MegaBots raises funds to get help from NASA in building Giant Fighting Robots and defeat Kuratas
MegaBots, US Robotics firm headed by engineers, Gui Cavalcanti and Matt Oehrlein, create giant fighting robots. Last month, when MegaBots threw a challenge to its Japanese rival Suidobashi Heavy Industry for a fight between their giant robots, the latter accepted the fight only on one condition that the bots must engage in a skirmish combat.
Realizing this, MegaBots has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $500,000, so that it can upgrade its mighty Mark II robot and increase its armor, speed and hand-to-hand fighting abilities, in order to defeat Kuratas.
MegaBots first prototype, the Mark II, is 15 feet tall, lumbers along at just under 3 miles an hour, and fires giant paintballs from an arm cannon at 120 miles per hour. An updated version of Mark II would be 6-foot-long chainsaw provided with giant punching gloves.
“The robot that you see on Kickstarter is the ultimate robot. It’s got bald eagles for shoulders,” Cavalcanti told Popular Science. “It is like Team America’s robot. It’s a little silly, it’s a little campy, but it’s also totally epic and American.”
To prepare it for battle, MegaBots has recruited the likes of NASA and Howe and Howe Technologies. With a starting goal set as $500,000 to cover these upgrades, this will help the team engage Howe & Howe Technologies to make the Mark II five times faster than it is now and twice as fast as Kuratas and more maneuverable.
If MegaBots manages to raise $1,000,000, it will be able to work with the award-winning team at IHMC Robotics to develop a balance control system that will help keep the Mark II in a vertical position in a tiring and demanding fight.
If MegaBots can raise $1,250,000, it will be able to recruit NASA to improve the safety of the cockpit of the new Mark II robot, where a human operator will be steering the robot and manning the weapons, and hopefully survive the duel.
“We’re planning on working with NASA to integrate technology that’s going to absorb the shock from the impact on the robot,” said Cavalcanti. “For us, the robot falling over will be a 5 to 10 miles per hour event. It’s a lot of force, [and] NASA has done the math on all that to develop ways to withstand that force.”
Depending on how much money the Kickstarter campaign raises, Cavalcanti and Oehrlein will not only upgrade the Mark II, but they will also shift into a new workspace to construct it. As of now, they are working on MegaBots from a shared workspace in Oakland, but Oehrlein would like to see a MegaBots “supervillain lair” in Silicon Valley. However, for Cavalcanti, he cannot wait for the battle.
“The inner child in me is going crazy,” he said. “I can’t even describe what it’s going to be like in the fight. This is what I’ve been waiting for.”
Supporters of MegaBots will receive rewards like Mark II themed stickers, posters, shirts, a custom character in the free-to-play cross-platform game Robocraft, and even a 3D-printed model bot.
You can win a chance to ride Mark II on an obstacle course by donating large sums, test its weapons on a car and be a part of the pit crew during its epic battle with Kuratas.
Do let us know which country would you be supporting in the Giant Robot Duel in the comments section below.