Everything We Know About the Upcoming USA vs Japan Giant Robot Battle

Maker News Robotics
Everything We Know About the Upcoming USA vs Japan Giant Robot Battle
Photo by Sabrina Merlo

Like many of us, I consider myself an expert in giant robot battles. They’re something I’ve been thinking about for approximately 37 of my 40 years of life. From Robotech to Voltron to Transformers, I’ve been promised a future with giant robots that I could ride inside and use to smash the snot out of other giant robots. I’ve been waiting and hoping for that time to arrive and I have the drawings to prove it, some of which are very, very recent.

MegaBot’s Mk. II debut at Maker Faire Bay Area this May supercharged my giant robot enthusiasm anew. I sat close to watch the machine rise up onto two legs, blast the windows out of a car with three-pound paintballs, and delight the crowd of fellow safety-goggle-wearing giant robot enthusiasts. It was amazing. But it wasn’t the robot battle I’ve been waiting for.

Now, however, that deep-rooted desire may just be satiated. A challenge posed by Mk. II’s creators to another giant robot, Japan’s Kuratas, to pit the two metallic warriors against each other has just been accepted. MegaBots’ initial challenge demanded that the fight should happen in one year’s time, and Kuratas responded by suggesting that they even forego the cannons and punch it out in an old-fashioned brawl. Although further specifics for time and location have not been released, let’s all pause for a moment and consider that the world we’ve been expecting is finally here.

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There’s still a lot to do for the team from the USA. “We’ll be modifying a ton of stuff for the fight,” says Mk. II co-creator Matt Oehrlein. “Weapon systems, armor paneling, a new hydraulic power plant, faster actuators.” When prompted for a note to his Japanese opponents, he simply responded “PREPARE FOR BATTLE!”

While we wait in anticipation, here are details and notes to start filling up your scorecards.


Name: Mk. II
Designers: Gui Cavalcanti and Matt Oehrlein, Megabots
Location: San Francisco, California
Debut: 2015, Bay Area Maker Faire
Height: 15′ (standing)
Weight: 12,000 lbs
Cockpit: Dual pilot
Locomotion: Two tracks, from a CAT 289c skidsteer, one of the largest made. Legs are 1/2″ and 3/4″ A36 plate steel, lasercut and welded at the seams. 13 degrees of freedom across 20 hydraulic actuators
Power: 24HP honda gas engine spinning a hydraulic gear pump
Armaments: Arm cannons. The right arm can fire 3lb, 6″ paint cannonballs at 130mph. The left arm has a 20x shot missle launcher, firing 2.5″ circumference paint missiles 150mph.


Name: Kuratas
Creator: Kogoro Kuratas, Suidobashi Industries
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Debut: 2012
Height: 13.1′ (standing)
Weight: 9,900 lbs
Cockpit: Single pilot
Locomotion: Four wheels, each mounted to individual legs. 30 hydraulic actuators
Power: Diesel engine
Armaments: BB mini-gun shooting 6000 rounds per minute, water bottles
Note: You can order your own Kurata mech suit from Amazon.jp for just $1 million.

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Mike Senese

Mike Senese is a content producer with a focus on technology, science, and engineering. He served as Executive Editor of Make: magazine for nearly a decade, and previously was a senior editor at Wired. Mike has also starred in engineering and science shows for Discovery Channel, including Punkin Chunkin, How Stuff Works, and Catch It Keep It.

An avid maker, Mike spends his spare time tinkering with electronics, fixing cars, and attempting to cook the perfect pizza. You might spot him at his local skatepark in the SF Bay Area.

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