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They Did What?: 

USA to take on Japan in giant robot fight

Say you work in robotics. Say you’ve built an absolute beast of a ‘bot, a 15-feet-tall towering monster that’s equipped with canons capable of shooting three-pound paintballs at 120mph. Now say there’s only one other robot like it in the world, made by Japanese firm Suidobashi Heavy Industries. What do you do? Challenge it to a fight, of course.

At least you do if you’re US firm MegaBots. It laid down the challenge in a video entitled, fittingly: ‘USA challenges Japan to giant robot duel!’ In it, one of MegaBots’ co-founders puts it bluntly: “Suidobashi, we have a giant robot, you have a giant robot. We know what needs to happen. We challenge you to a duel.”

Suidobashi accepted. And now we have a fight on our hands.

Both ‘bots are pretty evenly matched. Both stand 15 feet tall, and both have plenty of firepower (Suidobashi’s features twin gatling guns that you control using a heads-up display).

But in terms of trash talking, Suidobashi has taken the lead. In a video response to MegaBots’ challenge, Suidobashi’s CEO and founder Kogoro Kurata said: “It’s interesting, I’ll give them that. But my reaction? Come on guys, make it cooler. Just building something huge and sticking guns on it. It’s… super American.”

He also showed admirable levels of national pride. “We can’t let another country win this,” he said. “Giant robots are Japanese culture.”

Someone call Craig Charles, looks like we have a real-life Robot Wars to look forward to. Or, if they take each other on in melee combat, it could be like a massive version of Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots.

Last weekend, the USA trounced Japan in the final of the Women’s World Cup, so there will be no love lost between the two countries. MegaBots wants the scrap to happen within the next year, and for Suidobashi to pick the battlefield. Let’s hope it goes for the Tokyo skyline.

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