Question: What is cooler than a giant robot with dangerous weapons?

Answer: Two giant robots with dangerous weapons trying to turn each other into piles of scrap metal.

superhero 712060 1280

It’s one of those unarguable things: For pure awesomeness you can’t beat the idea of giant robots with titanic weapons trying to destroy each other. While such scenarios are way cool in blockbuster movies, giant robots battling it out in the real world takes the geek coolness to a whole new level which brings me to the giant robot battle being scheduled between robots from Japan's Suidobashi Heavy Industry and American Megabots Inc.

Suidobashi (tag line: “An organization which aims to spread human ride robots. We mass-produce and sell prototype.“) is famous for it’s KURATAS giant robot. According to Wikipedia:

The vehicle weighs approximately 4,500 kg [4.96 short tons], and is approximately 4 meters [13 feet] high.

It can be crewed by one person; that operator would sit in the "body" of the robot in a seat, with the control device in front of them. The Kuratas can also be controlled externally by remote control.

Kuratas sports a four wheeled, thirty joint exoskeleton. which is controlled by the pilot or can be controlled remotely. The remote operator uses a 3g touch screen phone as the primary interface. The on-board pilot's user interface (UI) is a Kinect based device.

The vehicle can be "armed" with multiple weapons, such as a 6,000 round per minute twin BB Gatling cannon, a "LOHAS" launcher which fires either water bottles or possibly fireworks, and a powered humanoid hand called the "iron crow" that is capable of picking up objects, and is linked to the pilot by "what appears to be a Mattel Power Glove". The main Suidobashi website lists two other "weapons", a "Kuratas Handgun", and a "Pilebunker".

Currently, the Kuratas is not capable of walking, but is able to drive on its four wheels at around 10 km/h.

Kuratas has a price tag of US$1,353,500 … As of 25 April 2013.

Megabots (tag line: “The Future of Sports - Giant Fighting Robots”) surprisingly does not have a Wikipedia entry to quote from but the group’s failed 2014 Kickstarter campaign (they were after $1.8 million but fell very short at $65,319) notes:

The mad scientists at MegaBots, Inc. have been zealously working on the prototypes and final design of 15-foot-tall, 15,000-pound [7.5 short tons], walking humanoid combat robots with giant, modular pneumatic cannons for arms. A driver-and-gunner team pilot each MegaBot in a battle against other MegaBots, vehicles, and a variety of other defenses and obstacles in live-action combat – the likes of which has only been dreamed of through video games and movies. We've spent the past four months making the prototype upper body and arm of a MegaBot, a prototype gun emplacement, two weapon systems and more to prove out the technology we've spent the past two years designing. 

We've designed miniature electrohydraulic powerplants that enable MegaBots to run off batteries, and allow their limbs to be blown off during combat. We've prototyped different classes of ammunition and custom air cannon weaponry. We've developed the walking algorithms needed to keep an 8-ton walking robot balanced on two feet while in combat - the hardest part of any humanoid robot. We've also built the initial prototypes of a MegaBot, our powerplant, two weapon systems, and a turret emplacement to prove our technology works.

The company also offered:

For the low, low price of $999,999.99 (or four easy payments of $249,999.99), we will build you your own MegaBot! Options include cupholders, heated seats, a complimentary set of paint ammunition, a wide variety of color schemes to choose from, and residential delivery in the lower 48 states. 

On June 30, this year, Megabots threw down the robo-gauntlet:

… and on July 5, Suidobashi accepted the challenge via a YouTube video:

The date and location for the battle have yet to be set. I like that Suidobashi wants the battle to finish mano a mano … er, robot a robot ... with the loser to be rendered into iron filings. This could be epic … 

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Must read: 10 new UI features coming to Windows 10