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We need your help to create the giant combat robot America deserves. With you and our amazing partners, together we can defeat Japan!
We need your help to create the giant combat robot America deserves. With you and our amazing partners, together we can defeat Japan!
7,857 backers pledged $554,592 to help bring this project to life.

Progress, Demo Day, and Duel Update

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Hello MegaFans!

It's been awhile since we updated, and for that we sincerely apologize. We've been focusing all of our energy on the robot and our negotiations, and less on outreach. Work on the robot has continued at top speed, and work setting up the duel has continued at best possible speed, but we haven't posted about it for a few reasons. These reasons include but are not limited to:

  • We're under a mutual NDA with Suidobashi regarding planning for the duel. We cannot legally disclose details about the duel until both parties are ready to release such details.
  • We're planning an event in which people are piloting multi-ton combat robots that are trying to destroy each other, without harming the pilots, and that takes a lot of careful consideration.
  • We're in active negotiations with the venue of the duel. Any disclosures regarding the nature of or location of the duel would endanger those negotiations, and could prevent it from happening.
  • We're documenting the design and fabrication process but don't want to tease much of it until it's finalized and ready to reveal, which won't be for a little while yet.
  • We don't want to accidentally give Suidobashi an edge on our design by posting too much about it publicly.

We can say that the duel is still on, though delayed, and we're working as hard as we can to sign all of the contracts and lock it down. To give you guys an example of why this is so difficult to work out, transporting one team's robot by air to the venue looks like it will cost around $200,000 to $300,000 round trip - half the cost of what this Kickstarter raised. Transporting the robots by sea is a more cost effective option, but we would risk having the robots arrive rusted, damaged and non-functional - a month or two after we ship them. In addition, getting a completely custom, 6-ton robot specifically designed for combat through another country's customs office is presenting a... whole new level of logistical challenges. Rest assured that our work continues unabated, but progress is slow. 

We've also been working on setting up MegaDay, formerly known as "Demo Day." MegaDay will be the first public unveiling of our robot. We can't announce a firm date and location yet because we're still working through the contract for the venue. We can say that we're looking to have MegaDay at an arena near San Francisco mid-November, but the date is still up in the air until the contract is in place. We will let you guys know the second the ink is signed on the contract, which should hopefully be within the next 2 weeks based on current negotiations.

In the meantime, work is continuing on the robot. This is a picture of the track base getting gassed up at Howe & Howe Technologies - they bolted a seat on for us so we could drive it around like a giant, treaded go-kart. The engine has straight pipes out of the exhaust - no muffler on this bad boy! Our guess is that this robot will be one of the loudest robots on earth once it gets going!

Testing the track base at Howe & Howe Technologies
Testing the track base at Howe & Howe Technologies

We're now stress-testing the Mk.II and test-firing our weapons on a regular basis, and as a result we moved to a facility with a dedicated outdoor testing yard. We've taken over part of a junkyard, where our landlord buys old heavy equipment, fixes it up, and sells it. As a result, we have access to ridiculously heavy equipment when we need it. For example, here's a picture of a 25-ton-rated forklift with a 10,000-pound-rated forklift between its tines. 

We call this "Forkception"
We call this "Forkception"

We've been testing the robot's cockpit and canopy for structural integrity with our crash test dummy, Randy. Randy didn't have a very good time in the early tests, but he was a good sport about it. He's helping us figure out how to make this robot as safe as humanly possible.

Removing Randy from the robot after testing.
Removing Randy from the robot after testing.

We've tested our cockpit a number of ways, including shooting ourselves with our old weaponry. This is our old right-arm cannon strapped to a forklift; we call it DangerTruck.

Behold DangerTruck.
Behold DangerTruck.

Here's our mechanical engineer Lyra taking an appropriately stylish selfie as we were setting up for another test.

All robot testing requires selfies.
All robot testing requires selfies.

We apologize again for the lack of communication on our parts - we're working on doing better in the future, especially as we have more that we can legally share.

This is our full time job, and we take it and our responsibility to you all very seriously. We have 11 full-time staff members now, we're hiring more as I write this, and it's looking like this robot will cost around $2.3M at the end of the day (including both labor and materials). The cost of the robot was offset by private investment and corporate sponsorship, which has allowed us to build a robust, expandable infrastructure of hydraulic robot technology that we can turn into a kit of parts for a future giant robot sports league. 

