We are MegaBots, Inc. We built the Mk.II, a 12,000 pound, 15 foot tall combat robot, and immediately challenged Suidobashi Heavy Industries of Japan to a giant robot duel against their robot KURATAS. Suidobashi epically accepted, and raised the stakes to include hand-to-hand combat. We came to peace with our impending maiming in the world's first giant robot fist fight, and then recruited the likes of Grant Imahara, the founders of BattleBots, Peter Diamandis, NASA, IHMC, Howe & Howe Technologies, FonCo Creative Services and Autodesk to join our team and help us upgrade our robot for hand-to-hand combat! Ask us (...and Doug) anything!

Gui Cavalcanti (GC), Matt Oehrlein (MO), and Brinkley Warren (BW) are posting under u/MegaBots_Team. Doug Stephen from IHMC has joined us, and is posting on u/AndImDoug!

We just launched a Kickstarter campaign, which you can check out here!

Our proof is here: https://twitter.com/MegaBotsInc/status/634050769721815040 . The date is wrong because we're dumb.

EDIT: THANKS EVERYONE, but we gotta go! This was awesome. Thank you for your support of everyone's dreams of giant fighting robots!

Comments: 600 • Responses: 82  • Date: 

MegaBots_Team303 karma

(GC) WAIT THAT WAS YOU? IT'S SO GOOD! We were basically all in tears for a half hour after someone linked that to us last night. Nice work. We featured it on our Facebook page! And I just edited the post to give you credit!

FrozenChlorine235 karma

How do you feel about the rumors circulating the fight will now have to be scripted so the pilots don't get injured?

In addition, do you feel that it is worth dying or being horribly injured to beat japan?

MegaBots_Team683 karma

(GC): Heh. We feel like there are a bunch of sissies on the internet, that's how we feel. NASCAR and F1 drivers hit concrete walls in multi-ton machines at 200 miles an hour, and somehow we're not able to armor a robot to take a thousand-pound punch and survive? C'mon guys. THIS IS THE DREAM WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR. IT'S WORTH A BROKEN ARM.

Besides, Matt's in front. lololol.

arturojreal203 karma

I was gonna gift you gold for this comment but I donated to the Kickstarter (again) instead.

MegaBots_Team119 karma

(GC): Hey thanks!

mmm_migas100 karma

I know NASA is on board if the funds come through. I donated to the Kickstarter. If they build a safe cockpit, I'd like to see videos of field tests please! Ram stuff into it, knock it around, etc

MegaBots_Team115 karma

(GC): Trust me when I say, we would too.

VictorTheSunfish225 karma

So what's going to happen when the Japanese gate opens and RX-78 walks out?


MegaBots_Team244 karma

(GC): Go for the ankles.

MegaBots_Team138 karma

(MO): The bigger they are, the harder they fall!

Lurnobis143 karma

Will you have models pose on the robot while eating burgers once its ready to fight?

MegaBots_Team152 karma

(MO): Yes, and we will call them the MEGABABES!

MegaBots_Team195 karma

(GC): Please. We're equal opportunity here. We'll have both MEGABROS and MEGABABES.

Tigerkix123 karma

I want to support both sides of this competition! I'm supporting you guys for sure, is there anyway to support Suidobashi as well?

Who is going to define the rules of engagement and referee this match up?

MegaBots_Team141 karma

(GC): Both sides should be supported! We want a fair fight as much as you do! Unfortunately, we know of no current way to support Suidobashi. We're working with them right now to develop rules for the fight that are fair for both teams, and make the match as exciting as possible. We'll announce them jointly with Suidobashi when they're ready.

CGC71119 karma

What type of arena would a giant robot battle take place in? Or would it be in some sort of open field?

MegaBots_Team288 karma

(MO): We've been throwing around a number of ideas about where a giant robot battle will take place, and while we can't disclose where the KURATAS battle will take place, we've wanted to do a couple: 1) On the deck of an aircraft carrier 2) Just purchase a city block of blighted Detroit and go to town, Crashing through houses. (edit) or 3) this place.

Whatnow81101 karma

What do you anticipate being the most difficult part of the MK.II to modify for the hand-to-hand combat battle?

MegaBots_Team153 karma

(GC): In terms of fabrication and assembly, probably redoing the hydraulic system and wiring so that all the wires and hoses are armored and protected, while still being able to move across the joints without fraying. Wire and hose routing is obnoxious.

In terms of the overall system design, giving the robot a balance control system is going to be by far the biggest challenge. We have to size the actuators and powerplant correctly to give it a fast enough response, calibrate really high end position and force sensors appropriately, read all the data and issues command quickly enough, etc.

