Japan accepts the US’s giant robot fighting challenge

Few Days ago, American giant robot makers Megabot challenged Japanese giant robot makers Suidobashi Heavy Industry to a giant robot battle. The video, subtitled in Japanese and filled with waving American flags, coincidentally happened to come out right before a striking Women’s World Cup championship match where the U.S. handily beat the Japanese national team.

Japan's Suidobashi

Japan’s Suidobashi

Just a few days later the response came from Japan’s Suidobashi Heavy Industries:

“Yeah, I’ll fight,” Suidobashi’s CEO and founder Kogoro Kurata said on YouTube. “Absolutely.”

In the video, Suidobashi CEO Kogoro Kurata takes the idea of an international robot battle and runs full steam ahead with it, appearing draped in the Japanese flag, and saying that while Megabot’s robot is “interesting,” he thinks they could have “ma[d]e it cooler.” “Just building something huge and sticking guns on it…it’s super American,” he adds.

Draped in a Japanese flag, he echoed the country’s deep-seated love of robots in their culture, saying: “We can’t let another country win this—giant robots are Japanese culture.”

But Kurata also upped the ante on the fight. He doesn’t want to duel with paintballs, but with actual weapons. “You know what we really need: melee combat. If we’re gonna win this, I want to punch them to scrap and knock them down to do it.”

MegaBots’ co-founder Gui Cavalcanti has told Quartz that they are ready to fight: “The fight is on. We have to work out the ground rules, and figure out how to not die, but the fight is on. We’ll be releasing more information soon as we work through some of the logistics.”

Megabots' Mark II USA

Megabots’ Mark II USA

It’s still not clear, however, where this duel will take place—do international robot battles have to take place on neutral ground, or international waters? Do you need a robot referee for a robot fight? Will we be able to buy tickets?

While there many questions left unanswered, for now it seems that we will see Japan face the US in the new sport of robot dueling in about a year.

Kuratas Japan vs Megabot Mark II USA

Kuratas Japan vs Megabot Mark II USA

Proposed giant robot fights are cool, but actual giant robot fights are even cooler.

Sources: “Popular Science” and “Quartz”


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