About this project
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We are MegaBots, Inc. We challenged Japan to a giant robot duel, and they accepted... but demanded that the fight include hand-to-hand combat. We say BRING IT ON. We've assembled an incredible team of patriots to help us upgrade the Mk.II into the robot America deserves in the world's first giant robot fight, but we need your support to help pay for those upgrades!
Right now, the existing Mk.II tops out at 2.5 mph and is built for long-range paintball combat. That means it has thin, destructible armor plates and a mesh canopy. The entire robot's built to be 'lightweight' (if you can call 12,000 pounds light), and hand-to-hand fighting is a whole new level of combat.
In order for the Mk.II to survive hand-to-hand combat, we need to
- Add heavy duty armor plating
- Add some serious firepower
- Upgrade our hydraulics to handle the heavier armor and firepower
- Increase our top speed
- Upgrade our power unit to keep up with our new hydraulic system and speed
That basic upgrade will cost $500,000. In order to make sure we win the fight, we need to:
- Test a wide range of weapons and choose the best load-out
- Keep our balance during hand to hand combat and not fall over
- Not injure ourselves in the cockpit during combat
- Fight with an incredibly sweet paint job. While not strictly required, this is a matter of national pride.
All told, a fully upgraded Mk.II will cost $1,500,000.
Team USA needs your help now, in order to win this fight. Pledge today to make sure your team takes home the trophy!
$500,000: Melee Combat Capability, High Performance Track Base
Meeting our $500,000 goal means that we get to seriously overhaul the Mk.II. We'll build the ridiculously cool weapon systems you see in our concept art, add the shock-mounted steel armor we need to survive multi-ton punches, beef up our hydraulic actuators to handle the additional weight of our armor and weapons, upgrade our power unit to provide 5x the horsepower to handle the additional power demands of our new hydraulic system, and then work with Howe & Howe Technologies to build a custom track base replacement that'll make us 5x faster than we are now - which will end up making us 2x faster than KURATAS!
$750,000: Modular Melee & Ranged Weapon Options
Raising $750,000 will allow us to design and build an array of melee and ranged weapon systems options to help us find the perfect load-out to beat KURATAS. This kind of fight has never happened in real life before - what works at this scale, and what doesn't? This level will help us answer that question. This assortment potentially includes, but isn't limited to, crushing and grasping claws, pile drivers, shields, pneumatically-driven fists, cannons of all shapes and sizes, and flamethrowers (just in case).
$1,000,000: Dynamic Balancing Algorithm
At the end of the day, both the Mk.II and KURATAS are top-heavy. We can practice driving and punching carefully to make sure we don't fall, but right now both robots run the risk of tipping over if they punch or get punched too hard. Raising $1,000,000 will allow us to work with IHMC Robotics, the top-placed U.S. team in the DARPA Humanoid Robotics Challenge, to develop a custom high-end balance control system for the Mk.II so that we can stay upright no matter what happens. This system could EASILY make the difference between falling over after the first punch, and staying upright through the entire match.
$1,250,000: Life Safety Systems
Raising $1,250,000 will allow us to engage with NASA - the leaders in the field of keeping humans safe in extreme environments - to see how NASA life safety systems might be used in the cockpit of the Mk.II. We need make sure we can fight as aggressively as possible while also not blacking out from impacts. Safety 4th, folks.
$1,500,000: Hollywood-Grade Paint Job
Raising $1,500,000 will allow us to work with FonCo Creative Services to create a Hollywood-grade artistic look and feel to the robot's armor panels. This is America's first giant combat robot - it deserves to look like the million bucks it actually costs!
What You Get
$5: Website Shout-out
First and foremost, you get to tell all your friends that you did your patriotic duty to make sure that America snatches the title of World's Best Giant Robot Builders from the hands of the Japanese. How's that for a reward? For $5 we'll put your name on our website as an online memorial to your awesomeness.
$10: Behind-the-Scenes Media Content and Sticker
For $10, we'll set you up with a sweet MegaBots logo sticker to feed your vandalism habit, in addition to the shout-out. All backers contributing to this level or more will also get access to the behind the scenes build process via the documentary we're filming!
