Megabots, Inc., an American company, has perhaps the strangest business model we’ve ever seen. Their goal is to create the wildest new spectator sport you can imagine: giant fighting robots. For their first effort, they have built their first working prototype, and now  creators Andrew Stroup, Matt Oehrlein and Gui Cavalcanti intend to pit it against other over-sized mechanized creations in battle. Since there’s only one of them on American soil so far, they’re doing the only thing they can to get the ball rolling: they’re calling out the Japanese.

They’re doing it with this.

It’s the Megabot Mark I, a fifteen foot tall 12,000 pound two-man bot on tank treads, that can fire cannonball sized paint balls at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Even with just paint balls, this thing can do some serious damage.But it’s not the first giant fighting robot in the world. Suidobashi Heavy Industries was there first with the Kuratas, a nine thousand pound single seater giant fighting robot with twin gatling guns, a hyper-advanced targeting system, and a fully implemented heads up display.  The Mark I is engineered to make it not only powerful and impressive, but relatively cheap to build compared to the $1.3 million price tag for the 13-foot tall Kuratas that comes it at about half the weight of the Mark I.  While Kuratas runs on wheels, though, the Megabot currently uses twin treads to get around; at these scales, walking is apparently still an engineering marvel for another day, though Megabots says that’s definitely in the works for the next version of their fighting robot.

While the Kuratas was originally built as an art piece, according to its makers, the Megabot was built for combat in an arena. Instead of smooth metal and fiberglass, its pilots are protected by metal cages. If a paintball hits that cage, the pilots still get the paint. Ideally the Megabot will have ablative armor that will get blasted away in the arena, even to the point of limbs falling off, if the Megabots people have their way.

Megabots challenges Sudobashi to a duel of titans. Both robots will require modification, but Sudobashi is invited to choose the time and place. It seems like a natural thing to do with giant battle robots.

You have to admit, such a challenge takes real balls. Filled with paint. And ball joints, and relays, and servos, tons of steel, giant motors and who knows what else?

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