‘MegaBot’ Designers Want to Start a Robot Fighting League

They launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise a whopping $1.8 million.

MegaBot

They were a hit at New York Comic Con, grabbing the attention of thousands of spectators who flooded through the front doors of the venue for the weekend-long excursion showcasing all-things Sci-Fi related. And now, they’re hoping to take their popularity to the next level by raising $1.8 million to start a robot fighting league where people can surround an arena and watch heavy artillery machines go missile launcher to missile launcher in a battle to the finish.

On Tuesday, the engineers and designers responsible for the creation of the 15-foot-tall “MegaBot,” a human-controlled automaton that’s capable of firing paint-filled projectiles at 120 mph in rapid succession, launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund their project, and take it beyond the Artisans Asylum in Somerville, where it was manufactured during a labor intensive five-month span.

While one giant humanoid is certainly exciting, the brains who conceptualized the first prototype have a grander scheme in mind. Through funding, if they raise $1.8 million, the creators promise to construct a second robot so the pair can battle in front of a live audience in March 2016. Any additional funding for the project would go toward even more fighting machines in different weight classes and sizes, with varying capabilities.

“MegaBots, Inc. is making the giant piloted robots and mechs of Science Fiction a reality, and fighting them in epic arena combat,” according to the creators and founders of the company, Andrew Stroup, Gui Cavalcanti, and Matt Oehrlein. “We’re not Kickstarting one robot—we’re Kickstarting the first-ever giant fighting robot tournament. At higher funding levels, we can build more MegaBots.”

The trio is working with a team of 20 engineers, scientists, designers, artists, fabricators, and producers on the project.

You can even purchase a robot of your own. As part of the Kickstarter campaign, anyone with deep pockets who’s willing to toss $1 million into the ring will get a customized mech warrior to use as they see fit.

“We’ve found an opportunity for next-level, high-tech, live-action entertainment,” said Oehrlein. “A generation grew up with these machines in video games and on movie and TV screens. We know people want to see this happen.”

As Boston previously reported, the current MegaBot model, funded by an anonymous angel investor, is made up of a moveable torso and two mechanical arms, all of which are controlled by two people who can fit inside of the caged cockpit at the front of the automaton. One arm is equipped with 20 PVC pipes that can shoot foam-based, custom-made projectiles filled with a paint-like substance that explode on impact. The right arm has one cannon built into it that can launch oversized paint balls.

A video about the goals they have in mind can be seen below. So far, the team has already raised more than $13,000.


Steve Annear Steve Annear, Digital Writer at Boston Magazine sannear@bostonmagazine.com