Robotics

June 2016: America and Japan to face off in giant robot combat

America has challenged Japan to the world's first intercontinental giant robot fight in 2016. Megabot vs. Kuratas to the mechanical death.
America has challenged Japan to the world's first intercontinental giant robot fight in 2016. Megabot vs. Kuratas to the mechanical death.
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The 15-foot tall Megabot, with co-creators Gui Cavalcanti and Matt Oehrlein
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The 15-foot tall Megabot, with co-creators Gui Cavalcanti and Matt Oehrlein
Megabot under construction
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Megabot under construction
Megabot on its transport trailer
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Megabot on its transport trailer
Megabot's debut at Maker Faire 2015
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Megabot's debut at Maker Faire 2015
The Megabot team
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The Megabot team
The 15-foot tall Megabot, with co-creators Gui Cavalcanti and Matt Oehrlein
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The 15-foot tall Megabot, with co-creators Gui Cavalcanti and Matt Oehrlein
Megabot fires its paintball cannons at Maker Faire 2015
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Megabot fires its paintball cannons at Maker Faire 2015
Megabot MkII vs Kuratas in the world's first intercontinental giant robot battle... June 2016
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Megabot MkII vs Kuratas in the world's first intercontinental giant robot battle... June 2016
Megabot Mk2 with its imposing paintball cannon arm.
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Megabot Mk2 with its imposing paintball cannon arm.
Suidobashi Heavy Industries' Kuratas
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Suidobashi Heavy Industries' Kuratas
Kuratas: Lighter, but faster moving than the Megabot
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Kuratas: Lighter, but faster moving than the Megabot
Kuratas: raises and lowers on its four wheeled legs
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Kuratas: raises and lowers on its four wheeled legs
Kuratas: fully enclosed cockpit allows pilots to see through augmented reality display
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Kuratas: fully enclosed cockpit allows pilots to see through augmented reality display
Kuratas: higher tech than the rough and ready Megabots Mk2.
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Kuratas: higher tech than the rough and ready Megabots Mk2.
Kuratas: rolls on small wheels at the end of extending legs
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Kuratas: rolls on small wheels at the end of extending legs
Kuratas: cockpit opens to let pilots enter and exit
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Kuratas: cockpit opens to let pilots enter and exit
Kuratas: shoulder pads to make Sigourney Weaver jelous
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Kuratas: shoulder pads to make Sigourney Weaver jelous
Kuratas: twin Gatling BB cannons
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Kuratas: twin Gatling BB cannons
Kuratas: humanoid hands
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Kuratas: humanoid hands
Kuratas: packs plenty of hydraulic muscle
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Kuratas: packs plenty of hydraulic muscle
Kuratas: an imposing presence
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Kuratas: an imposing presence
America has challenged Japan to the world's first intercontinental giant robot fight in 2016. Megabot vs. Kuratas to the mechanical death.
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America has challenged Japan to the world's first intercontinental giant robot fight in 2016. Megabot vs. Kuratas to the mechanical death.

"You have a giant robot, we have a giant robot – we have a duty to the science fiction lovers of this world to fight them to the death." America laid down the challenge; Japan has accepted. In one year's time, the two countries will face off on neutral soil for the world's first international giant robot dual. Two 15-foot-tall steel gundam suits with one or two pilots inside, facing each other in battle. There will be guns, there will be giant swinging steel fists, and the fight won't be over until one has pounded the other into scrap. Can you hear that sound? It's the gentle foaming of a million anime fans.

If the full-contact high-tech weapons fighting of Unified Weapons Master isn't enough for you, giant robot battles might tickle your fancy.

America's Megabots threw down the challenge to Japan's Suidobashi a few days ago in this fun video:

USA CHALLENGES JAPAN TO GIANT ROBOT DUEL!

And Suidobashi responded almost immediately, raising the stakes to include melee combat:

RESPONSE TO ROBOT DUEL CHALLENGE.

So what do the two competitors look like at this stage? Well, the Megabot is 15 feet tall and 12,000 pounds, and Suidobashi's Kuratas is around 13 feet and 9,000 pounds. The Megabot moves around on a pair of tank-style tracks, where the Kuratas is faster and lighter, and gets around on a set of 4 wheels, on wide extending legs that can raise the robot up to get around quickly.

