Giant Robots Fighting Each Other May Be A Reality Soon

roseofbattle

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Apr 18, 2011
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Giant Robots Fighting Each Other May Be A Reality Soon

[kickstarter=megabots/megabots-live-action-giant-robot-combat]​
Dreams of giant robots inspired by Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gundam, Pacific Rim, and Titanfall could become a reality if the MegaBots Kickstarter reaches its funding goal.

It's only in movies, video games, and TV shows where we see pilots in giant robots shooting other robots down, knocking pieces off of each other. If a Kickstarter campaign proves successful, we'll see it in reality, too. A group of scientists specializing in robotics and hydraulics are in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign for MegaBots: giant fighting robots.

MegaBots is less Neon Genesis Evangelion (although Evangelion does take place in 2015!) and more G Gundam where this project involves a fighting arena, pitting robots against each other for spectators' enjoyment. The MegaBots team plans to build two robots to duel in a 1-on-1 tournament scheduled for May 2016 in the U.S.

The MegaBots are 15 feet tall and weight 15,000 pounds, equipped with pneumatic cannons. Two people pilot one MegaBot as a driver and gunner team. Over four months, the MegaBots developers completed a prototype of the upper body and weapon systems.

"Making MegaBots a reality is absolutely possible," Matt Oehrlein, the roboticist responsible for the electronics of MegaBots, said. "The technology is here. These robots run on the same type of technology that powers giant construction equipment, so things like bulldozers and excavators. The difference here is that we have advanced control algorithms that let these things balance on two feet and remain upright and fight in combat."

[gallery=3473]

That balance is thanks to Andreas Hofmann, a humanoid controls engineer. Drawing from his Ph.D. thesis, "Robust Execution of Bipedal Walking Tasks From Biomechanical Principles," engineers have run simulations scaled up for the MegaBots exploring how the MegaBots will walk.

MegaBots founders Oehrlein, Andrew Stroup, and Gui Cavalcanti hope to see their dream of a robo-league come to life. The team plans to rent a stadium and build two robots - additional robots if the project funding meets stretch goals - to fight. The robots fire paint-filled projectiles at 120 miles per hour, shattering armor plates. When a robot takes enough damage, its joints will seize and weapons will jam. MegaBots said pilots are safe and follow the same safety standards NASCAR uses.

MegaBots' Kickstarter campaign ends on Nov. 28. The team is asking for $1.8 million.

Source: MegaBots (Kickstarter) [https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/megabots/megabots-live-action-giant-robot-combat]


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JamesBr

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It's Robot Wards on crack! I'd totally watch this if it became a reality.
 

Tortilla the Hun

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May 7, 2011
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It's...it's finally happening...

I promised myself I wouldn't cry, but this is just too beautiful.
 

Scarim Coral

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Yeah, I'm not convince by it but I suppose all creation do start from huumble beginning.
 

Firanai

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Realistically speaking, do any of you believe that they have any chance of getting enough money to kick-start this?
 

veloper

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Bipedal locomotion is very hard to imitate. Other projects by bigger boys sofar have resulted in very limited and clumsy robots.

They shouldn't have wasted time building the paint guns, the cage and the arm first, but instead make a prototype walker first. That's the hurdle they are the least likely to overcome, but if they can, the rest should be relatively easy.
 

Pyrian

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veloper said:
They shouldn't have wasted time building the paint guns, the cage and the arm first, but instead make a prototype walker first.
Agreed. Look at that walker in the last picture. It looks more like a manga than a real object. Can it balance on one foot? I don't see how. And if you can't do that, you can't take a step. If that robot lifts a foot, it's falling over.

People seem to forget that the problem with bipedalism isn't balancing on two feet, it's balancing on one (and then the other one). The balance doesn't have to be perfect (in fact it's ideally slightly off), but it has to last long enough to take a step.
 

Jacked Assassin

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If only I had a million dollars or 2 I'd fund it just for the heck of owning a giant robot that I probably won't be able to pilot due to it being unable to properly move or not being legal to do so.
 

Vigormortis

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That concept art at the end of the gallery looks just like something out of Mechwarrior.

Anyway, as cool as this seems, I'm wondering how they solved the issue of bipedal movement. Major strides have been made in mimicking bipedal movement with robots, but only at a much smaller scale. I'm curious how, or if, they've found a way to translate those advances to the scales needed for this project.

Perhaps they're using some new form of gyroscopic stabilizers? Or maybe the whole thing is a ruse designed to prey on fans of Mechwarrior and other mech-themed fiction.
 

