U.S. MegaBots Team Launches Kickstarter For Kuratas Face-Off:
Full Info, Many Images, Videos!
The U.S.-based MegaBots company launched a US$500,000 Kickstarter campaign to fund its upcoming duel with Suidobashi Heavy Industry’s million-dollar Kuratas robot. The duel prospect is garnering attention and support from top industry specialists to convert the slow, top heavy Mk. II into a strong fighting machine.
If the project meets its goal, creators Matt Oehrlein and Gui Cavalcanti are teaming up with Howe & Howe Technologies to build a track base that would allow the robot to move at much greater rates of speed and will add stronger armor plating, better weaponry, upgraded hydraulics, and upgrade the robot’s power unit.
At the US$750,000 stretch goal, more weapon possibilities will be tested. At US$1,000,000, the team will bring on IHMC Robotics from the DARPA challenge to develop a specialized balancing system to keep the Mk. II from falling over if it’s hit. The US$1,250,000 goal will bring on NASA to create a safety system for the pilots. Finally, at US$1,500,000, FonCo Creative Services will add a Hollywood-level, patriotic paint job.
The upgraded Mk.II concept – the most American robot ever made.
Right now, the existing Mk.II tops out at 2.5 mph and is built for long-range paintball combat. That means it has thin, destructible armor plates and a mesh canopy. The entire robot’s built to be ‘lightweight’ (if you can call 12,000 pounds light), and hand-to-hand fighting is a whole new level of combat.
In order for the Mk.II to survive hand-to-hand combat, we need to:
Add heavy duty armor plating
Add some serious firepower
Upgrade our hydraulics to handle the heavier armor and firepower
Increase our top speed
Upgrade our power unit to keep up with our new hydraulic system and speed
That basic upgrade will cost $500,000. In order to make sure we win the fight, we need to:
Test a wide range of weapons and choose the best load-out
Keep our balance during hand to hand combat and not fall over
Not injure ourselves in the cockpit during combat
Fight with an incredibly sweet paint job. While not strictly required, this is a matter of national pride.
All told, a fully upgraded Mk.II will cost $1,500,000.
Meeting our $500,000 goal means that we get to seriously overhaul the Mk.II. We’ll build the ridiculously cool weapon systems you see in our concept art, add the shock-mounted steel armor we need to survive multi-ton punches, beef up our hydraulic actuators to handle the additional weight of our armor and weapons, upgrade our power unit to provide 5x the horsepower to handle the additional power demands of our new hydraulic system, and then work with Howe & Howe Technologies to build a custom track base replacement that’ll make us 5x faster than we are now – which will end up making us 2x faster than KURATAS!
$750,000: Modular Melee & Ranged Weapon Options
$150: 3D Printed MK. II
Also collaborating on the project is Mythbusters’ Grant Imahara, X-Prize’s Peter Diamandis, and BattleBots founders Trey Roski and Greg Munson.
The gasoline-powered, 15-foot-tall Mk. II weighs in at 12,000lbs (5,400kg) and requires two pilots to fully operate its movement and cannons. Its cannon shoots three-pound paint balls at 120mph while its smaller gun shoots 20 “paint rockets.” Rewards include a chance a 3D Printed Mk. II and the chance to test drive the robot.
So far the campaign has raised US$57,332. Pledges are accepted until September 18.