MegaBots: Giant Fighting Robots
MegaBots, Inc pits 15-foot-tall piloted humanoid robots against each other in the sport of the future: epic arena combat!
The Sport of the Future
15 foot tall, piloted humanoid robots firing cannonballs at each other at 120 miles per hour. Armor panels exploding, robot limbs flying off, and robots collapsing from battle damage until only one is left standing. The giant robots from science fiction are coming, and YOU can watch from the stands... or strap into a cockpit and compete!
We're Kickstarting the first-ever giant robot tournament, so that we can launch the sports league of the future. If we have our way, you'll be able to buy season tickets to MegaBots competitions, follow your favorite pilots, read up on the new weapon systems and robot designs your teams are coming up with, and maybe even pilot your own MegaBot in battle! We need YOUR help to make this sport a reality!
INCOMING: Real Life Giant Fighting Robots!
MegaBots, Inc., uses cutting-edge robotics technology to create the giant piloted fighting robots we were promised during our childhoods!
The mad scientists at MegaBots, Inc. have been zealously working on the prototypes and final design of 15-foot-tall, 15,000-pound, walking humanoid combat robots with giant, modular pneumatic cannons for arms. A driver-and-gunner team pilot each MegaBot in a battle against other MegaBots, vehicles, and a variety of other defenses and obstacles in live-action combat – the likes of which has only been dreamed of through video games and movies. We've spent the past four months making the prototype upper body and arm of a MegaBot, a prototype gun emplacement, two weapon systems and more to prove out the technology we've spent the past two years designing.
MegaBots will be covered in customizable, breakaway armor plating and fire cannonball-sized, paint-filled projectiles at each other at speeds topping 120 miles per hour. As projectiles hit their targets, armor plates shatter and explode, and computers tally critical hits to the robot’s limbs and torso. As more and more hits are taken, robots start to limp, joints start to seize, weapons start to jam, and after enough damage, limbs are completely blown off. The last MegaBot standing wins!
We're ready to bring giant fighting robots into the world - are you ready to join us?
The First Tournament
We plan to build as many robots as your funding lets us, and we're battling them in front of a live audience. We’re not Kickstarting just one robot – we’re Kickstarting the first-ever giant fighting robot tournament. We want you to be in the audience, or if you want to get even closer, in a MegaBot.
At our minimum funding level ($1.8M), we can build two robots. They’ll duke it out in an epic 1-on-1 deathmatch tournament. At higher funding levels, we can build more MegaBots and unlock the gameplay options you know and love: team deathmatches, free-for-alls, king of the hill, capture the flag, home base capture, escort missions, and more!
The first tournament is currently scheduled for May of 2016. The tournament will be in the continental United States, but we haven't made a final decision on location. All tickets will be transferable in case any backers can't join us, and we will announce the location and exact date of the event as soon as possible.
Assembling the Dream Team
We’re a team of more than 20 engineers, scientists, designers, artists, fabricators, and producers dedicated to making the giant fighting robots of the future, today. Our team includes artists who’ve worked on Mechwarrior games, engineers from high-end robotics and hydraulics R&D companies, scientists from MIT and research labs, producers from feature films and TV, and more. We know that the look and feel of both the robots and the game they play matters as much as the technology inside them, and we will pay as much attention to the art and game design as we do the intense math and physics required to make the robots themselves. This is a solid start of the team that we need to pull this off. This Kickstarter campaign will also help us find and recruit others with the ability and passion to make this dream a reality.
Designing the Tech
We dedicated the last two years of our lives to engineering and designing the fundamental technology needed to create functional MegaBots. We've designed miniature electrohydraulic powerplants that enable MegaBots to run off batteries, and allow their limbs to be blown off during combat. We've prototyped different classes of ammunition and custom air cannon weaponry. We've developed the walking algorithms needed to keep an 8-ton walking robot balanced on two feet while in combat - the hardest part of any humanoid robot. We've also built the initial prototypes of a MegaBot, our powerplant, two weapon systems, and a turret emplacement to prove our technology works.
We’re ready to build the rest of these robots … if the world can handle them.
More than anything else, we need to know that the world is ready for giant combat robots to exist. We need to know that we have fans who will pilot robots, fill stadiums, watch the games from home, spread the word and cheer us on as we work on this project. These robots will be time-consuming and expensive to build - we need you to tell us you want them!
