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Battle Robot Set to Take on Racing Drones

by • January 7, 2016 • No Comments

3dbot

Do you remember this little guy?

Robots and 3D printing often go hand in hand…or claw. Do you remember MegaBots? A Kickstarter campaign last year that successfully raised over $500,000 to upgrade the Mk.II, the giant fighting robot that the company created to take on Kuratas, the giant fighting robot from Japanese company Suidobashi Heavy Industries. That battle is expected to take place later this year, but in the meantime, you and your 3D printed mini robot, that you will have received if you pledged $150 or more to last year’s Kickstarter campaign, can cheer on Mk.II in the very first robots vs. drones race taking place at CES 2016 in the future.

XDC (Xtreme Drone Circuit) Racing is precisely what it sounds like – an organization that pits drones against each other in high-speed racing events. Tomorrow, on CES 2016’s last day, the drones will in addition be competing against America’s favourite giant battle robot. The event will be taking place at the Zappos corporate headquarters and will showcase a 3D raceway, the details of that will be released to the competing pilots only moments preceding the race. You can see the rendering of the 3D course here:

MegaBots will in addition be competing in a less athletic, but equally Extreme! challenge later this afternoon. The Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) will consist of ten finalist tech startups, which include MegaBots, presenting to a panel of judges in hopes of winning a sizeable investment from billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson. Should MegaBots win, they will use the money to launch the MegaBot League, a sort of WWF for human-piloted robots.

“An entire generation grew up with these machine characters in video games and on film and TV screens,” said MegaBots CEO Gui Cavalcanti. “We understand people want to see this take place, and we understand it may seem improbable and ridiculous, but that’s precisely what we do at MegaBots – we are assembling the sports league of the future, one epic robot at a time.”

megabotsThe Extreme Tech Challenge will take place at 2pm Pacific Time in the Venetian Las Vegas. The ten semifinalists represent a few of the fastest-growing fields in the tech industry, with smart devices, virtual reality and more than one robotics startup. Company missions include all things from targeted cancer treatment to, well, robot battles. Venture capitalist Bill Tai, who works with Branson to organize the competition, was impressed upon meeting Mk.II, and does not doubt that MegaBots’ vision may become the next American phenomenon.

“Live sports entertainment is $17B+ per year with other forms of live entertainment $25B+ annually in revenue in the USA alone,” said Tai. “MegaBots has captured the public’s imagination to pioneer a new category. I was awestricken
at the size and scale of the robot upon seeing it in person…Meeting the team in person gave me a lot of confidence that there is immense depth and expertise behind the product and company for the long term.”

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MegaBots founders with Bill Tai and Mk-II. Photo: Greg Munson

Regardless of whether MegaBots makes it to the next round of the Extreme Tech Challenge, their future looks pretty bright. Who does not love giant robot battles? The public will get a great preview of Mk.II’s capabilities in the future at 5pm Pacific Time, when the Xtreme Drone Circuit Racing challenge commences. Let’s hope its nemesis Kuratas is watching.