U.S.-Japan agree to giant robot fight (VIDEO).

What a Giant Robot Battle Between the U.S. and Japan Will Look Like (Video)

What a Giant Robot Battle Between the U.S. and Japan Will Look Like (Video)

Slate in motion.
July 10 2015 3:24 PM

The Nationalist Robot

What will a fight between giant Japanese and American robots look like?

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Screenshot via Slate

Last week, American robotics company MegaBots challenged Japanese robotics company Suidobashi Heavy Industry to a duel on YouTube. Suidobashi’s founder, Kogoro Kurata, responded in kind.

This is MegaBot’s second attempt at a giant robot arena battle. Last November, the company tried to raise $1.8 million on Kickstarter but fell far short, with a mere $65,000. Despite this, both companies seem intent on making the match happen in 2016.

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Robotics experts are more measured.

As Clark Haynes, a commercialization specialist at the Robotics Institute’s National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University, told Gawker: “A robot duel is definitely feasible, and I expect it to be visually appealing. It may end up anticlimactic, however, as I suspect one robot will incapacitate the other within seconds. Robots tend to be extremely complex electromechanical systems, and single points of failure can make a robot inoperable very quickly.”

Dog-days summer television on ABC begs to differ.

Anyway: Both robots will be human piloted, around 14 feet tall, and have the ability to fire cannon-ball-sized paintballs. But if Suidobashi founder Kogoro Kurata gets his way and the match is melee instead of long-range paint ball cannons, we may be in for a short spectacle.

Phoebe Gavin is a writer based in New York City.