Our giant robot overlords

A Japanese company has developed a robotic exoskeleton.

Our giant robot overlords are, apparently, going to be us.

Sagawa Electronics, a Japanese company that claims to make small robots, recently published a video (see below) announcing its "PowerJacket MK3," a limited edition powered exoskeleton.

Now, before you start dreaming of something like the incredibly cool powered exoskeletons that were featured in Robert A. Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" (the book, not the truly horrible 1997 movie) this is only very remotely similar. That said, it's still kind of cool.

In the video, which is a truly strange production, the device is demonstrated by a Japanese schoolgirl and hosted by a scary-looking guy named "Scarface Santaro." The latter is, as his name implies, a chap with many scars across his face some of which are not completely healed; it is a gruesome and surreal touch to a presentation that is partly semi-serious and mostly comical.

The exoskeleton is built out of aluminum and carbon fiber, weighs 55 pounds, and stands over 7 feet tall with the operator (AKA Japanese schoolgirl) sitting inside its frame behind a clear screen (which is probably a good idea as it looks like there's a good chance the device might topple forward).

Before you get too excited watch the video carefully and note that the power for walking appears to be purely provided by the operator while a fairly lightweight servo system powers the arms rather awkwardly.

The Power Jacket MK3 looks to be a PR stunt and I note that Sagawa Electronics is also the name of a company in the Japanese manga "Ghost in the Shell" so perhaps there's a clue.

Even so, should you decide that you need one of these Furyō shōnen (that's "bad boys" in Japanese) then all you'll have to do is layout about $124,000 and should you be lucky, you'll be able to own one of the five Power Jacket MK3s they plan to produce.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Must read: 10 new UI features coming to Windows 10