Culture

The Giant Freaking Robot Fight—U.S. vs. Japan—Is Now Set!

American Megabots Mark II bot in 2014. The American team has an all new bot ready for battle. (Photo from Flickr, by Docking Bay 93)

While smaller robots battling one another has been part of reality television for several years now, the idea of giant robots piloted by human beings has been the exclusive domain of fiction. A couple of years ago, it looked like that era was coming to an end as an American outfit challenged a Japanese company known for its giant robot. After all, the Americans had a giant robot too, so why not put the two mechas against one another?

For a while there was nothing, but now we have news. More importantly, we have a date for this technological clash of the titans.

If you’re unfamiliar with the feud between America’s MegaBots, Inc. and Japan’s Suidoboshi Heavy Industries (SHI), it’s a tale of the former challenging the latter to a giant robot “duel” for pride, title, and the posterity of giant mechs that will surely battle to the death for years to come, sawing and burning each other down in front of an audience like Ancient Roman Gladiators made of steel and flamethrowers.

The robots facing off in August—which will now happen at an undisclosed location because the “original Duel venue fell through” and caused considerable delays—is between Megabots’ Mk. III and SHI’s KURATAS. Considerable battle upgrades have been made to both the original Mk. III and KURATAS over the last year-plus, the Mk. III’s coming after the team behind the 12,000-pound bot raised over $500,000 on kickstarter.

For fans of anime, or even the movie Pacific Rim, this battle is like a dream come true. After all, two big honking robots going after one another just isn’t something even the most optimistic science fiction fans thought they’d actually see in their lifetime, yet here it comes.

August.

I’m happy to report that the Megabots guys also seem to be having a heck of a lot of fun with this. Watch: 

Then again, they’re building a giant freaking robot that will do battle with a Japanese robot of similar size. How would they not be having fun?