And then as pilots we have to not throw up as the robot sways from side to side catching its balance. Wooooo.

chancrescolex19 karma

Just add barf bags and there's no pressure to not throw up

MegaBots_Team42 karma

(MO): Honestly, I have no problem with throwing up.

electriczap483 karma

So giant fighting robots is one of those things that most people (or at least me) have dreamt of since they were very young. Hell, it's what sparked my interest in robotics in the first place, and is partially to blame for my current major.

But for most people - it's a pipedream. It was something silly that belongs in children's cartoons and scifi. Yet here you guys are, with a giant fucking robot. My question is, how did you get from point A, a (in most people's eyes) silly and gratuitous idea, to actually getting the resources and team to build the MK. II?

This is the type of idea that gets tossed around in the engineering quad after a night of drinking, but you guys actually made it real, and that's fucking amazing.

MegaBots_Team67 karma

(GC): Hey thanks! For me, I was lucky enough to get to work for Boston Dynamics after college for four years, and got to work on the most badass walking robots the world's ever seen. It's kind of an easy jump of imagination to go from BigDog, LS3 and PETMAN to thinking about how to scale them up to mech sizes.

As to how we got the resources - we found an angel investor in Boston who was willing to give us enough money to make the torso and the right arm as a proof of concept (the Mk.I), and then Autodesk partnered with us to give us the resources we needed to build the rest of the Mk.II. From there, it's been tons of planning, cold-calling, asking friends for intros, and scraping together whatever resources we can from what we have.

BeatzEntertainment81 karma

I supported the kickstarter campaign!

Anyways, what are your long-term plans for Megabots after the duel with Japan?

MegaBots_Team166 karma

(GC): Thanks for supporting the Kickstarter campaign! You're awesome! We're firing on all cylinders to start the world's first giant robot sports league. We've been promised this future for decades, it's time to throw down and do it! We want every country in the world to make their own giant robot and throw down.

BeatzEntertainment54 karma

Will this be televised on any channels or be a web series?

MegaBots_Team90 karma

We can't say for sure how yet because we're still figuring that out, but that's one of our top priorities! One way or another, the robot revolution will be broadcast.

coffenbacher53 karma

Is there any concern about the battle being anticlimactic for the general populace for any of (1) safety (2) competitive (E.g. a 5 second KO) or (3) physics reasons???

As an engineer I'M going to love it regardless, I'm just hoping Pacific Rim's modified physics haven't given the general populace literally impossible expectations :D

MegaBots_Team64 karma

(MO): Honestly, this is the big challenge we're working on solving. We want there to be people inside the robots, we want the robots to get destroyed (to some extent) and we want people to not die. It's a balance, and we can do things like heavily reinforce the cockpit, and have a big red emergency stop button in each robot that shuts everything down if need be.

We've been talking with Suidobashi on how to make this as entertaining as possible, and both teams agree that there must be destruction, so we're going to do everything we can do achieve that!

Mecharch49 karma

So what are you using for a power source? Gas turbines?

MegaBots_Team116 karma

(MO): Right now a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine hydraulic power plant. It will likely switch to a diesel ICE, but we would LOVE to use a turbine-powered hydraulic power plant just from the awesome sounds it would make alone.

MegaBots_Team186 karma

(GC): Oh my god Matt we've talked about this. Putting a turbine engine that can hit 100,000 rpm in a robot that can fall over is basically the worst idea ever.

MegaBots_Team132 karma

(MO): Quitter. edit you are not the patriot America deserves! edit2 I'm Matt and I'm dumb (and posting from the same account is way dangerous)

Guitardude199548 karma

I have 2 questions. First, what compelled you to make the video and challenge Japan in the first place? It's a pretty ballsy move and I was curious how you went about making the final decision to place the challenge and release the video. Second, I was curious what your favorite fictional robot is? I know I saw some Aliens and Megas XLR scenes in your Kickstarter video and want to know what you guys have watched. I hope you guys can really win this fight and make giant robot fights a thing, it would be amazing!

MegaBots_Team114 karma

(MO): We spent a year building a giant robot, and working out this amazing business plan of having a giant fighting robot sports league. We wanted a way to accelerate that plan without having to raise funds to build and entire other robot to fight. The KURATAS robot was the only other giant piloted robot in the world that we knew of, so we challenged them. The USA vs JAPAN thing came about because 4th of July just happened to be right around the corner, so we wanted to do something comically patriotic.

