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The $1.35 million mech (and how to insure it)


Mechs aren't just for video games, anime and tabletop gaming anymore. Suidobashi Heavy Industries now has a mobile suit named Kuratas available for – and, let's be honest, you'd pay anything to have this – the reasonable asking price of $1.35 million. That doesn't include extras like cup holder, in-cockpit phone adapter or pleather interior.

As you would expect, the robot does come with a weapons system – albeit a non-lethal one. Using "The Smile Shot," a smile-activated facial recognition weapons system, the mech can fire water bottle rockets or use its twin gatling guns to shoot 6,000 BB bullets a minute. That may not be lethal, but it sure sounds like it smarts.

We contacted State Farm to find out how much the insurance on this bad boy would cost us, but it wasn't able to give us a quote over the phone, passing us on to the Insurance Information Institute (III).

"This sounds like a Segway on steroids. It wouldn't be something an auto insurer would be involved in unless it were road certified by the safety board," Dr. Robert Hartwig of the III told us. "You want to insure something that costs 1.3 million dollars. You'd want some liability on it in case you crash into something or someone, but something that drives 10 KPH wouldn't be road certified and I'm not sure it would make it through a crash test."

Hartwig explained a commercial insurance company would take pictures of it and assess liability risks, but said it'd be like insuring a very expensive bicycle. "Although you could get a nice bike for $1.3 million."

"It would fall under 'unusual or complex machinery,'" Hartwig concluded. "We insure things like satellites. 60 years ago nobody would have believed those things would exist, those were science fiction."

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