.

In the wake of these model eliminations we might see more V6 models taken off-market. Much of this could be related to new emissions tests that have increasingly tough targets for automakers to meet, Jaguar may need to eliminate more models to help bring down the companies average CO2 output.

A Jaguar spokesman said: “We have introduced the 296bhp 2.0L Ingenium, our most powerful four-cylinder engine yet, at a better price point [than the S models] which we are directing customers to, [so that they are] still getting a Jaguar driving experience but more efficiently.”

These New Roads Are Electrifying, Literally

You’ve heard of hybrid cars, you’ve heard of electric cars, but have you heard of electric roads? Well, the world’s first electrified road that will charge electric cars and trucks as they drive over is no open outside of Stockholm, Sweden. While this initial stretch comes in at only just over 2 miles, the government has plans for a 12,500-mile project.

How does it work? Unsurprisingly to some, it works via an embedded electric rail. This will work, somewhat, like some electric mass transit already does. To take advantage vehicles will have to install a special arm that makes contact with the rail as the vehicle drives, thus charging the battery. While this new kind of road coasts a seemingly undoable $1.2 million per kilometer, that still makes it 50 times cheaper (if you can believe it) than an urban tram line.

The developers of the road say the technology helps eliminate the need for roadside vehicle charging stations, which can delay travelers while they wait for their vehicles to charge. It also means car batteries can be smaller since they wouldn’t have to store as much charge, which would help cut battery and manufacturing costs.

Developers of the new road report that the new technology will help reduce the need for roadside vehicle charging stations. These stations can delay travelers and have stopped the world from viewing electric cars as viable, long distance options. They also noted if these roads were installed all over, it could reduce the cost of cars themselves as batteries could be smaller.

Finally, the developers noted that the roads are built in such a way one could walk barefoot over them at no consequence to one’s health.

Aston Martin’s New Uber-Luxury SUV Gasoline Only

Aston Martin’s first SUV will only be available as a gasoline model, which is a change from the car makers initial plans when they previewed the model as an electric. The SUV will be launched next year into the ultraluxury SUV playing field, where it will contest  with the Bentley Bentayga, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Lamborghini Urus, a Ferrari SUV and high-end Range Rovers.

The new model was previewed in 2015 at the Geneva auto show. It premiered as the two-door DBX electric-powered concept. Aston Martin’s plans have changed in the interim and there are no plans for a full-electric production model. The auto maker also ruled out diesel and plug-in hybrid versions.

Aston Martin favored development of an EV platform for its Lagonda brand. Lagonda was launched at the Geneva auto show in March along with the Vision sedan concept.

Bentley was the first ultraluxury brand to launch an SUV in 2016 with the Bentayga which initially offered only a 12-cylinder gasoline engine–which is unlikely to excite a fuel-efficiency minded market, but has since added the brand’s first ever diesel and a gasoline plug-in hybrid.