(Honestly, we were just drinking in the living room and thinking of stupid things we could do with our giant robot.)

Guitardude199526 karma

That is awesome! Well I hope you guys win and in a year I'll be rooting for you guys to kick some robot ass! Do robots have asses? Whatever it has kick it!

MegaBots_Team94 karma

(MO): Fun fact: We refer to the cavity that houses our hydraulic power plant as the "ball-sack" because, well, it's right were the ball-sack would be.

If you're not yet convinced we're just a bunch of children, maybe you are now.

FrozenChlorine43 karma

Will you be asking Guillermo del Toro, the creator of Pacific Rim, for support? Considering he loves giant robots and has an amazing creative vision, wouldn't he be a great asset?

MegaBots_Team69 karma

(GC): I mean, sure. Working with him would be a dream come true! But that's kind of like asking the White House for support. We can always ask!

...on the other hand, we did get all these other folks involved, so it might be worth a cold call. Huh.

Techcraft243 karma

Do you guys have any partnerships/shows planned with any big TV studios? Seems like a huge marketing opportunity.

MegaBots_Team47 karma

(GC): Not yet, but we want to arrange some! The world deserves to see the first giant robot duel!

FrozenChlorine40 karma

How much did it cost to make the MK you have currently?

MegaBots_Team52 karma

(GC): The robot as-is cost around $200k in hardware, though bits and pieces of that were cheap or free as a result of one-off donations.

AndImDoug40 karma

Hey all! I am, in fact, Doug. I'm finishing up lunch with my grandmother right now but I'll be around shortly to discuss what it's like to be Doug. Also to answer questions about robots and what the heck IHMC will be doing for TEAM USA!

Also I'll post proof. If that's the sort of thing you need.


In the car on the way back from lunch. Be on soon!

Some sorta proof…

Proof 1: https://twitter.com/DougStephenJr/status/634075309122256896

Proof 2: https://twitter.com/IHMCRobotics/status/634075838497992704

MegaBots_Team16 karma

(GC): #TeamDoug!

dariosteck37 karma

First off, I'd just like to state my absolutely insane excitement when I learned of the battle, and I'm sure I speak for myself and many others when I say that this is something I've been wanting to see since I was a child. Now, my question, how much damage do you intend on giving/receiving, knowing that there will be living human beings piloting the robots, and how exactly are you going to defend yourselves?

MegaBots_Team43 karma

(GC): Thanks! We want both cockpits to be upgraded to the point where they're NASCAR/F1 grade and basically impenetrable to the weapons both robots will carry... and then we want both robots to get torn to shreds. This is the world's first giant robot duel - we have to make it good!

As far as defending ourselves, Greg and Trey from BattleBots have been giving us pointers on how to survive robots like Tombstone. The most effective answer is basically Hardox (i.e., construction equipment grade) steel plates suspended on rubber isolators. You have both an incredibly hard surface to deflect edged weapons, with enough give to not tear up the frame underneath.

trbinsc29 karma

How do you plan on dealing with the safety concerns of having people inside the robot during the fight? Will it be able to be remotely controlled?

MegaBots_Team54 karma

(MO): We'll likely be able to remotely operate the robots for testing purposes, but the point of the battle is to have people inside of the robots during combat. People watch NASCAR for the crashes (At like 200mph). We want MegaBots (the sport) to be similar in that aspect (but crashes at only like 10mph).

These are some of the things we're partnering with NASA to answer. We'll have reinforced cockpits and life-support systems to help us out, but most importantly a huge red button in each cockpit that disables both robots incase something really bad happens or someone is about to die.

Kman22626 karma

Where is the fight against Suidobashi going to take place?

MegaBots_Team24 karma

(GC): We don't know yet! We're still working that out with Suidobashi. We'll be making a joint announcement with them when we've figured it out.

kterr10126 karma

If money isn't a concern, what are you adding to your robot?

MegaBots_Team90 karma

(MO): GAS TURBINE ENGINE(despite what Gui thinks). A giant motorized projection screen on the robot's back that rolls down like a motorized american flag cape. Quadcopters that launch off of the robots shoulders, magnetically attach to the opposing robot, and are used as targeting beacons for the weapons.


AndImDoug22 karma


MegaBots_Team24 karma

(GC): Can we use you as a secret melee weapon against Suidobashi?