Join us on this adventure. Show off MegaBots stickers, shirts, and concept art posters. Get exclusive access to behind-the-scenes footage of us building giant combat robots from scratch. Get the very first tickets and VIP passes to the first-ever giant robot tournament. Come see the robots as we near the halfway point of the build. Party with us (and the MegaBots!) as we celebrate the completion of the robots and the launch of the first tournament. Or, you know, SUIT UP AND PILOT A ROBOT TO VICTORY.
Please note - travel and accommodations are not included in our levels.
Want your very own MegaBot?
For the low, low price of $999,999.99 (or four easy payments of $249,999.99), we will build you your own MegaBot! Options include cupholders, heated seats, a complimentary set of paint ammunition, a wide variety of color schemes to choose from, and residential delivery in the lower 48 states.
Joining the Adventure
We need your help. We need evangelists spreading the word. We need more talented folks on our team. We need pilots. We need YOU! The only way we can pull this off is if you join the adventure, help spread the word, and kick in what you can. Listen, between you and us, if you back this project, we'll make sure your face is added to our database of people to get hard-coded into enforcement of Asimov's Three Laws.
ARE YOU READY?
MegaBots, Inc. would like to thank our sponsor Autodesk for their financial support and software that enabled the design of the MegaBot prototype. We'd also like to thank Artisan's Asylum for hosting the prototype's construction, and HarborArts, Worcester Artist Group Bigroom, and Eternity Ironworks for helping us assemble the robot and produce our video. Thanks to Virtual Riot for our background music.
Risks and challenges
We have a number of risks we need to keep in mind on this project, but we're prepared to both address them and ask for help when we need it. We face a number of technical risks, including powering the robots, balancing the robots, and keeping the pilots safe; we face a significant business risk of producing the robots and a live event without exceeding the budget; and we face a customer satisfaction risk of delays in the build and event schedule.
We've spent several years developing the electric power systems for these robots. We've fielded two prototype power units, we have several backup solutions designed just in case, and we're working with companies to develop custom battery solutions for the robots.
We've scaled Andreas Hofmann's balance algorithms to the scale of a MegaBot. Implementing and tuning them on hardware will be very difficult, but several team members have previously developed large hydraulic legged robots before, and are bringing that experience to the MegaBots project.
We've tested a version of a MegaBot in which pilots get splattered with paint when the cockpit gets shot. We'd like to keep this as a gameplay mechanic because it adds tension and excitement to the game, but we're prepared to make the canopies bulletproof if necessary. We will mount shock-isolated bucket seats into a heavy-duty roll cage in each MegaBot to make sure pilots are fully protected. The MegaBots will have two or three emergency exit hatches that allow egress in all robot orientations.
We understand that coming in under budget for a production at this scale is a huge challenge. We've been working hard on final robot budgets, and we were within 10% of our initial estimate for the MegaBot prototype and turret. We've also spent the past four months forming relationships with event producers in entertainment and other sports leagues, and are refining our estimated production expenses with their help.
We will try as hard as we can to stay on schedule, and we have a number of plans for how to make sure our backers and customers stay satisfied. If we are funded, we will have a full-time video producer on staff dedicated to creating an episodal 'Making Of' documentary. Our backers will see the design, assembly, and testing of these robots as it happens. We will also have staff whose job will be fulfillment of Kickstarter levels, to make sure backers get their rewards quickly. We can guarantee that the process of building these robots and fulfilling our promises will be fully and professionally documented. That said, the founding team of MegaBots has a lot of experience developing robotic systems quickly, and produced the prototypes from scratch in 3 months.
One of our Co-Founders, Gui Cavalcanti, is still working with Project Hexapod, LLC to build Stompy, a giant hexapod that seats two people. Stompy was successfully Kickstarted in September of 2012, and is as of this writing delayed by a year but almost fully assembled. The robot is mechanically assembled except for its lower legs, and the team is starting systems integration and final leg assembly now. Gui is dedicated to seeing the project through, and continues to work with the team as before. MegaBots has benefited significantly from the lessons learned building Stompy; we've learned a lot about designing large-scale robotic systems, and we've learned the importance of making engineering, fabrication, documentation, and fulfillment full time jobs. Project Hexapod is behind in large part because it's an all-volunteer project - team members put in what they can, but need to maintain day jobs in order to continue working on the project. MegaBots will gather the resources needed to make this project a profession for the team building it, so that backers and customers have the best experience possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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