A dozen movie and TV robot fantasies are about to come to fruition: Two giant robots, one from Japan and one from the United States, will battle until only one is left standing.
Japanese robotics company Suidobashi Heavy Industries has accepted MegaBots’ challenge to a giant real, live giant robot battle on a undetermined date. Both companies make multi-ton mech-style robots that are controlled by humans who ride inside.
The face-off is a way for MegaBots to promote its newest mech, MegaBot Mark II, which the company calls “America’s first full-functional, giant piloted robot.” It has some pretty big guns that can shoot paintballs at a car-denting 100 mph.
Suidobashi founder and CEO Kogoro Kurata seemed surprised by the challenge — which he readily accepted — and mocked the MegaBot’s choice of weaponry. “Come on guys, make it cooler. Just building something huge and sticking guns on it. It’s… super American,” he says in the video. Kurata accurately notes that giant robots are part of Japan’s heritage. One of the first cartoons I ever saw was Japan’s Gigantor, a manga-style show that launched in 1964.
The two robots are pretty evenly matched. MegaBot Mark II is 15 feet tall and rolls around on a pair of giant tank treads. Suidobashi’s mech is 13 feet tall and uses four swiveling wheels.
But there are some big differences. MegaBot Mark II cost about $175,000 to build and weighs 12,000 pounds; Suidobashi’s sells for more than $1 million and is about 9,000 pounds. “[Suidobashi] is about three times faster than we are,” MegaBots cofounder Gui Cavalcanti said. “Their tech is currently more advanced, but we have about a year to catch up. I think it’ll even out.” Read more…