At the Tokyo Toy Show 2015 (Tokyo Big Sight, June 18-21), Toyota Motor Corporation unveiled the Camatte Hajime, a concept car enjoyed by both the parent and the child, where virtual driving can be experienced through an augmented reality (AR).
The mechanism of the Camatte Hajime is similar to each vehicle of the Camatte series that has been unveiled. Its features in which parents and their children can share its space, and the driving can be enjoyed by children remain unchanged. However, the impression we get from it has greatly differed; its appearance is linear and it has a flat structure, yet a wild body.
Everything on its body is made of sheet metal manually made by three Toyota employess who participated in the Skills Olympics. The characteristic of the Camatte that allows users to easily customize it remains unchanged. It has been wrapped up through craftsmanship, a process mass production cannot bring about.
Processing the steel plate used various techniques in which it isn’t simply hit with hammer and molded; they also bend the aperture and mold materials. The polygon lines were polished very precisely to create clean straight lines. Although it can be seen on the surface, the bonnet’s surface is made slightly curved.
In addition, it adopts TIG welding to maintain the panel precision. Although the usual gas welding and arc welding would have not taken much time, their welding point produces a swell. Also, applying heat on the steel plate’s wide area causes distortion. Therefore, further modification such as striking the body panel after welding is necessary.
TIG welding takes time; nevertheless even the welded parts show a beautiful finish. According to a Toyota staff, “There’s no need to make modifications on the body after welding. Thus, we exhibited it as it is.” Although the Camatte Hajime looks like a toy and is treated like it, it is given value as a handicraft embodying the techniques of an artisan.
Meanwhile, the Camatte Vision is a device that enables children who cannot drive the Camatte to have a simulated experience of a moving vehicle. It features a 3D Camatte that runs around the course whose image is captured by a camera.
Once you are on the driver’s seat of the Camatte, your face is captured on the tablet and the photo will be displayed on the driver’s seat of the virtual Camatte.
In addition, you can select its body shape and color through the screen. The Camatte you made will appear on the video in which a diorama is captured by the camera. You will then start running the course on the screen. You will enjoy the motion of the vehicle you created, despite not being physically able to drive it.
Even if in a virtual world, children experiencing the fun of ‘creating your own vehicle and operating it’ while communicating with their parents would likely engender a significant impact in the near future.
(Translated by Natassia Jeronne D. Martinez)