It’s no secret that the United States and a number of other military powers around the world are already hard at work implementing uses for robotics on the battlefield. Drones have revolutionized a number of combat operations, and firms like DARPA have been hard at work on autonomous land-based combat support equipment for years. The U.S. military is also developing exo-skeleton technology intended to enhance the human warfighter’s capability to cover terrain, withstand punishment, and carry extremely heavy loads.
Because the modern trend toward autonomous war fighters likely won’t result in a complete removal of human beings from the battle space, it seems logical then than the decades to come will see a rapid progression of technology intended to be worn by America’s war fighters, intended to keep them safe, increase their combat capabilities, and of course, keep pace with the terminator-like machines we may soon see littering the battlefield. It seems possible then, that the mech-suits of science fiction may eventually, in some shape, become a reality.
However, for American firm Megabots, that reality is already here. Their massive creation, Eagle Prime, is set to represent the United States in a “live-fire” combat standoff with Japan’s own contender, Kuratas, sometime this month, and this 12-ton behemoth looks quite capable of laying down some destruction. A third competitor from China, named the Monkey King, is also expected to take part in the battle royale. The fight was originally slated for August, but has been delayed due to problems with the venue. A new announcement on date and location is expected to come any day.
It has also not been announced whether or not spectators will be able to watch the fight in person, as the logistics of keeping people safe while these giant bots go toe-to-toe may be more difficult that event promoters, and insurers, are willing to stomach. In any event, the fight promises to be quite the spectacle, even if we can’t watch these titans do battle in person.
The American bot has two seats, one for a pilot and one for a gunner, though both are able to pilot the giant bot remotely as well. It also boasts tank treads and a number of different kinds of weapon systems, all intended to help it defeat Japan’s own battle-mech, which is reported to weigh in at a (paltry by comparison) 9 tons.
Here are some of the stats of America’s first ever battle-robot, even if its munitions are non-lethal, it would seem it’s grappling claw, drill, and chainsaw certainly could be.
Height: 16 feet
Weight: 12 tons
Power: 450 horsepower
Loadout: Massive logging grapple giant claws, a 1000 lb drill, a trencher chainsaw, pneumatic cannons, and a few that have yet to be revealed.
In the video, you can watch Eagle Prime maneuver around, or through, a few obstacles, before demonstrating its pneumatic cannons, and finally, tearing down its predecessor, the Megabot MKII.
Watch Eagle Prime in action below:
Images courtesy of Megabots