We're getting it done, and we couldn't have done it without you guys. Please be patient with us as we work to make the impossible come to life.

Thanks,
MegaBots

Comments

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    1. Matthew Johnson on August 4, 2016

      Ship it by sea(http://www.blockcorrosion.com http://www.jetlube.com/pages/Petro-Tape.html, and why arn't you making it out of aluminum or some lighter corrosion resistant metal? Anyway there is an entire martime industry that's been using similar metals and battling rust, ect since forever. Are there alot of dissimilar metals in use?

    2. Roxy Chaney on August 3, 2016

      I'm so psyched for this, you guys! I got my rewards package around the same time that you posted this and everyone in my office is excited as hell for this historic match!

    3. Thomas Børstad on July 26, 2016

      It's amazing how you can take such a ludicrous idea and bring it to life, I am in awe!

    4. Steven G Saunders on July 21, 2016

      I had written this off, but glad to hear that the process is still ongoing. I'll be pleased to see it when it happens.

    5. peter szitarity on July 21, 2016

      It's about the fight and screeching of metal on metal not the roar of a motor, if I wanted to listen to motors i would go to Drag Racing or Monster Trucks.

    6. Austin Labry on July 21, 2016

      Your distribution center is bad and you should feel bad. Biggest waste of $50 ever, I have nothing to show for it except knowledge that people who work at amplex are really dumb. I have never heard of a distribution center that can fail to send a shipping notice with tracking number not once, but twice, or even mention it in the support email. No just send it to the wrong address again and don't tell me!

    7. Missing avatar

      John Brofka on July 21, 2016

      Great update - with great photos no less! Press on!

    8. Agent 17 on July 20, 2016

      Is it really a surprise to anybody that an effort of this magnitude would see significant delays? Because the moment I saw the original deadline I immediately expected at least a doubling of the delivery date for hot robot-on-robot destruction. Assuming there was even enough money to keep it going.

    9. Todd Turner on July 20, 2016

      Glad to hear that everything is still progressing. I'm not surprised at all about some of these. Having done some international shipping in the past, I totally get what you're saying about dealing with customs... Especially regarding a giant combat robot. The amount of red tape that you must have to go through is astronomical. I'm just so geeked that this is happening. Keep up the great work and best of luck!

    10. James Jackson on July 20, 2016

      Thanks for the update! Appreciate the detail you could give us and the explanations were just the right amount of detail. Good luck!

    11. Missing avatar

      tonypedia on July 20, 2016

      I gotta agree on the mufflers. There are plenty of sports already associated with the loud revving of engines, you are inventing your own sport that will have it's own awesome cacophony of weapons and dying metal. This is something new, don't paint over it with old gimmicks.

    12. Missing avatar

      Helen Evins on July 20, 2016

      Keep up the Great Work..Thanks so much for the update..

    13. Jacob Zells on July 20, 2016

      I vote for mufflers as well. If I want loud engine entertainment, I'll go to a Monster Jam. Robots from our youth were not running on open headers! :)

    14. Jason Montoya on July 20, 2016

      Thank you for the update!

    15. Felix Farside on July 20, 2016

      Still waiting patiently for the giant robot mayhem. I can be patient. Yes. Patient. Patient.

      RRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    16. Missing avatar

      Brandon Norcross on July 20, 2016

      Almost completely forgot about this thing, I'm excited to hear it's still going on, I backed for the Robocraft MK.II and made cool modifications including robo spider legs, unfortunately they made a few disagreeable updates to the game :\
      Good luck on your testing, but after seeing this I kinda wish I had a giant tread go kart

    17. Joshua Tulberg on July 20, 2016

      Please put mufflers on that thing. I imagine there will be much more interesting things to hear than an un-corked motor in this battle.

    18. Andrew Dixon on July 19, 2016

      Great update! I wonder if the bot would fit an a 'diplomatic briefcase' (to avoid red tape), delivered gratis as part of a military 'training exercise'. If they can ship a tank to another country without rusting then anything is possible.

    19. Ben Slater on July 19, 2016

      Fantastic update! Just the photo's alone are worth it :) I can only speak for myself, but what you are doing is completely new for ANYONE EVER, so even tiny updates and random photos on occasion are interesting...but low stress, best to focus on the robot. Love ya work...