Do you like to see a scrappy underdog win against a sure-thing opponent? Do you like to watch fights? Do you want to see mecha pummel each other down to the sprockets? Pony up. An American team needs $500,000 for their robot to beat up a Japanese robot.
Here’s the deal: A Japanese artist teamed with a roboticist to create Kuratas, a 4,500 kg, 4-meter tall mecha that can be operated from within its cockpit. Then an American team, Team USA, built their own mecha—and challenged the Japanese team to a duel.
The Japanese agreed, but on one condition: the fight must be hand-to-hand combat.
Currently, Team USA’s mecha, the 12,000-pound, 15-foot-tall Mk. II, is only armed for paintball.
According to Engadget, “To accommodate melee instead of robot paintball, they need to give their robot more speed and add heavy armor plating, more firepower, better hydraulics and a new power unit.”
Team USA has now gone to Kickstarter to raise the funds, and as of the time of this writing, it has raised $191,588 of its $500,000 goal, with 29 days to spare. It’s looking very likely that we’ll be getting some serious rock ‘em sock ‘em robot action. Of course, if you want to assure Team USA's challenge, you can contribute. Kickstarter rewards include a chance to pilot the Mk. II yourself or even join the pit crew.
Engadget also writes, “There’s still no word on the exact time, date, location or how folks will be able to watch it (pay-per-view?). Both teams, however, want their ‘bots to end up damaged or destroyed.”
We’ll be watching this with glee. From a minimum safe distance.