Mean Machines: US & Japan Mega-Robots to Battle

Kuratas robot.
Kuratas, a giant, gun-touting robot developed in Japan, looks ready to take on its American counterpart. (Image credit: Screenshot, Live Science)

If watching giant robots fight to the death sounds like your idea of a good time, then you're in luck. Two huge, Transformer-type bots — one from Japan, the other from the United States — could soon be facing off in the ultimate futuristic duel.

Last week, the geeks over at MegaBots — a Boston-based startup devoted to the art of robot combat — challenged their one and only competitor, Suidobashi Heavy Industry of Japan, to a duel in a YouTube video. And Suidobashi just accepted the challenge.

The MegaBots team plans to show up to the fight with its Mark II robot, a 15-foot-tall (4.6 meters), manually piloted bot that can walk around and shoot supersized paintballs. Suidobashi's bot, named Kuratas, is a tad smaller at 13 feet (4 meters) tall, but it packs a more lethal punch with its onboard arsenal of rapid-fire BB guns. [The 6 Strangest Robots Ever Created]

In the video posted by MegaBots, two American flag-clad men describe the Mark II as "12,000 pounds [5,443 kilograms] of gasoline-powered fury," capable of firing 3-pound (1.4 kg) paintball cans at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour (161 km/h). But the folks at Suidobashi seem ready for the challenge. In a video response released yesterday (July 5), Suidobashi's founder, Kogoro Kurata, dons a Japanese flag and makes it clear he's not going down without a fight.

"We can't let another country win this. Giant robots are Japanese culture," Kurata says in the subtitled video.

Then he goes on to suggest an even cooler form of combat than the traditional duel — a melee. Why a melee? Well, Kurata said he'd like to punch the American robot down "to scrap." Those are some serious fighting words.

The two companies have yet to set a date for the epic battle, but the MegaBots video suggests that preparing both bots for combat could take about a year. Now it's up to the Suidobashi team to choose the location for what is sure to be a highly entertaining competition.

Follow Elizabeth Palermo @techEpalermo. Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

Elizabeth Peterson

Elizabeth is a former Live Science associate editor and current director of audience development at the Chamber of Commerce. She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from George Washington University. Elizabeth has traveled throughout the Americas, studying political systems and indigenous cultures and teaching English to students of all ages.