_clown_baby_25 karma

What are your plans for the melee portion of the battle? It seems like most robots are pretty slow :/

MegaBots_Team37 karma

(GC): Check out the Kickstarter video. We teamed up with Howe & Howe Technologies to remake the track base. The Ripsaw tank that we're basing the new treads off of is powered by a 750 HP engine and can hit 95mph. We're not going to go anywhere near that fast, because we'd die, but we're going to make the Mk.II as fast as possible.

mwthecool24 karma

Do you guys need some kind of License to drive the Robot and man it's guns? Also did you always know you wanted to build robots and what in your lives drove you to this point?

MegaBots_Team51 karma

(GC): ...not that we know of? I mean, if we drive the thing on public streets, sure, we go straight to jail. But on private land with air cannons? We're pretty sure we're fine. And if not, off to international waters we go!

I grew up playing Mechwarrior and Battletech in middle school and high school, and got in to FIRST Robotics all through high school. In college I finally made the connection that I could build mechs if I studied robotics, and started fantasizing about it.

AndImDoug7 karma

Who the heck is going to arrest you if you drive it on the streets?

MegaBots_Team28 karma

(GC): Honestly we're more worried about the National Guard being called in than a cruiser or two. Driving it on the streets seems like at least a 3-star offense.

Metlman1324 karma

What was your inspiration for this project? Did you have any favorite shows growing up that later made you want to build giant fighting robots in real life?

Also, on a scale of 1-10, how badly do you think you'll be beat by Suidobashi?

MegaBots_Team47 karma

(GC): We grew up playing Mechwarrior, and I was nerdy enough to play the BattleTech board game on top of that. I watched some Transformers and Power Rangers as kid, and got into BattleBots in high school during the first run of the show.

And -10. Obviously.

Reddit_Bork20 karma

  • What type of safety precautions are you going to take so you don't end up impaled on the end of a jagged piece of steel?
  • Can you fight in an area where you can pick up large pieces of scenery as makeshift weapons? "The Mark 2 has taken a beating Joe, but OH, it just ripped a lamp post out of the ground. It's going to town on the Kuratas." "That was a STOP sign Goldie, and now if the Mark 2 can take the Kuratas' back, it can get the hooks in for a rear naked power supply choke."
  • Any worries that you'll get done with the fight, battered but victorious, only to hear Kuratas entrance music and find you've been fighting the Chinese knock off - Kuwatas? And at that point, you still have to fight the Japanese for the title.

MegaBots_Team29 karma

(MO): (responses as matching bullet points)

  • This is why we need to work with NASA. Right now we're taking a few approaches. We're going to heavily reinforce the cockpits, and planning to have giant red buttons inside each cockpit that disables all robots on the playing field. This is the oh-dear-lord-something-terrible-has-happened-and-I-need-this-to-end-NOW button. We also know that people can walk away from F1 crashes at 200mph, so we figure a crash at 10 or 15 mph won't be that bad.

  • I absolutely love the scene in Pacific Rim when Gypsy-Danger grabs a container ship and uses it as a bat against the kaiju. Amazing.

  • To avoid this, we'll check for a "made in china" sticker on the opposing robot first.

DontWorryImNotReal18 karma

What do you think is the likelihood that something like this could be used in actual warfare within the next couple decades?

MegaBots_Team46 karma

(GC): LOL. Close to zero. We're way taller and a larger target than a tank, slower than a tank, way weaker than a tank, capable of falling over from opposing gunfire (or our own if we're dumb), and overly complex. And the military's getting rid of excess tanks anyway because they haven't been appropriate for ground warfare since the Cold War.

Long story short, we're not terribly worried.

GroMoFauxFroBro17 karma

A secondary use of your mechs could include defense against giant monsters. However, what would happen if the monsters aren't proportionally sized to the mech suit? Are your mechs being built with modular expansion in mind? For instance, could it combine with 4 other mechs and create a MegaMegaBot?

If so, are there any Kickstarter stretch goals for epic pose choreography?

MegaBots_Team16 karma

(GC): Re: stretch goals - NO BUT THERE SHOULD BE.

We believe that by building the world's first giant robot at this scale, future monsters will be just slightly bigger than we can currently manage, and we will need to incrementally upgrade the robot in order to kick ass and save the planet.

garchtoto16 karma

Love what you guys are doing! This is my dream come true!


  • What does the Mk in the MKII stand for?
  • What happened to the MKI?
  • After the fight, will there be an MKIII in the plans?
  • Also, anyway I can help out besides fund on kickstarter?
  • Are you guys hiring?

Thanks a lot!

MegaBots_Team26 karma

(MO): The Mk stands for Mark. We're borrowing a similar naming convention that Tony Stark uses for his iron man suits. Mk. I, Mk. II, etc.etc.

