It’s on! Giant Japanese, American robots to battle for robo-supremacy

ABOVE: It’s going to be a robo-battle royale! See MegaBots original “challenge” video as well as Suidobashi’s equally-hilarious reply. 

For anyone wondering when the future was going to stop dawdling and get here already, take heart: in July of 2016, a gigantic Japanese battle robot will take on its American counterpart in an all-out brawl for robo-supremacy.

What sounds like a headline out of an anime looks to become a reality after an American manufacturer of giant battle robots (no, really) issued a challenge to a Japanese company who also specializes in gigantic robotic battle machines.

Their answer? It’s on…well, so long as the giant robots can fight hand-to-hand, as well.

American company MegaBots laid down the challenge in a hilariously over-the-top video posted to YouTube last week.

Adorned in American flags and calling their company “the densest concentration of cutting-edge robotics research this side of the Mississippi,” the video proudly shows off their most advanced creation, the MegaBot Mark II, “America’s first fully-functional giant piloted robot.”

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The Mark II, in all it’s Star Spangled glory. MegaBots Inc

But after bragging that they had included “really big guns” because “we’re American.” the video notes that the Mark II isn’t the first “giant fighting robot” ever built.

That distinction, they say, belongs to Japanese company Suidobashi Heavy Industries, and their hyper-advanced Kuratas walker.

The hyper-advanced Kuratas walker, looking ready to take on the Balarant Union. 水道橋重工

“We have a giant robot, you have a giant robot. You know what needs to happen,” the MegaBots spokesperson says. “We challenge you to a duel.”

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Posted on June 30, the initial challenge quickly went viral, with over 2.5 million views on YouTube. The challenge took on an even greater significance following the United States’ 5-2 victory over Japan in the Women’s World Cup this past Sunday.

And it didn’t take long for Suidobashi to fire back.

“It’s interesting, I’ll give them that,” Kogoro Kurata, the creator of the Kurata says in Suidobashi’s reply video, which was posted Sunday.

Then he dons a Japanese flag of his own, and lets the trash talk fly.

“Come on guys, make it cooler,” Kurata jokes. “Just building something huge and sticking guns on it. It’s super American.”

Kurata then goes on to accept MegaBot’s challenge – on one condition.

“But you know, we really need melee combat,” Kurata says. “If we’re going to win this, I want to punch them to scrap and knock them down to do it.”

Consider that robotic gauntlet officially picked up, MegaBots.

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Now let’s take a look at the competitors in this mechanical duel of the fates (cue the Michael Buffer voice).

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Introducing first…in the red corner: fighting out of Oakland, California, weighing in at 5,400 kg and armed with battle cannons capable of launching a three-pound paintball at speeds of over 161 kilometers an hour…the Mark II!

And in the blue corner, fighting out of Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi, tipping the scales at nearly 5,000 kg, and armed with an assortment of weaponry including BB-firing Gatling guns…the Kuratas!

And while both machines stand around four metres tall and weigh roughly the same, the design differences couldn’t be more different.

Rumbling forwards on a pair of tank tracks and bristling with weaponry, the sparse, utilitarian Mark II is so American you expect it to be blaring Kid Rock and be piloted by a bald eagle with a gym membership.

The Kuratas on the other hand is a sleek, futuristic machine featuring an Iron Man-like onboard HUD, touch screens, and so much technical sophistication you think it might start making nervous jokes in a GLADOS-like voice.

“We can’t let another country win this,” Kurata says. “Giant robots are Japanese culture.”

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The only real question remaining is how exactly these two super-bots are going to fight, especially if the duel features hand-to-hand combat (which we assume would pose a danger to the non-metal human piloting each craft).

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Luckily, the designers have a year to figure out their battle, as well as prepare their machines for the epic confrontation.

All that remains is for a Canadian company to create a mechanical Moose-riding, maple syrup-shooting battle bot of our own, armed with a hockey stick and coming to crash the battle like the mysterious Black Knight at a medieval duel.

Yes, the future is here – and in at least on respect, it’s pretty cool indeed.

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