Somerville Designers Are Building Giant ‘MegaBots’ With Missile-Launching Capabilities

The 15-foot-tall machines will be unveiled next week.

Photo courtesy of MegaBots

Photo courtesy of MegaBots

A team of engineers and designers in Somerville is constructing massive human-controlled metal robots equipped with missile launchers.

“The long wait is over, folks, and the secret’s out. We’re building 15-foot-tall, 15,000-pound, internally piloted humanoid robots called MegaBots, armed with gigantic air cannons,” Gui Cavalcanti, cofounder of the Artisan’s Asylum, said on his Facebook page.

Cavalcanti announced the creation of the “MegaBots,” which look like the machine driven by Lt. Ripley in the movie Aliens, on social media, and Tweeted out a link to the a website dedicated to the ongoing project.

Details are murky at this point, and the team behind the robots won’t say too much about their intentions, but they did reveal that the machines will have “projectile-hurtling fury” that is usually only seen in video games and films.

Cavalcanti said a team that includes cofounders Andrew Stroup and Matt Oehrlein is bringing the 15-foot-tall machines to life. The robots, which are pieced and welded together with metal grates and beams, are being funded with the help of an angel investor, Josh Adler. Autodesk, which makes 3D software for manufacturing, engineering, and construction projects, is sponsoring the group.

Cavalcanti wouldn’t hop on the phone for an interview just yet, but he told Boston the group is planning a special unveiling next week. Looking at photos, it seems the robots will be hardwired so they can shoot projectiles from 20 PVC pipes installed inside their arms. The robots’ movements will allegedly be powered by hydraulic actuators, and feature electrically-charged energy storage. They have been working on them for five months.

When asked about the functionality of the robots, and whether or not they will really be battling it out, Cavalcanti, a former systems integrator and mechanical engineer at Boston Dynamics, reaffirmed that it’s the real deal.

“Oh you have no idea,” he said. “This is totally legit.”

Already, people are begging the brains behind the MegaBots to let them pilot the machines. “We have devised a plan! We know tons of people are going to want to get up in these beasts,” the group said on their Facebook page.

H/T Scott Kirsner