The MKI was just the cockpit and arm that we had created as a proof-of-concept early on. If you're clever, you can spot it in our earlier Kickstarter we launched that was probably a little bit too early for it's time.

Keep an eye on our mailing list and facebook page for news about hiring! (We are not hiring right now!)

MegaBots_Team16 karma

Thanks everyone, but it's time to get back to work! This was a blast!

meganin13 karma

Will you have to scale down any of your melee ideas due to the inclusion of pilots inside the bots? What ideas would you implement if this wasn't a factor?

MegaBots_Team24 karma

(GC): I mean, the absolute best plan is Tombstone BattleBots for arms, melee combat-wise. But then everyone would die, and both robots would fall over immediately on the first hit.

Alphazazoo11 karma

will you or will you not have the Constitution fully written somewhere on the MKII?

MegaBots_Team20 karma

(GC): THIS IS A FANTASTIC IDEA. We had planned on the American flag unrolling from one of those projector screen rollers, but a giant version of the Constitution might be even better.

nbsrujan11 karma

  1. Are the Megabots are going to be controlled by pilot remotely or from the cabin on Megabot?
  2. What about the weapon system, are the bullets for real ?

MegaBots_Team27 karma

(GC): We're inside the robot. Suidobashi seats one, the Mk.II seats two. Matt's the gunner and I'm the driver. You HAVE to have people inside - everyone wants to be a pilot, everyone wants to see humans in the robots. Glorified rock'em sock'em robots are way less interesting.

Our 'bullets' are cannonball-sized paintballs. They hit really hard, leave giant dents, and explode in showers of color, but they're not... too... dangerous.

BattleSausage10 karma

Hey guys great work and awesome looking robot. What is currently powering the robot, and are you actually going to power it with the V8 shown in the mock up?

MegaBots_Team18 karma

(GC): We currently have a 24HP, 2-cylinder gas engine powering the robot from inside the pelvis, and we're TOTALLY going to upgrade to a V8. Wouldn't you?

That said, we're definitely going to protect it more than the engine in the concept art.

slavetothecause10 karma

I read somewhere that Megabots has been talking with Suidobashi about the ground rules for the upcoming match. Seeing as this probably won't be a fight to the death (of the pilots at least), have any basic rules of engagement been discussed with them or considered? If projectile weapons are involved, how does your team plan to make them effective at incapacitating a solidly built robot opponent without risking serious injury to the pilot inside? I suppose the same concern goes for melee weapons as well; would you designate certain portions of your opponent off-limits to attack, like the cockpit?

MegaBots_Team17 karma

(MO): We have been talking with them. We don't really want it to be a fight to the death (of the pilots), but both teams DO very much want maximum robot destruction to occur. We're working with them to create a set of rules that ensures maximum entertainment for you guys, while still keeping the pilots a little bit safe.

Again, rules are not locked down yet, but yeah, we want things like arms to be blown off and robots to fall over. The cockpits will be SUPER reinforced, while the arms and weapons will probably remain pretty light weight.

We want to make sure that each pilot has a huge red button in their cockpit that disables all robots on the field. This is the "oh shit, something REALLY bad has happened and this needs to end NOW!" We hope this saves people from dying.

Karnicorn10 karma

In your kickstarter I hear you saying that with various improvements your bot will be faster, more stable, etc. Do you know the improvements that the Japanese team will be making already or is this based on their bot as is?

MegaBots_Team17 karma

(MO): Both of our robots will need upgrades to be able to do melee combat. We don't know what upgrades they'll be doing quite yet. Each team is sort of taking a different approach. Ours is the big, loud, American "HERE'S HOW WE'RE GUNNA BEAT YOU! WITH THESE HERE BIG-ASS WEAPONS!!" I think they're taking a little bit more of the skunkworks approach. I don't think they're planning on a crowdfunding campaign, but I'm sure they've got something up their sleeves!

From what I've seen of their robot, they'll at least need to make it faster and beef up their armor.

MegaBots_Team9 karma

We would just like to say that Doug from IHMC is now online and answering questions on u/AndImDoug. #TeamDoug

XDvandalDJ9 karma

I backed your first campaign, and have followed you ever since. I backed this one too. It's great you've already hit 200k!

If your league does take off where do you anticipate it'll be based? Will teams travel to each other's locations?

If I wanted to get involved in this upcoming industry how would you recommend it?

