We all have spent a fair share of our entertainment time watching movies where robots fight each other. Starting from early childhood’s Voltron to today’s Transformers series, Terminator series or the Real Steel, robot fighting, especially giant robot fights, have been widely speculated but mostly in fiction. Now, we can sit back and watch the fiction turn into reality as U.S and Japan are set out for a giant robot battle next year.
US software giant Autodesk sponsored giant robot making venture MegaBots has challenged Japanese giant robot Kurata into a fight. On a YouTube video released on 30th June 2015, MegaBots called for a brawl between two of the giant robots, saying “We have a giant robot, you have a giant robot,” “You know what needs to happen. We challenge you to a duel.” Suidobashi Heavy Industry, the makers of Kurata, gave a positive reply to the call on condition that it will be a hand to hand fight. Kogoro Kurata, CEO of the industry said, “My reaction? Come on guys, make it cooler,” Kurata says in the response video. “Just building something huge and sticking guns on it is … super American.”
In this epic robot battle, MegaBots will be using Mark II or MK II, a 12000-pound and 15 feet tall behemoth robot. MK II rolls on tank like tracks, accommodates two pilots and fires giant painballs speeding up to 100 mph. Matt Oehrlein, co-founder of Megabots, said, “Megabots is a giant fighting robots company so we wanted it to create a super epic battle event”. “It got to the point where we were thinking about ways to see if people would pay money for giant fighting robots.”
Regarding the preparation for the battle he stated that they will modify a lot of stuff “for the fight”. He specifically mentioned the “weapon systems, armor paneling, a new hydraulic power plant, and faster actuators” will be among the modified parts. He also left a message for his Japanese opponent- “PREPARE FOR BATTLE!”
On the other hand, Suidobashi’s giant robot Kurata is only 9000 pound and 13.1 feet in height. But it is more polished than the one of MegaBots’, which has a rusty finish. The smaller size did not make the Kurata shy away from the fight which reflects in Kogoro Kurata’s words- We can’t let another country win this, giant robots are Japanese culture.” Kurata can hold a single pilot and has a BB mini gun that shoots 6000 rounds per minute.
The two companies are yet to fix a date or venue for the fight. According to Oehrlein, since MegaBots is San Francisco based it will be convenient for both parties to either take to fight to Japan or here at the US instead of any middle ground. And regarding the location he said, “We’re shooting for a year off, so June 2016. We think we need about a year because we need to establish the rules and then we have to choose where it’s going to happen.”
So it seems like we need to wait a bit more to see the fiction of robot fighting unveil in reality.