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Kickstart this giant American fighting robot

by Jacob Kleinman | September 15, 2015September 15, 2015 7:00 pm PDT

Want to watch two giant robots fight it out for global supremacy? Of course you do, and thanks to Kickstarter there’s a way to help make it happen. Earlier this summer two companies from the U.S. and Japan agreed to duke it out, and now MegaBots, a California-based robotics firm, needs your help.

This isn’t the kind of crowd-funding project we normally highlight, but we didn’t really have a choice. With less than a week to go America’s fighting robot still needs funding if it’s going to take on its Japanese rival.

MegaBots hopes to raise at least $500,000 to fix up and modify its Mk II fighting model. The robot, which was designed for long-range paintball fights, needs to be upgraded for a melee showdown. That includes heavy duty armor plating, improved firepower, upgraded hydraulics and a new power unit.

Hitting that baseline crowd-funding goal should cover all those improvements, but MegaBots hopes to raise a lot more. If the company hits $750,000 it can add advanced modular weapons to quickly shift between close and mid-range fighting. Hitting $1 million will allow for advanced new balancing technology, while $1.25M should cover NASA-designed safety systems. Finally, if the project reaches $1.5M it can also pay for a Hollywood-level paint job.

So what do you get for supporting the project? Obviously you can’t buy the actual robot, but there are still plenty of cool prizes. On the lower end you can pay $5 for an online shout out, $10 for a sticker, $25 for a poster, $50 for a T-shirt, or $150 for a miniature 3D printed version of the robot.

If you want to see the robot in person you’ll have to pledge at least $250, or for $1000 you can actually take it for a ride. Got some aggression to take out? $2500 get you a trip to the shooting range, or for $5000 you can pummel an old car to pieces with the Mk II’s robotic fists.

Of course there are some risks here. This is a huge endeavor and the entire project could come in over budget or just fall apart entirely, though the company does have some great advisers and plenty of experience under its belt. There’s also the risk that the Mk II could make it to Japan and then lose, though even if that happens at least we’ll all get to see an awesome giant robot fight actually happen first.

Kickstarter

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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