Outside of getting to write about geeky stuff for a living, I think my biggest dream growing up was piloting a giant mecha. This probably sounds weird out of context, but my dad is a huge, huge anime fan, so I was introduced to shows like Macross and G Gundam at an extremely young age.
While most shows within the mecha genre have shown that piloting a giant robot is dangerous and often mind-bending (Hi, Evangelion, I am still traumitized) certified Geek Supreme Guillermo Del Toro brought my childhood dreams to life with [Pacific Rim](movie:204401).
Del Toro's portrayal of highly advanced, weaponized robots piloted by a drift-compatible team wasn't exactly a new concept, but ground-breaking enough that the movie went down in fandom history as an instant classic, and has recently been given not only a trilogy announcement, but also an animated series.
But still, of course, something was missing: an actual, real-life Giant Robot.
Though a really cool scale model of EVA Unit 01's head and Japan's life-sized Gundam have wowed fans before, we've always lacked the actual ability to pilot a giant robot in defense of our home planet (or, well, for fun, because really).
Until now, of course...
Say hello to the Megabot EPK Kickstarter campaign: a giant mech in progress, built for battle and piloted by two people. Sound familiar? The creative work behind the mech has given it a fun backstory that, in the future, could (at the very least) lead to some pretty rad robot fighting federations. One can only hope.
The 'bot was originally developed by Andrew Stroup, Gui Cavalcanti and Matt Oehrlein, three geeky engineers who wanted to bring this concept to the world today. As Stroup explained, their reasons for building it are because, well, who WOULDN'T want to?
People keep asking us, ‘Why build giant fighting robots?’ Our answer is always, ‘Why not?’
So far, the team has built a fully functional torso, cockpit, arm, and two main weapons systems over the course of mere months. The cockpit seats two adults: a driver who controls the robot’s movements and the gunner who commands the weapons systems.
At New York Comic Con, the team brought their in-progress prototype Megabot to demonstrate movement and some of its abilities. The prototype includes a powered cockpit section, upper arm, and interchangeable cannon weapon that fires custom six-inch paint-filled projectiles. At up to 150 miles an hour.
These bots are much smaller than those we're often used to in popular media, but their design seems to give them an advantage in their weight and ability to maneuver for a fight. While they're made to shoot paint ball pellets, the entire concept is pretty cool for fans of giant robots.
But the project isn't complete, and in order to build huge robots, the folks behind Megabots are going to need some help.
In the next few weeks, Megabots Inc. will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to finish their bots, which will include a demonstration video showing just what the 'bot is capable of (did I mention throwing things at 150 miles an hour?). Keeping up to date on it has been made pretty easy via their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. Said Cavalcanti
Having the MegaBot aim its cannon at you is a heart-stopping experience. Even if you know it's not loaded. Here's this gigantic, armored humanoid robot three times taller than you are, smoothly and quietly lining up its sights on you - it's downright terrifying.
It's also totally awesome, as I can tell you from experience. While Amazon Japan did release the Kuratas robot last year, which fires when the pilots smiles (which can get really creepy after a while - thanks, Japan) the model sold out before anyone seemed to realize it had gone on sale. Megabots, though, are intended for a more broad audience, assures Oehrlein.
There’s no doubt we want to bring MegaBots to the masses. We want to know they want it to happen as bad as we do.
One step closer to piloting my own Jaeger in a real-life [Pacific Rim 2](movie:775756) scenario? I know I sure do.