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Car No Match for 15-Foot Fighting MegaBot

The first full-sized, mobile, dual-weapon battling MegaBot made its debut at Maker Faire Bay Area on Saturday, firing giant homemade paintballs at a helpless art car (donated for the purpose) and thrilling the crowd with its menacing height and ear-splitting pneumatic cannons.

You’ve probably heard about MegaBots, the proposed giant robot combat league — yes please! — but this is the first time we’ve seen the working prototype robot in action, moving, aiming, and firing. The prototype runs on tracks scavenged from a small bulldozer, but ultimately the plan is for MegaBots to walk on two legs like the giant humanoid mechs we’ve all seen in the movies. Even the tracked version is impressive: It’s got room for a 2-person crew inside — driver and gunner — and it rears up to an imposing height of 15′ when aggravated. The idea of squads of these monsters battling to the death in football arenas is just too good not to happen.

MegaBot co-founders Gui Cavalcanti and Matt Oehrlein kept the crowd fired up telling the story of the Autodesk-sponsored build while the robot’s air tanks were being pressurized. Then the real show began. In addition to the big-bore right-hand cannon, the MegaBot was firing a revolver-style, magazine-based cannon on the left, designed by Robert Masek, winner of Autodesk’s A360 & MegaBots Design Contest and Engineering Challenge. Robert is also director of the renowned Artisan’s Asylum makerspace in Somerville, Massachusetts. The Pittsburgh Art Car (by Jason Sauer and crew) never stood a chance.

Come check out MegaBots and Autodesk in the South Lot at Maker Faire Bay Area today!

12 thoughts on “Car No Match for 15-Foot Fighting MegaBot

  1. They guy driving that thing should take a firearm safety class. He points his paint cannons at the crowd…..

  2. I was expecting a video of car destruction….they shot like two paintballs at it…..*sigh*

    1. by the end of the day the car did have massive dents! My understanding is that Megabot’s current iteration only has the ability to load about 3 paintballs at a time, and then it needs to be pressurized again. They assured us that more efficient destruction is being engineered as we speak :)

  3. Frankly, I think that Make: is seriously on the wrong track. There are a million things more interesting to cover than fifteen foot tall combat robots; I mean really, get a grip!

    I worry that Make: magazine and the Make: marketing machine is headed off in a seriously unproductive direction, and that real, serious makers will abandon same, which will leave a void in the mass media as far as the maker movement is concerned. That said, Nature abhors a vacuum, and if Make: drops this ball, there are likely lots of groups/individuals that will take up the mantle.

    1. Giant Fighting Robots (actually, it isn’t a Robot, but as they say, “details, details”) are sexy in the marketing sense. They get eyeballs, they fire the imagination. Sure, microbots that hunt down and kill Emerald Ash Borers would be more useful than gladiator robots, but the latter fires the imagination and gets people into the tech, some of whom will go on to make the former.

  4. This is a preview of what the movie “Robojocks” predicts: Nations building giant fighting robots to solve political and military issues, with only the pilot (Robojockey) being the casuality of a lost battle and no collateral damges.

    1. That would never happen IMO, as many countries get into it over territory, and no country is going to give up territory just because their Robojockey lost. In a way, we already have had an equivalent of these “robots” in the form of battle tanks for years.

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