The Megabot requires two pilots, one driver and one gunner to operate its huge arm-mounted paintball cannons, which fire oversized paintballs at over 120 miles per hour, enough to dent car panels.

MegaBots at Maker Faire 2015: World Debut of the Mk. II Mech

The Kuratas takes just one pilot, who is treated to a vastly more high-tech augmented reality heads-up display in the cockpit, including an automated target acquisition and tracking interface that keeps its guns trained on an opponent. The guns in this case include twin Gatling BB cannons that can fire 6,000 BB pellets per minute, and a fairly flaccid-looking water cannon thingy that sends floppy missiles out in more or less random directions. As Suidobashi points out in this adorable promo video, "from time to time, it will hit its target."

HOW TO RIDE KURATAS - Suidobashi heavy industry

It's fair to say neither robot is currently ready for combat. It's hard to see how the Megabot's paintball cannons will trouble the Kuratas pilot in his fully enclosed cabin, and I doubt the Kuratas's BB pellets or water missiles will even annoy the Megabot team. And both machines look so slow at this point that it's hard to see how their slow punches will do any damage at all.

But each team will have 12 months to prepare, and work out a set of rules of engagement that will include weapons fighting as well as hand to hand melee combat. Everyone knows what's at stake: Sci-fi fans won't be expecting a Real Steel-like clash of the titans in the very first giant robot fight, but they won't be impressed if it's not a spectacle. The future of this sport rests upon the ability of Megabots and Suidobashi to make these things exciting to watch.

Megabot MkII vs Kuratas in the world's first intercontinental giant robot battle... June 2016
Megabot MkII vs Kuratas in the world's first intercontinental giant robot battle... June 2016

June 2016. Bring it on! Enjoy our gallery of Megabots and Kuratas photos!

More information: Megabots / Suidobashi Heavy Industries

10 comments
Titanus
"It's fair to say neither robot is currently ready for combat. It's hard to see how the Megabot's paintball cannons will trouble the Kuratas pilot in his fully enclosed cabin, and I doubt the Kuratas's BB pellets or water missiles will even annoy the Megabot team. And both machines look so slow at this point that it's hard to see how their slow punches will do any damage at all." Gundam vs. Jaeger. Yea, a lot could go wrong. Paint can block the view or sensors of the Gundam. A pellet is aka a slug or a bullet. It is a lead rock and can be as large as a .38. If the glass is not bullet proof in the Jaeger it could be lethal. Gas-powered pistons could be used to power a punch with little fuss. Youtube is gonna be slow that day.
Bruce H. Anderson
Real robots. Real results. Oh yes.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
These are powered armor, rather than robots. Thought they would destroy each other, as in small robot contests.
Stephen N Russell
If successful, expand this & some ideas: International Robotic Combat League RoboSports Assn RoboCombat Sports Assn Natl Robosports Assoc: NRSA & hold events worldwide See movie Robot Jox as model, done in 1990s. Add more robotic types to mix IE BattleMech & RoboTech types too Be awesopme, robot fighters controlled by laptop or PC or mind control alone & fighters can be 1000 miles away from fight Use webcams for fight alone Name one robot Rocky. Other names "Viper Hud Butcher Long Knives Hunter No Mercy" May replace boxing or actual fighters hold boxing events to show your human? Be huge market for this alone
Bill Bennett
Reload the paint ball grenade barrels with real grenades pin pulled on launch on the Megabot. Loz, no motorcycles?
Frank Moores
"The future of this sport rests upon the ability of Megabots and Suidobashi to make these things exciting to watch." Ummm, no? People like fighting and people like robots. It is destiny.
John Banister
When the robots take over, they'll remember you made them do this to one another.
bradski58
The major flaw in these types of competitions is that these devices are operated by humans. What you are testing, in these cases, is the abilities of the operators. The truly interesting battles will occur when they are between autonomous robots. Then you will be testing the abilities of the hardware and software. There were robot battle simulations over 20 years ago. I wonder why this has not progressed?
MarkHaus
If you really want these fights to be interesting, make them automated robots or remote controlled ones, and truly make them pummel each other into submission in some remote area where no one can be endangered in their destructive wake. This will probably only get interesting when you start strapping truly dangerous weapons to them or make them engage in hard and fast close quarters combat, that's far too dangerous for pilots to engage in.
ChristopherHayes
wow. i have been waiting for this since 1989 when i first watched robot jox.