It used to be that giant robots were confined to the realm of science fiction, only to be featured in movies like Pacific Rim. But now, we have entered the age where giant robots walk among us, and instead of fighting enormous monsters they’re going to be fighting each other.
Two years ago, MegaBots Inc. of Hayward California challenged Suidobashi Heavy Industries of Japan to a duel for determining the greatest giant-robot-loving nation on Earth. A week after the video challenge was issued Suidobashi accepted, saying, “We can’t let another country win this—giant robots are Japanese culture.”
Thus began a two-year odyssey where MegaBots began to create a brand new robot to take on Suidobashi. The Japanese manufacturer already had their robot created: the Kuratas, a futuristic quad-legged robot with a cockpit straight out of robot-themed anime where facial recognition controls the machine’s lethal minigun.
MegaBots, on the other hand, decided to create an all new robot to replace their aging Mk. II, a chassis they were not confident could defeat their high-tech opponent. Originally given an ambitious deadline of a year, the new robot instead took two to both design and create from the ground up. Called the Mk. III “Eagle Prime”, it seems the wait was worth it.
Eagle Prime is a truly impressive mechanized death machine. Standing 16 feet tall and weighing about 12 tons, Eagle Prime’s tank treads and deadly claw are powered by a 430 hp Chevy LS3 V8 engine. Opposite the claw arm is a double-barreled paintball gun, which really should be called a paintball cannon as it fires paintballs the size of softballs. Unlike the single seat Kuratas, Eagle Prime has two seats for both a pilot, who controls robots locomotion and a gunner who controls the arms and aims the cannons. The main armament can even be swapped for a drill arm or a giant chainsaw.
Eagle Prime’s final price tag came to a full $2.5 million.
The original duel was set for August 2017, however, that was delayed until September due to issues with the venue. Apparently, nobody has ever needed to consider the durability of a venue in the face of giant robot carnage before. The duel’s location is still undisclosed and, unfortunately, will not allow spectators due to an inability to guarantee a crowd’s safety.
As for the pilots, apparently both MegaBots and Suidobashi have been discussing ways of keeping their riders safe, but it remains to be seen exactly how they’ll manage to do so.
Stay tuned to find out which nation will be crowned the giant robot king of the world.