Japan’s Cerevo makes Ghost in the Shell’s Tachikoma AI combat vehicle a reality


See the original story in Japanese.

It’s not the first time a product inspired by anime has been brought to life in the real world. However, this product is sure to attract more international Japanese anime fans than ever.

Japan startup Cerevo, which has invented a number of smart home electronics and IoT products, announced an eighth-factor model of the multi-legged tank Tachikoma, a popular character from the animated series Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. They have begun accepting pre-orders on their website. The price is $1,799 and shipment is scheduled for June of this year.

The eighth-scale model was born from Cerevo’s project “S2R (From the screen to the real world)”, which seeks to reproduce objects in the real world as closely as possible to how they appear in movies using smart home electronics technology. This product follows their production of Dominator from the animation Psycho-pass. Tachikoma is equipped with speech recognition, so when a user poses a question it answers in the voice of Sakiko Tamagawa, the original voice.

The mobile app display that controls Tachikoma (under development)
Image credit: Cerevo

Tachikoma’s object and speech recognition functions are very interesting. For example, when a user shows an apple to Tachikoma (a camera is installed in the image sensor), and says, “apples are sweet,” the information that “apples are sweet” is uploaded to the cloud and shared among all of Tachikomas owned by other users. As users increase and time goes by, Tachikomas gradually becomes smarter, which is somewhat reminiscent of the world presented in the Ghost in the Shell movie.

Cerevo exhibited the eighth-scale model at their booth at Sensors Ignition 2017, a digital media showcase event held at the Toranomon Hills building complex in Tokyo this week. Due to the noisiness of the exhibition hall and the tendency of the Wi-Fi to be overcrowded, it was too much to ask of Tachikoma to demonstrate the user speech recognition and response via the cloud. Restrictions on space at the exhibition also meant a fixed display area confined to their booth, but Tachikoma’s joints and legs are equipped with 21 motors, and by issuing command movements from a smartphone it is possible to enter the world of anime by playing the role of Tachikoma.

Cerevo will also prepare and release a limited supply of a “Special Edition” Tachikoma’s ⅛ model, with a metallic body created with aluminum scrapings on the bumper and the cover of the gun barrel. The price is set at $1,999 and pre-orders began along with the original version this week.

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda

Image credit: Cerevo