Japanese mega-robot creator Suidobashi Heavy Industry, headed by Kogoro Kurata, accepted a challenge this week from US robotics firm MegaBots for a winner-take-all robot brawl to take place next summer in a giant stadium at a yet undetermined location.
The event is expected to kick off a new global industry, perhaps worth billions, in which giant robots battle for supremacy. Like all emerging sports over the past several decades, mainstream sponsors are lining up: Autodesk, Engadget, Business Insider, Rolling Stone, The Huffington Post, VICE, and the Discovery Channel. The following video from the DARPA Robotics Challenge shows what looks to be the ground floor of a new sport/industry in the making.
US vs. Japan to Kickoff Global Robot Fighting Industry
Kurata, pictured in the bandana in the image below, is the creator of Kuratas, a 13.2 foot (4m) tall, four-legged, four-ton robot than can reach speeds up to 6 miles per hour (10 km/h). Kuratas also has twin Gatling guns, an electronic targeting system and a full heads up display.
The US opponent will be Megabots Mark 2 which is 15.1 feet (4.6m) tall and is designed to hurl Canon-sized paintballs at over 100 mph (160 km/h). Megabots is led by Andreas Hoffmann’s MIT Ph.D. thesis “Robust Execution of Bipedal Walking Tasks from Biomechanical Principles“.
Following is a video on the US vs. Japan Giant Robot Duel Challenge: