Giant Fighting Paintball Robots? Yes, Please

In what can only be regarded as a glorious celebration of the noble human spirit, a group of entrepreneurs has announced plans to build a fleet of giant paintball flinging robots.

Currently looking for seed money over at Kickstarter, the MegaBots project is certainly ambitious. The design team — including engineers, scientists, artists and manufacturers — envisions an entirely new arena sport in which people climb into armored exoskeletons and control the ‘bots from within.

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To demonstrate their seriousness, the team members have already assembled a partially functioning prototype capable of firing three-pound “soft” cannonballs, filled with paint, at speeds of up to 120 mph. Under the current design, each robot would stand 15 feet tall, weigh around 15,000 pounds, and carry both a pilot and a gunner.

The robots would walk around on two legs — powered by “miniature electrohydraulic powerplants” — and be equipped with breakaway armor that detaches upon impact. During arena combat matches, a computer system would track damage, according to the project page:

“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.”

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The team is looking to raise $1.8 million to build the first two operational bots, with the inaugural match scheduled to take place in May of 2016, if all goes well. Early investors can sign up now for prime seats, or a full-on pilot training package with a chance to compete in an actual tournament.

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