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A Japanese engineer named Hitoshi Takahashi spent 11 years creating this huge, diesel-powered bug bot from nothing. And now, as he did recently in Ibaraki Prefecture, he shows up in parking lots and amazes everyone.

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Illustration for article titled Oh, Its Just a 17-Ton Robotic Bug

Here, you can see Takahashi when he was 50 years old, starting work on the Kabutom RX-01 in 1998. Alone.

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This type of horned beetle is called "kabutomushi" in Japanese—hence the name "Kabutom."

Illustration for article titled Oh, Its Just a 17-Ton Robotic Bug

He completed Kabutom RX-02 in 2000, when he was 52 years old.

And in 2009, at the age of 60, Takahashi completed the Kabutom RX-03, a giant beetle-shaped robot, able to walk with all six legs and able to carry six adult passengers.

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Illustration for article titled Oh, Its Just a 17-Ton Robotic Bug

At the time, he told Fuji TV, "I said to my wife I was thinking about making a kabutomushi robot that you can ride. He said, 'Oh, that sound interesting, so make it. You could probably ride it to take out the trash.'"

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Illustration for article titled Oh, Its Just a 17-Ton Robotic Bug
Illustration for article titled Oh, Its Just a 17-Ton Robotic Bug
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Illustration for article titled Oh, Its Just a 17-Ton Robotic Bug
Illustration for article titled Oh, Its Just a 17-Ton Robotic Bug
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Illustration for article titled Oh, Its Just a 17-Ton Robotic Bug
Illustration for article titled Oh, Its Just a 17-Ton Robotic Bug
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Now, Takahashi keeps busy, showing off his creation on the weekends, and his recent showing has made his robot the talk of 2ch, Japan's largest forum. He also finished a new creation, the Heracles A-1, which is modeled after the Hercules Beetle.

Illustration for article titled Oh, Its Just a 17-Ton Robotic Bug
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Something tells me he won't be content with just a Heracles A-1.

Kabutom [Official Site]

カブトムRX-03歩行デモ@まつりつくば2013 [YouTube]

Photos: Minkara, Design Access, けんけんのずくだせ日記, 中銀カプセルタワー応援団

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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