MegaBots_Team10 karma

(GC): Thank you very much, both times! We expect that we'll remain based in Oakland, though we'd like teams to participate from all over the world. We would expect the robots to be designed to break down into container-sized pieces so we can ship them everywhere.

If you want to get involved, I'd say an engineering degree is a good place to start! And maybe a business degree at the same time, if you want to run a team!

Mrkoolman8 karma

How hard are you going to beat the japanese robot?

MegaBots_Team14 karma

(MO): With superior robot building and piloting skills. EDIT I had a dumb. and thought you said "how are you" not "how hard".

The answer is: Remember how hard the last boss on Galaga was? No? Me neither. I didn't really play it. But I would fathom to guess that hard. If there was a hard boss at the end.

RedditRalf7 karma

When will we be able to see a world giant robot league?

MegaBots_Team15 karma

(MO): This is coming! Rest assured. We want to use this battle with Suidobashi as a jumping-off point for the sports league. If we do well here, we can launch this thing into something even more spectacular. We're shooting for being able to announce the first open-tournament in 1 year (right after the KURATAS fight), and hosting it in 2 years.

FrozenChlorine6 karma

Instead of Real Steel, where its a bunch of fast, smaller robots duking it out, I'm getting a Pacific Rim feel where its larger behemoths slowly knocking the shit out of each other...do you agree?

MegaBots_Team7 karma

(GC): We would agree with that. There's not much you can do about mass and inertia, even given the significant amounts of power involved.

MemMori6 karma

I'm looking forward to the duel!

What is an average day like at MegaBots HQ? What do you guys do day-to-day and how do you presume this will change after the duel establishes more legitimacy for the sport of Giant Robot Fighting?

MegaBots_Team15 karma

(GC): Depends on the day. If we're in design mode, it's usually us staring at our laptops, drinking endless amounts of coffee and cursing while playing terrible top 40s pop.

If we're in build mode, it's usually us working 12-14 hours a day in the shop fabricating, assembling, or testing - also set to the sounds of cursing and terrible top 40s pop.

Recently, it's been a lot of conference calls organizing our team and getting everyone on the same page. Much less cursing, much less top 40s.

In the future, we anticipate a mix of all three of those in roughly equal proportions!

marcus_4136 karma

Where is this fight going to be? Is it possible for the general public to see it live?

MegaBots_Team14 karma

(MO): We're still working out where it's going to be. We like the idea of having it on neutral ground, so not in the US or Japan, but we'll see. It's a huge balance between trying to find a place that is accessible, but also has very lax import/export restrictions. Turns out it's hard to get giant fighting robots across international borders.

On the live thing. We haven't locked down a big media partner/TV network for the event yet, so we can't really promise anything. This type of event is super expensive to pull of, and if we make any kind of dumb promises now, they might come back to bite us when we sign. I realize this is a super unsatisfying answer, but rest assured we want to get this fight out in front of as many people as possible!

FrozenChlorine6 karma

Are you excited for Pacific Rim II? How psyched would you guys be if Del Toro included a reference to you guys in it??

MegaBots_Team10 karma

(GC): Super excited for Pacific Rim II, though I imagine I'll have to be slightly drunk to watch it so I don't get angry at the engineering references.

I would be squealing with delight for about half an hour after that phone call, not gonna lie.

TheBrownWelsh5 karma

What music do you plan to blast from the giant speakers I assume will be strapped to this contraption? Classic rock? Dubsteb? Or just a bald eagles' screech on loop?

MegaBots_Team17 karma

(GC): If Matt has his way it'll be the theme from Top Gun.

Electric_Plankton5 karma

What do you think about using something like the Virtusphere as a cockpit for future mechs?


I was also thinking that secure the pilot you could have a harness attached to an internal frame inside the sphere to keep the pilot safe if the mech fell over. The cords on the harness would also be able to loosen and tighten up as the pilot crouches or leans.

MegaBots_Team10 karma

(GC): I think the robot big enough to host a ball like that in its cockpit would have to be the size of a Jaeger. Good lord.

FrozenChlorine5 karma

What is your favorite robot movie?

MegaBots_Team24 karma

(MO): Short Circuit. NO DISASSEMBLE!

MegaBots_Team16 karma

(GC): How drunk am I while watching said robot movie? If the answer is "tipsy", it's Pacific Rim. If it's "can't walk straight", it's Robot Jox.

Gen42004 karma

I definitely spotted Robot Jox in the Kickstarter video.. are you building a rocket fist?

MegaBots_Team22 karma

(GC): No, because they're dumb. Why would you fire your entire fist at another robot? You then don't have a fist any more. It's like voluntarily making yourself the knight in Monty Python.