$12/15: Pilot the Mk.II In Robocraft
For $12 and above, you'll get to own and pilot the Mk.II in Robocraft, a new free-to-play game by Freejam Games that allows you to build your own combat robots from scratch and take them out onto the field of battle! The $12 level is a digital-only level, and comes with your name on our website but doesn't come with a sticker. The $15 level comes with both the Mk.II in Robocraft and a sticker from the $10 level. Any levels above $12 automatically receive the Robocraft unlock code.
$25: Most Patriotic Poster Ever Created
For $25 you'll also get a 18" x 24" concept art poster celebrating the creation of the most American robot ever made.
$50: One MegaBots Shirt
For $50, you'll get to pick from one of three shirts - a crew shirt that shows off your home team pride, an Evolution of Man shirt that celebrates the escalation of combat over the millennia, or our SUPER AMERICAN shirt that confirms that yes, Kogoro Kurata, building something huge and sticking guns on it is, in fact, Super American.
You'll choose which shirt and what sizes you want after the campaign's over, in a survey we send to our backers. If you want more than one shirt, feel free to add $35 to any level above $50, per additional shirt!
$150: 3D Printed MK. II
At $150, you'll get the collector's edition swag kit - the shout-out, sticker, poster, and shirt, plus a team picture in front of the robot and a 3D printed MegaBot miniature!
$500: Ultimate Swag Experience
If you want the ultimate swag experience, $500 will get you everything in the collector's edition kit, except it'll be boxed and signed by Grant Imahara, the co-founders of BattleBots, the owners of Howe & Howe Technologies, and the MegaBots team! The boxed kit will be a numbered collector's item, so get yours sooner rather than later!
$250: Demo Day Experience
Swag is awesome - but seeing the robot in person is cooler. For $250, you can come to our demo day, see the robot show off its abilities in person, and throw down at a crazy San Francisco party with the founders of MegaBots.
$750: VIP Demo Day
$750 gets you a VIP demo day experience where you ALSO get to sign the robot, take pictures of yourself inside it, and hang out with the robot and founders in a separate, exclusive event.
$1000/$2,500/$5,000: MegaBot Pilot/Weapons Testing
Finally, for the ultimate thrill seekers out there, you can suit up and pilot this beast of a robot. $1,000 gets you a ride in the robot as it drives through an obstacle course at top speed. If just riding in the robot isn't enough, $2,500 puts you in the gunner's seat on our shooting range - blow up mock-up KURATAS robots as we drive the robot through a combat simulation. And if that's not enough... $5,000 will put you in the gunner's seat in an exoskeleton that controls the arms and torso of the Mk.II. You get to use a car as a punching bag until the timer's up. On top of all of these experiences, you get the collector's edition swag and a VIP invitation to our demo day.
You must be 18 years of age or older by May of 2016 in order to suit up and pilot the robot, and rest assured that you'll have to sign a mile-long waiver that's full of 'YOU MIGHT DIE. NO, SERIOUSLY.'
$10,000: Pit Crew Experience
Last, but certainly not least, up to 5 lucky people will get to join our pit crew for $10,000. Come along for the ride on the ultimate, once-in-a-lifetime, behind-the-scenes experience as we take this fight to Japan.
Grant Imahara, formerly of Mythbusters and Industrial Light & Magic, has joined forces with us to help us design our robot, bring the giant robot duel to the people, and help make giant robot combat a sport in any way he can!
Peter Diamandis, founder of the X-Prize, is helping us figure out how we can push the state of the art in robotics by using our competition to drive innovation!
Trey Roski and Greg Munson, founders of BattleBots, have joined up with us to help us figure out the best weapons and strategies for melee combat against KURATAS, and to help us figure out how we can turn this duel into a sport!
Autodesk has sponsored us from the beginning, supported the creation of the Mk.II, and will be continuing to support us with design software and access to high-end manufacturing equipment throughout this challenge. We can't thank you enough, guys!
Risks and challenges
The main risk of doing this project is dying in glorious combat, or potentially becoming a national disgrace. The main risk of not doing this project is living in shame, and definitely becoming a national disgrace.
In all seriousness, any hardware project is difficult to pull off, and a giant robot is way harder than the usual hardware project. What we can say is that we built the Mk.II in 5 months on a shoestring budget - we have the experience and expertise to build robots at this scale, fast. Our partners are literally the best in the business, and have all worked on multi-disciplinary teams before. We have some of the best advisers in the world for what we're doing. If we can't do this with the team we've assembled, no one can.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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