Japan’s mega-robot creator is up for a battle of the bots after being challenged by a rival maker of the behemoths in the United States.
Suidobashi Heavy Industry founder Kogoro Kurata accepted a challenge Monday to partake in a robot brawl proposed by U.S. robotics firm MegaBots.
“Suidobashi! We have a giant robot, you have a giant robot. You know what needs to happen. We challenge you to a duel,” the Boston-based startup said in a video uploaded June 30, calling for a battle of the tech titans next June.
Kurata responded with his own video accepting the challenge.
“We can’t let another country win this,” he said. “Giant robots are Japanese culture.”
In 2012, Kurata invented a robot fanboy’s dream — the 4-meter-tall Kuratas robot. The four-legged, 4-ton steel monstrosity is fully operational and can travel at speeds of up to 10 kph. Just like the robot characters of anime fame, it has a cockpit for a “pilot” to climb into and operate it.
Kurata’s opponent, U.S. start-up MegaBots, invented a 4.6-meter-tall humanoid robot — the Megabots Mark 2 — which can fire cannon-sized paintballs at speeds of over 160 kph.
In 2014, the company launched a crowdfunding campaign to build enough robots to stage an arena combat session of the metal hulks, but it failed to reach its fundraising target of $1.8 million.
In his filmed retort, Kurata provokes the MegaBots, urging his American rivals to build a better bot.
“Come on guys, make it cooler. Just building something huge and sticking guns on it is . . . super-American.”
The Japanese inventor settled on a melee combat format for the fight, saying he would “punch them to scrap” in his quest to win the grudge match.
The two parties have a year to prepare for the duel, and further hype the already highly anticipated match.
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