BotJunkie5 karma

Can you describe to what extent this will be a robot (in the sense that it has some integral component of sensing-based autonomous actuation) as opposed to a human-piloted vehicle? Will it be significantly more robotic than (say) a car with traction control and anti-lock brakes?

MegaBots_Team6 karma

(MO): Here's the thing. Most robotics purists will say these are not robots. They're Mechs, or vehicles. The problem is if we called them that, the average joe isn't going to know what we're talking about. So we're calling them Robots so that people know what we're talking about. Our college advisers probably hate us for this.

There will of course be some amount of autonomous actuation and inverse-kinematics running on the robot, so the robot knows how to keep it's arms in safe positions that also help it balance. But generally, the driver will push a joystick forward, and the thing will start moving forward (while also maintaining balance autonomously). You decide how close to a vehicle or robot you think that is.

vinniecore5 karma

What's the game plan if the robot tips over?

MegaBots_Team16 karma

(GC): Rules-wise, I'm pretty sure that means someone loses the round, like in boxing. Logistics-wise, that means 'GET THE CRANE'

Grinner9064 karma

Have you thought about contracts with the DoD? I'm no expert on what the Pentagon is really interested in developing, but I wouldn't doubt a manned combat robot would peak their interest!

MegaBots_Team15 karma

(GC): We've thought about it, but we think there's a fine line between 'fun, light-hearted international giant fighting robot sports league' and 'accidental international incident', and we're worried a contract with DARPA might push us over that line.

FrozenChlorine4 karma

How do you make the robots hit hard enough to do damage to the Japanese robot? Hydraulics? Or will you be relying on stuff like chainsaws?

MegaBots_Team6 karma

(GC): Hydraulics definitely help (the cylinders that stand our robot up can produce 24,000 pounds of force, for example), but the most damage is likely just going to be the weight of the limbs and robots being thrown around. The chainsaws, grippers, etc. only help what the weight of the robots already dish out.

cd_ambion4 karma

You guys posted a 4 legged walker on the net... You guys say it's fan art... But would you guys say with todays technology would it be easier to build? Could that build be a better base for the Mk-3 or even Mk-4? The Kuratas have a similar 4 legged layout... I understand that you guys love tracks so do I! But from an combat engineering point of view would it make much more sense? I think if it turns out successful I hope you guys build it! And did you guys consider partnering with the guys that built Robo-Saurus? And Monster Jam? As promotion? Any plans on what kind of duel this gonna be with Japan? Cement? or Soil? and lots of Urban Warfare?

MegaBots_Team4 karma

(GC): Quads are actually much, much easier to build than bipeds. We could build one pretty easily with the technology we have access to now. For this duel, it wouldn't really allow for melee combat, so we wouldn't plan on switching to that yet.

We love the Lockjaw concept art. We totally want to build a robot with four excavator digger arms for legs!

irregularcog4 karma

Have you considered opening up other t shirt designs? Like b maybe something like the awesome poster?

MegaBots_Team7 karma

(GC): Yes! We're actively talking about that right now. More soon!

mmm_migas4 karma

Hey guys! What's Grant Imahara's role?

MegaBots_Team9 karma

(MO): Grant is on our board of advisers. As most of us are engineers, he's helping us navigate the big scary world of entertainment. He has a lot of experience with TV deals with a background in building robots, so he's a great partner to have on board. I'm pretty sure he also just wants to be the "Lets get ready to rumble!" guy (Michael Buffer) for giant robot fights.

calvertdw3 karma

Will you be using any head mounted displays or other novel human-machine interfaces in the Mk II? (Haptic-feedback gloves, Kinect, etc.) I know you are using HOTAS joysticks.

MegaBots_Team4 karma

(GC): As the driver, I want a head-mounted display showing me the view out of the front of the robot. I'm seated in back, and need a good view to... you know... not hit things.

We're currently planning out the user interface for the gunner. We had been imagining an exoskeleton that links the gunner's arm motions to the motions of the robot's arms, but haven't quite decided yet.

_CitationX3 karma

How do you intend to transport the robot all around the country and to the fight?

MegaBots_Team4 karma

(GC): We currently chain the robot (while squatting down) to a low-boy trailer to transport it. We expect we'll need to design in a way to break it in half so it fits inside a container so we can ship it by sea or air, though.

M4dEngineer3 karma

Are you guys planning on expanding the MegaBots team with more badasses when the KickStarter is over? Should I start updating my resume?

