It’s America vs. Japan in This Giant Robot Slugfest
Isaac Maw posted on October 17, 2017 |

We’re already well into the new millennium, but where are the giant robots of Robocop and Real Steel? Where are the awesome powered mech suits of Avatar, Alien and Pacific Rim?

Increasing productivity and lights-out manufacturing with industrial robots is all well and good, but let’s be honest: what we really want is to see the sci-fi-style robots that inspired so many of us to pursue engineering in our youth.

Well, here’s your chance to see the closest thing to Real Steel in the real world—and it’s all for a good cause: generating youth interest in STEM. We’ve been waiting a long time, but it’s finally here. You don’t have to be an engineer to think this is awesome—but it helps.

MegaBots
MegaBots team with the Mk. III. (Image courtesy of MegaBots).

Back in 2015, American giant fighting robot company MegaBots Inc. challenged Japanese Suidobashi Heavy Industries to a giant robot duel with their Mk. II robot. Suidobashi’s Kuratas robot accepted the challenge on the condition that the Mk. II robot be redesigned to improve operator safety and include hand-to-hand combat capability.

High-profile event sponsors include:

·         Autodesk, which has supported MegaBots since its founding

·         BattleBots founders, Greg Munson and Trey Roski

·         Grant Imahara, famed MythBusters host and engineer

·         Peter Diamandis, founder of the X-Prize, a non-profit organization that designs and manages competitions promoting technology that could benefit mankind.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised over $550,000 USD to upgrade and prepare the MegaBots Mk. III, the duel finally took place in the most fitting venue possible: an abandoned steel mill in Japan.

Suidobashi
Suidobashi team with the Kuratas. (Image Courtesy of MegaBots).

Since the multiple rounds of fighting were spread over several days, the organizers decided to delay broadcasting the fight until after it was finished. That broadcast is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, October 17th at 7pm PT (10:00pm EST).

Specs on the giant robots are detailed below:

American Contender: MegaBots Mk. III

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(Image Courtesy of MegaBots).
  • Weight: 10 Tons
  • Height: 16 feet
  • Power Plant: V8 engine
  • Top Speed: 10 mph
  • Cost: $2.5 Million USD

Features:

  • Self-Balancing algorithms
  • Fast-response hydraulic valves
  • Heavy lifting arms can lift up to 2,500 lbs.
  • Software written by IHMC
  • Hydraulics: 4,000 psi, 120 gpm

Weapons:

  • The Chain of Command: 8-foot chainsaw
  • The Dentist: spinning wheel of mechanical teeth
  • Justice: metal-shredding grapple
  • The Screaming Eagle: tree shear painted to look like an eagle
  • Wall Street: large steel drill auger

 Japanese Contender: Suidobashi Heavy Industry Kuratas

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(Image courtesy of Suidobashi Heavy Industry).
  • Weight: 9000 lbs.
  • Height: 13 feet
  • Power Plant: 'diesel-powered
  • Top Speed: 6.5 mph
  • Cost: ~ $1.4 Million USD

Features:

  • Pilot or remote controlled
  • 30 hydraulic joints
  • Available in 16 colors as a kit (Over 3,000 have been ordered!)
  • Automatic target locking, smile-activated weapons
  • Glove-controlled articulated humanoid hand
  • Software: V-Sido, written by grad student Wataru Yoshizaki

Weapons:

  • 6,000 round per minute twin BB rotary cannon
  • “LOHAS” launcher (fires water bottles and fireworks)
  • “Kuratas Handgun”
  • “Pilebunker”
  • Other weapons remain a mystery

Who will win? Should giant robot battles become the next combat sport?

Let us know below or by tweeting us @engcom_automate.



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