Next summer we may finally witness a giant fighting robot tournament.
Last month, the founders of Megabots, a California-based company that builds giant robots, released a video challenging the Japanese robot maker Suidobashi Heavy Industry to a giant robot brawl next June.
The video went viral, and the founder of Suidobashi, responded with a video of his own, accepting the challenge and tasking Megabots with organising the event.
Now, the Megabots co-founders need your help. They are hoping to raise at least $US500,000 through Kickstarter to make some big improvements to their 15-foot robot, the Mk.II.
The group of inventors want to use the funds not only to build a weapons system for the robots, but also add shock-mounted steel armour, improve the hydraulic actuators so it can handle the additional weight of weapons, and upgrade the power unit to ramp up the horsepower five-fold. They also want to build a custom track base replacement so that the robot can move around faster.
While the company is seeking a minimum of $US500,000 they would ideally like to scrape together $US1.5 million for improvements to the robot’s hardware.
Megabots’ funding goals are about as ambitious as the company’s larger vision.
Gui Cavalcanti, one of Megabots’ co-founders, told Tech Insider last month that the ultimate goal of this robot death-match is to launch and popularise a completely new kind of sport where giant humanoid robots fight until the death.
“Our real vision has always been to start a league of these giant robots,” Cavalcanti. “That has always been the drive.”
Megabots has tried to get robot combat off the ground before but it hasn’t caught on. The company launched a Kickstarter last October that aimed to raise $US1.8 million to build two giant robots to pin up against each other, but ultimately failed to meet their funding goal.
But Megabots still managed to find enough money to build a 12,000 pound prototype, the MK II.
If Megabot’s Kickstarter is successful this time, making improvements to the robot shouldn’t be an issue. Instead, the biggest hurdle could be figuring out where to host such an event.
When Tech Insider last spoke to Cavalcanti he said location details were still being figured out, but if he could have the event anywhere he’d host it in international waters.
“We would really love to have the fight on a ship or aircraft carrier in the middle of the Pacific. That is our absolute favourite dream, we’ll see if that can happen,” Cavalcanti said. “If you know anyone in the Navy, tell them to give me a call.”
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