After transforming robots, a folding car has also been unveiled in Japan recently. The concept vehicle is expected to get approval to run on public roads and begin public sales soon. The car is named as ‘Earth-1’ and is inspired by the shape-shifting robots that are featured in a popular Japanese anime series called ‘Mobile Suit Gundam.’ The car’s design is given by the lead cartoon artist in an anime series, Kunio Okawara. It is developed by Tokyo-based StartUp company Four Link Systems.
The company is already receiving orders from buyers in Japan and other countries. An overseas airport is also interested in using the vehicle for a ride-sharing service. The vehicle’s compact chassis is capable of folding itself and creating something similar to one of Mobile Suit Gundam’s ‘mecha’ robot cockpits. The vehicle is driven using a conventional steering wheel and the transformation of chassis is done with a joystick.
Since there were no mechanisms for folding car chassis, Four Link Developed special motors and other components from the scratch, especially for this vehicle. Four Link President Hiroomi Kinoshita said, “We’d worked on control units, design assistance, and robots as part of our business,” he added, “the next step was to pursue ‘ultracompact mobility.’ Four Link stated five years ago that they want to develop an electric car five years ago. Their aim was to beat a Toyota vehicle.