So whatever happened to the Megabot versus Kuratas duel of mechs? In July, over a year ago, GeekDad presented the exciting news that “Megabots Challenges Japan’s Kuratas to a Duel of Mechs,” and they accepted the challenge on the condition that the battle include melee weapons as detailed in “Mech Battle Challenge Accepted.” The duel was supposed to take place in June of 2016, which has now flown past. Will we ever see this wonderful future of mechanized, dueling robots? With these questions in mind, I hunted around for some news and found an update on their Kickstarter project where they raised over $550,000 to help fund this challenge.
They can’t tell us much yet because of a mutual NDA with Suidobashi Heavy Industries concerning planning for the duel, but rest assured the robot armageddon is still coming–just with some slight delays.
First, shipping a huge mech turns out to be a problem.
We can say that the duel is still on, though delayed, and we’re working as hard as we can to sign all of the contracts and lock it down. To give you guys an example of why this is so difficult to work out, transporting one team’s robot by air to the venue looks like it will cost around $200,000 to $300,000 round trip – half the cost of what this Kickstarter raised. Transporting the robots by sea is a more cost effective option, but we would risk having the robots arrive rusted, damaged and non-functional – a month or two after we ship them.
Also, apparently it’s difficult to get a weaponized, battle-ready, armored mech through customs.
So, we’ll continue to wait while everything is finalized. In the Kickstarter Update, they tease an unveiling of the Megabot in mid-November near San Fransisco.