The world's first public giant robot fight is set to take place this August, between America's MegaBots and Japan's Kuratas. But it seems a third country is set to get in on the action, too. China has debuted a prototype of a quadrupedal, single-seat fighting robot called the Monkey King, and thrown its hat in the ring.
Giant international robot suit fighting is going to be awesome, right? Tell me it's going to be awesome. The idea of giant gundam suits going at it Real Steel-style in metal-twisting, ground pounding combat with guns, fists and weapons blazing … How could that possibly not be awesome?
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Well, perhaps if they're huge and slow. Or if safety concerns for the humans inside these giant robots neuter the action. Or if they use weapons that are just a bit silly. Or if the teams decide they don't want to completely trash their million dollar robots, so they fight within a super boring set of rules.
Or heck, if they put most of their time into making something that looks anthropomorphic but is super easy to break and ineffective in actual combat.
Either way, we'll have an answer soon enough, with America's tank-tracked MegaBots robot warming up a suite of possible weaponry, including giant metal-denting paintballs, chainsaw-style arms and hydraulic grippers in a recent promo video:
Japan's Kuratas team has been quiet lately, perhaps unsurprisingly, as its robot looks the part, but seems to be cut from much gentler cloth than the American effort. Watch this adorable video if you're wondering what we mean by that:
Now, China's Greatmetal is looking to get in on the action with a third giant robot called Monkey King that takes a new approach.
Monkey King is a single-seater, densely packed machine that takes on a form factor something like a big cat. Weighing in around 4 tonnes, its creator Shiqian Sun says it took around two months to build to this point.
Walking on four legs, it can also stand back up on two, and it has a big ol' metal staff on its back that it can apparently hit things with. It also seems to have a rotating head, because that's certainly what the Monkey King promo video concentrates on:
Monkey King made an appearance with the MegaBots MkII robot at the recent G-Festival in Beijing, outside the Birds Nest Olympic Stadium, and the two teams are trying to work out whether they'll put on a separate fight after America and Japan go at each other in August.
How these fights will work, if they happen at all, remains to be seen. All parties are tight-lipped right now as to exact dates, locations, and what rules the fight will be held under. We shall see.
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