MegaBots Team Challenges Japan to Giant Robot Duel

The duo, currently based in California, has unveiled an upgraded version of the machine they built last year at the Artisan's Asylum in Somerville. Now they want to test it out against a Japanese counterpart.

Update, July 9, 12:30 p.m.

Japan has accepted MegaBots’ challenge.

“We can’t let another country win this,” says Kogoro Kurata, CEO, founder and creator at Suidobashi Heavy Industry in a video response posted earlier this week. “Yeah, I’ll fight. Absolutely.”

Kurata did not name a battlefield as requested, but did challenge MegaBots to step up their game.

“Come on, guys. Make it cooler,” he said. “Just building something huge and sticking guns on it. It’s… super American.”


Recently completed MegaBot Mark II is America’s first fully functional giant robot, piloted by a team of two and capable of firing three-pound paint cannonballs at speeds of more than 100 miles an hour.

However, as MegaBots cofounders Gui Cavalcanti and Matt Oehrlein admit, it’s not the first giant fighting robot in the world. In 2012, Japanese company Suidobashi Heavy Industry unveiled the Kuratas, a 9,000-pound giant with twin Gatling guns, a hyper-advanced targeting system, and a full heads-up display.

So, to recap: There are now two giant robot fighting machines, one based in the U.S. and one based in Japan. You know exactly where this is going.

Earlier this week, Cavalcanti and Oehrlein issued a challenge, in the form of a YouTube video (above), calling Suidobashi out for a giant robot duel. If accepted, it will take place in one year at a battlefield to be determined by the Japanese company.

This isn’t the first time the MegaBots team has attempted to start a giant robot fight. Last year, while still operating out of the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, which Cavalcanti also cofounded, the team launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $1.8 million for a robot fighting league.

“We’ve found an opportunity for next-level, high-tech, live-action entertainment,” Oehrlein told Boston at the time.

After failing to reach their fundraising goal, the team ditched Massachusetts for San Francisco earlier this year, where they teamed up with design software company Autodesk to build a second, upgraded version of the original MegaBot that they had built in Somerville.

With the MegaBot Mark II now complete, all that remains to be seen is whether or not Japan will accept the challenge.

Stay tuned.