“I think we’re pretty good at building robots, overall,” MegaBots’ Matt Oehrlein concludes as he surveys the damage to his giant robot, which happens to be lying flat on its back after just being KO’d by a forklift.
The massive “Mark II” machine is the star of MegaBots’ debut online video series, which launched on YouTube this week.
The opening show (above) features the team testing out the durability of its $200,000 robot as it prepares for the highly anticipated Giant Robot Duel against the mighty Kuratas, built by Japan’s Suidobashi Heavy Industry.
Reluctant to place themselves insides the robot’s cockpit at this early stage for fear of, well, dying, the team instead decides to call upon the services of a brave, unpaid volunteer. Otherwise known as a crash test dummy.
Having signed (sort of) a bunch of waivers, the dummy, called Randy, is fitted with an array of sensors designed to assess and help reduce the chances of injury when the human pilot climbs inside the Mark II robot for the forthcoming showdown with Kuratas.
First up, we see the 6-ton, 15-foot-tall robot, with Randy strapped inside, take the full force of several 3-pound cannonballs fired at point-blank range. The outcome isn’t pretty. Had the mannequin Randy been a real Randy, the MegaBots team would now be on news shows saying what a wonderful guy Randy was. The resulting carnage suggests some serious reinforcement work is required on the pilot’s protective cage before the real battle commences with the Team Japan.
Next, the damaged robot and a beat-up Randy are given the wrecking ball treatment (the impacts were later described as “severe but survivable”) followed by several efforts to tip over the giant Mark II machine with a forklift.
It’s all good fun and makes for an entertaining 7-minute debut show, though the California-based MegaBots team will also take away some useful data about how to reinforce its Mark II robot so the pilot can avoid an untimely death when they come to fight Kuratas.
A date for the Giant Robot Duel is yet to be set, but the early signs are that we could be in for quite a clash when the two robotic heavyweights finally come face to face.