MegaBots_Team5 karma

(MO): We almost certainly will! Get that robotics/engineering degree you've been thinking about!

FrozenChlorine3 karma

What weapons will you use?

MegaBots_Team5 karma

(GC): Per our concept art, we're currently planning on an 8' long chainsaw, double-barreled shotgun, and chain guns. We'd like to build a mix of weapons to test for effectiveness, though.

brute_force3 karma

Any comment on the scrutiny of it being scripted since sponsors will be attached to "the possibility " of death?

MegaBots_Team4 karma

(GC): See my answer here for our thoughts on how dangerous the fights will be. We want a real fight. NASCAR and F1 cars are sponsored to the hilt, and drivers get injured and die. It's absolutely something we're aware of and want to reduce the risk of, but we don't think the risk is a deal-breaker.

Cthulhuhoop2 karma

When you guys are the super famous and rich from winning robot fights can you try and make "Crash and burn, Apollo" a catch phrase again?

MegaBots_Team6 karma

(GC): I fully intend on making this a thing. I already have plans to include unnecessary RCA jacks in whatever outfits we end up wearing in the cockpit.

addictingSmile2 karma

After all of your experience with hydraulic systems, what is the status of your current feelings towards hydraulic oil and Lava soap?

MegaBots_Team8 karma

(GC): I have a love/hate relationship with hydraulic oil. It makes our robot badass, and my clothes sad. I'm considering swapping my laundry bin for a flammables trash can. True fact: we actually don't have regular hand soap in our house, we only have GoJo/Lava soap.

Zaskoda2 karma

Howdee! Quick background for context: A friend and myself want to shift from our previous careers towards robotics. Between us, we have lots of experience programming for the web, for videogames, and for home automation. Recently, we've been learning a new batch of stuff. Personally I've built a few rovers and dumb-bots with Arduino and just installed ROS on an RPI for my next iteration. My friend is exploring radios and sensors with the Beagle Bone.

Question: You can hire a shop to build your Web thing or your videogame thing. We want to start off as a shop you can hire to build your cybernetic thing. Is this viable? Is there even room for a "freelance" style team within the market of robotics yet? If so, and more directly, where would our skillsets need to be for MegaBots to even consider subcontracting work? If you're feeling particularly kind, can you offer any projects, contests, certifications, or any other goals we can work on to developer ourselves in this space?

Videogames and the Web were fun... but the robots are coming! =D

MegaBots_Team3 karma

(MO): Interesting idea! It's going to be tough. But all good things are. You should probably spend less time thinking about what types of skills you would need to develop, and more time thinking about what a client/project would actually look like. Who would be your customers? Why can't they do this in-house? Are there advantages/disadvantages to having someone else develop their core intellectual property? Is there anyone who would have a need for a custom cybernetic system that would not be part of their core IP? Plot out the scenarios and I think you'll get a better idea of if and how you should pursue this.

adventurousTechie2 karma

What's your hopes for the future of MegaBots?

MegaBots_Team4 karma

(GC): Full blown sports league, walking robots, bigger robots, different weight classes, epic weapons. You name it we're thinking about it!

FrozenChlorine2 karma

If you had to name the new robot, what would you name it? Besides MKII of course

MegaBots_Team2 karma

(MO): 'muricabot.

tossaway12482 karma

Despite your overall goal of creating a full blown giant robot fighting league, what other plans do you have for future robots? Do you hope to expand and build robots that are special built for heavy lifting tasks at docks, shipping terminals, construction, and demolition, etc? I could totally see this being useful for future Mars and moon bases for manipulation of heavy structures outside of the habitation module. Good luck in the fight!

MegaBots_Team3 karma

(MO): Our goal is to use competition to drive innovation in those industries. When MegaBots (the sport) is up and running, we can see (for example) Caterpillar sponsoring a team and making all kinds of incredible improvements in precise-actuation, force-controlled balance/locomotion, and human-machine interfaces just to name a few. Undoubtably, these improvements will flow-down into their product lines and result in performance improvements in industries like material-handling, construction, mining, oil & gas, etc. (edit) but, above all else, we just want to watch some giant-ass robots beat the shit out of each other.

Deepaksternater2 karma

What are your main weapons of choice going to be for melee combat?

MegaBots_Team5 karma

(MO): At least a giant chainsaw (as seen in the kickstarter concept art). If we raise something like $750,000 we'll be able to build a whole suite of a weapons like giant boxing fists with pneumatic pulverizers built into them.

And also an F-150-shooting slingshot pistol. (Which I guess is not really melee. Whatever)