Massive fighting robots to face off in battle

A Japanese robot maker has accepted a challenge to a duel from a rival U.S. firm.

MegaBots and Suidobashi will have year to modify and improve their giant robots

Both Suidobashi Heavy Industry's Kuratas robot, left, and MegaBots Inc.'s Mark II, right, are piloted by humans from within a cockpit. (Kazuyoshi Kato/Flickr Megabots, Inc/Facebook)

A Japanese developer of massive robots has accepted a challenge to battle from a U.S. rival.

Wearing American flags as capes, MegaBots co-founders Matt Oehrlein and Gui Cavalcanti issued their challenge to Japanese robot maker Suidobashi in a video posted to YouTube. 

"We have a giant robot. You have a giant robot. You know what needs to happen," Oehrlein says in the clip.

Suidobashi has accepted that challenge. 

"We can't let another country win this. Giant robots are Japanese culture," says Suidobashi CEO Kogoro Kurata in a response video. 

Both of the robots, MegaBots Inc.'s Mark II and Suidobashi Heavy Industry's Kuratas, are piloted by humans from within a cockpit. The Mark II weighs 6,800 kilograms, has massive paintball guns in place of arms and requires two pilots to operate. The Kuratas, which has been in development for three years, is much lighter than its American rival, has a single pilot and carries a BB Gatling cannon capable of firing 6,000 rounds per minute . 

The robots aren't quite as nimble as the robo-boxers in the film Real Steel nor are they as formidable as the machine giants in the 2013 blockbuster Pacific Rim, but there are still plenty of fans of giant machines excited about the impending matchup. 

MegaBots clearly has ambitious plans for it. Last year the company ran an unsuccessful crowd-funding campaign aimed at raising $1.8 million to build a slew of robots that would have battled each other in front of spectators. The Kickstarter for the project describes what a giant robot battle might look like:

"MegaBots will be covered in customizable, breakaway armor plating and fire cannonball-sized, paint-filled projectiles at each other at speeds topping 120 miles per hour. As projectiles hit their targets, armor plates shatter and explode, and computers tally critical hits to the robot's limbs and torso. As more and more hits are taken, robots start to limp, joints start to seize, weapons start to jam, and after enough damage, limbs are completely blown off. The last MegaBot standing wins!"

If any robot is likely be up to those lofty goals, it's the Japanese Kuratas. Suidobashi has been releasing impressive YouTube videos touting its machine's features for years.

The battlefield and date for the duel hav yet to be determined. All that's known is the fight is scheduled for roughly one year from now. 


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