Spartan448

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Pyrian said:
Agreed. Look at that walker in the last picture. It looks more like a manga than a real object. Can it balance on one foot? I don't see how. And if you can't do that, you can't take a step. If that robot lifts a foot, it's falling over.

People seem to forget that the problem with bipedalism isn't balancing on two feet, it's balancing on one (and then the other one). The balance doesn't have to be perfect (in fact it's ideally slightly off), but it has to last long enough to take a step.
Why not? We already have automatons that are very much capable of bipedal locomotion while staying balanced and not falling over. Not to mention that with a larger scale and a emphasis on a completely humanoid shape, you can do things with the legs to minimize this problem further. The problem is going to come with taking the force of multiple projectiles on the unit, especially in areas far away from the center of mass. Not to mention that unless there's a rule stating otherwise, I don't see reason why you couldn't solve the problem by taking the Armored Core route and wedding the mech with the tank.

Regardless, I think this has potential. I think however that it is still very much ahead of it's time. People with the money, the technical know-how, and the interest to participate in such an event do not exist in great enough number to make such an event commercially viable. Not to mention that most of the people who do are going to want to base their units off of designs they've seen in Anime/Video Games, and while I'd love to construct a real Alteisen and fire it's Heavy Claymores right up the fat ass of an Atlas, I don't fancy getting sued by Atlus, and I'm sure the other pilot doesn't want to be sued by Pirannah Games or whoever the hell owns the rights to the Mechwarrior stuff right now.
 

Pyrian

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Spartan448 said:
Pyrian said:
Agreed. Look at that walker in the last picture. It looks more like a manga than a real object. Can it balance on one foot? I don't see how. And if you can't do that, you can't take a step. If that robot lifts a foot, it's falling over.

People seem to forget that the problem with bipedalism isn't balancing on two feet, it's balancing on one (and then the other one). The balance doesn't have to be perfect (in fact it's ideally slightly off), but it has to last long enough to take a step.
Why not?
Why not what? That question seems like a complete non-sequitor to my post.

Spartan448 said:
We already have automatons that are very much capable of bipedal locomotion while staying balanced and not falling over.
Yes, and they tend to look like people rather than like fictional mechs, and for very good reasons. (Or, they use overlapping feet prongs, like children's toys, which is effective but clumsy.)

Spartan448 said:
Not to mention that with a larger scale and a emphasis on a completely humanoid shape, you can do things with the legs to minimize this problem further.
I'm not sure how larger scale helps anything; typically it does the opposite. As for "emphasis on a completely humanoid shape", um, that's not exactly what the concept art is displaying.
 

Arcane Azmadi

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While this looks more awesome than anything mankind has ever created in its history... I'm just not convinced it's going to work. They keep repeating "the technology is here" but I really don't think it is. I just don't think they can do it, at least not to a level that will be worth the money. And honestly I feel just a bit insulted that they keep referencing different giant mech properties (why Real Steel, that wasn't a mecha movie, it was 8-foot tall robot boxers) to try and convince me "hey, you love this stuff don't you, give us your money and we'll make it for real!" Yes I DO love this stuff, I love mecha more than almost anything in existence, but I'm not going to be swayed into parting with my cash for your implausible project by you pandering to my geekiness. Show me this is going to WORK and CONVINCE me and maybe I'll contribute.
 

Kenjitsuka

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Exosquad! But I missed Gasaraki, it's so awesome!!!

Anyways, I hope some billionaire get's twinkles in his eyes and forks over all the money... ;)
 

ZippyDSMlee

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I think tanks and jets will be the go to thing for war. At least until engine weight/power,articulation and metal and or composite materials are far lighter and stronger and cheaper than what we have now. Baby steps to Battletech style wars I guess.
 

Fijiman

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Firanai said:
Realistically speaking, do any of you believe that they have any chance of getting enough money to kick-start this?
Nope. Plus some of the stuff these guys are hoping for is fairly unrealistic. For example one of them mentioned having fire and explosions coming off these things as they damage one another. What country in it's right mind is going to let anyone get in one of those things if there's a risk of them getting seriously injured? And even then what stadium would be crazy enough to let a bunch of giant robots shoot at each other while having a live audience? Then there are some of the other problems that others in the thread have mentioned like the whole bipedal robots thing. As much as I would love to see something like this succeed, there is just too much stuff they I don't think they've really figured out yet for this to be feasible. Maybe in another ten or twenty years, but not today.
 

loa

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I kind of have my doubts that this will come out of a freaking kickstarter of all things.
Seems to be another "solar freaking roadways" deal that just crumbles apart if you examine it up close.