Two years ago, American robotics company Megabots, Inc challenged the Japanese Suidobashi Heavy Industries (SHI) to a duel of giant robots. This robotic duel of nations and automatons will pit Megabots’ MK III against SHI’s KURATAS. For reference, the MK II weighed over 12,000 lbs, stood 15 ft tall and could hurl 3 lb objects at over 130 miles an hour.
As the robot duel grows closer, Megabots Inc has been giving fans video updates on their progress upgrading their robot.
The brand new MK III has become a 12 ton 430 horsepower beast of metal mayhem. The actual capabilities and modifications of the KURATAS have been kept somewhat quiet. This won’t be a high speed battle of laser swords and rocket packs, but it is as good as we can get these days.
Technically speaking, this will actually be a battle of mech suits and not just robots because these contraptions require human pilots, but that is really splitting hairs.
After the announcement, Megabots, Inc kicked off a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $500,000 for all the enhancements and alterations they wanted to make to their big bad robot. As SHI says, “Giant robots are Japanese culture.”
The original battle was set to take place last year, but the venue for the event fell through and everything had to be rescheduled. The main event is now scheduled for this month at an undisclosed location. As for the predicted winner? …It is difficult to not favor the Japanese here. Giant robots are really their thing and the KURATAS just looks more advanced than the American MK III.
If all that isn’t enough, there is already another challenger throwing their hat into the ring. The Chinese have made their own gladiator robot called “The Monkey King.” It is a four ton robot that can walk on four legs and wields a giant metal staff. It cost about $14 million to construct. The creators of this bot have formally challenged Megabots to another robot duel, but they will have to wait their turn.
Update 9/1/17: The battle of the robots will now take place in September. The battle would have happened a bit sooner, but apparently there have been “logistical issues at the originally-chosen venue,” according to a release shared with Quartz by MegaBots.
Update 10/5/17: The battle is STILL pending, and the suspense is KILLING US.