Get Ready to Rumble! U.S. and Japan Plan to Duke it Out With Robots


If you've ever wanted to see two robots duke it out, you're in luck: Suidobashi Heavy Industries has agreed to pit their user-operated robot, Kuratas, against a user-piloted bot built by the U.S. company MegaBots. The fight will be hand-to-hand combat with no use of other weapons.

The futuristic-looking, 12-foot-tall Kuratas suit, which recently sold for more than $1 million, shoots BB pellets. The 15-foot-tall, 6-ton American challenger features a much cruder design: It rolls around on tank-like tracks and holds two guns that fire paintballs at breakneck speeds. The robot was originally going to be funded by Kickstarter, but after that failed, it was funded by U.S. software company Autodesk.

So far, the Japanese side is unimpressed. "My reaction? Come on guys, make it cooler. Just building something huge and sticking guns on it is ... super American," said CEO Kogoro Kurata.

Megabots is responsible for picking the time and location for the fight. Both robots are technically mech suits with live humans controlling them, so safety measures are in place—there will be no guns allowed in the fight. The duel will likely happen within the year, and neither side looks like it's backing down.

"We can't let another country win this. Giant robots are Japanese culture," Kurata said.