giant robot battle


After years of preparation, the U.S. vs. Japan giant robot battle is nigh

Japan, you have one year to name the battlefield.


Aja Romano

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 1, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 11:08 am CDT

Back in 2015, the U.S. makers of a giant, real-life, human-powered robot challenged their Japanese counterparts to a giant robot duel. Now it’s actually happening.

In an appropriately patriotic video, the Megabots team announced that the battle would happen in August 2017 at an undisclosed location. You can plan to catch all of the action on Megabots or Kuratas YouTube channels.

Megabots is a company founded by Matt Oehrlein, Gui Cavalcanti, and Brinkley Warren. Its sole goal is to build giant, piloted mecha suits and then use them as nature intended: to fight other giant, piloted mecha suits.

Over a long process, the company has engineered a suit that could come straight from Gundam Wing or Pacific Rim. Here it is as a design…

…and here it is as reality:

@buildandbreak as “Commander Sprocket” reporting for duty! #MegaBots #Autodesk #robots #startups #makerfaire

A photo posted by MegaBots Inc (@megabotsinc) on

And the best part of all? After lots of stress-testing, they’ve designed one that’s combat-ready, and they knew just the adversary to call out.

Across the pond, Suidobashi Heavy Industry is a company that also makes giant robots. Though their goal is to mass-produce and sell their mechas to lucky individuals, they haven’t held anything back, as you can see from this 2012 demo introducing their robot, the Kuratas:

If you’re a lonely mecha-builder with no other robot on your continent who’s worthy of a challenge, what do you do?

Why, you challenge your worthy foes in Japan, of course. That’s exactly what the team did in this red-blooded video that will make every American stand up and salute the power of technology:

While it’s too early to predict a winner, the Megabot has an extra 6,000 pounds on Kuratas’ paltry 9,000-pound frame. But as Bane taught us, bigger isn’t always better, and the Kuratas has been hitting the streets of Tokyo for the last few years.

The Megabot challenge for Suidobashi to “name the battlefield” and “meet in one year’s time” was a reference to the company’s original goal of having an actual giant robot battle by 2016. It’s a little late, but we’re game for a robot showdown anytime, anywhere.


Clarification: MegaBots was founded by Andrew Stroup, Matt Oehrlein, and Gui Cavalcanti. However, Stroup has since left the company and now Brinkley Warren is on the cofounding team.

Update: This story has been updated for relevancy.

Photo via megabots/Instagram

Share this article
*First Published: Jul 1, 2015, 9:26 am CDT