The Fight Of The Century: USA’s Megabots vs JPN’s Suidobashi Heavy Industries

The MegaBot MKII in the background (Image Source: techcrunch)

The MegaBot MKII in the background (Image Source: techcrunch)

It’s a fight two years in the making. It’s a fight that’s every 90’s boy’s wet dream. It’s a match that’s going to pit metal against metal, a futuristic competition that could be only realized by playing video games until a couple of years ago.

Or so the hyped fans would probably say, but let’s face it. Humanoid giant robots are still in their infantile stage and only two companies are going to try duking it out next week: America’s Megabots using their Megabot MK2/MK3 against Japan’s Suidobashi Heavy Industries’ Kuratas. Still it’s kind of exciting to think about the possibilities if the two companies definitely showed promise with their respective works. Other companies that are developing huge robots already exist, showing their success all over Twitter and YouTube but only three companies have so far caught the eyes of the giant robot fans, and those already enough to get everyone excited.


Image Source: Suidobashijuko

The Kurata Prototype equipped with the V-Sido logo (Image Source: Suidobashijuko website)

Everything all starts when people get inspired by something, obviously. For Kogoro Kurata, a Japanese artist and the CEO and founder of the Suidobashi HI, it was the giant robots frequently featured in Japanese anime, particularly the ones featured in the anime, Armored Trooper Votoms. “When I was a kid, I thought there were going to be giant robots in the future,” he said. But everyone knows that adults at that time were boring beings and the future would be no fun at all if we left it to their hands. So eventually he “can’t wait anymore” and set off to create his own giant robot.

The Japanese are very intelligent people and Kogoro Kurata worked as the designer and blacksmith. He also brought in Wataru Yoshizaki to help create the software needed to operate the robot, the V-Sido (which seems to be a pun on the Japanese word for the warrior code, Bushido). It took them 3 years of work to create the 4-ton, 13-ft tall machine. And for him, it was just like a hobby.

On July 28, 2012 the video “HOW TO RIDE KURATAS” appeared on YouTube. To this date, it has over 5 million views. The video details the procedures to board and operate the Kurata as well as present a unique firing system that requires the user to smile named “the Smile Shot.”

Three years later, a start-up company calling themselves MegaBots, Inc. released a video showing their giant robot: a 15-ft, 5.3 behemoth known as the Mk. II MegaBot. In that video, two people presenting the robot described MegaBot as an “American” robot, referring to the mech being able to be equipped with two huge guns. Their Kickstarter shows a concept image of the Mk.II equipped with three firearms: two shoulder gatling machines and one arm cannon. And it was also in this video that the MegaBot, inc. has challenged Kurata and his Suidobashi HI in a fight. The news was picked up by tech news from all across the world.

And Kurata accepted the challenge. “We can’t let another country win this,” he said in the response video. “Giant robots are Japanese culture.”

The Fight

Kurata accepted the challenge (Image source: Megabots)

Kurata accepted the challenge (Image source: MegaBots, Inc. website)

Five days remaining until the promised date. It has been two years since the challenge was accepted, on the condition that the fight includes melee. Problems arose since then but since they now have a proper match date, there’s no turning back.  They’ve already set a live stream in Twitch so there’s really nothing more to stop these two giant robots from bashing the living daylights out of each other. One side must reign supreme, the other will be junkyard scrap metal. But this fight would be good publicity to both companies if they manage to make it entertaining.

But like mentioned earlier, giant robot technology is still in its infancy. We haven’t got the super fancy alloy to use as armor, or those powerful mystery nuclear or electric engines to power up robots like we see in Japanese anime, so don’t get too hyped and let your imagination run ahead of you. There will be no real explosives or actual weaponized lasers, like the ones US recently invented against missiles. But in all other aspects, yeah, this is going to be cool.