We're less than three months away from watching the Megabots Mk.III go at Japan's Kuratas robot in some form of giant robot fight, and while we haven't heard a peep out of the Japanese team for almost a year since the gauntlet was thrown down, the Americans have been very busy.
In addition to promoting the event and bringing in extra competitors for future robot fights, the MegaBots team has been furiously pushing out progress updates. And now, we've got an unfinished contender to look at.
Standing 16 ft (4.9 m) tall, the MegaBots Mk.III has a bald eagle on its right shoulder (which will be wearing aviator sunnies by the time the fight comes around), one punching/grappling arm and another that shoots whopping big paintballs heavy enough to dent a car.
This 12-ton, US$2.5-million beast is piloted by two people – one in charge of driving and one in charge of the fighty parts. Its Howe & Howe tank-tracked base and hydraulically actuated limbs are powered by a meaty 6.2-liter, 430-hp Corvette LS3 V8 engine.
When this thing first launched on Kickstarter, three backers kicked in over $5,000 to unlock a reward called "Punch a Prius," and that's just what they got to do at the Mk.III reveal at Maker Faire.
Two Toyota Priuses (Pries? Priii?) were dangled from cranes as the pilots took turns swinging punches at them in a piece of tangled symbolism. Take that, Japan! Take that, environmentally conscious drivers! Take that, Toyota Prius, and everything you stand for! USA! USA! USA!
"To protect the audience and keep the robot from damaging itself," the Mk.III was throttled back to a quarter of its top punching speed. So as you can see in the video below, the Prius punching exercise was a touch on the feeble side.
Still, it broke the windows and dented the metal, and hopefully things will be a bit more fun when the team goes full throttle and swings at the Kuratas. The event, assuming Japan gets its act together, will be held at an undisclosed location in August and broadcast on the MegaBots and Suidobashi Heavy Industries YouTube channels.
It's pure, big-budget silliness, and we're looking forward to it.