Giant Robot Duel — Expected Nothing, Still Let Down

Giant Robot Duel

So, it sort of actually happened for real well over a week ago. The Giant Robot Duel that had been two years in the making finally came to pass, and it was pretty much how I expected it to be when I wrote about it here in the blog. I still watched it, much like Mayweather vs. McGregor—a circus you can’t really take your eyes away from. The only difference here is that there was something interesting enough with MayMac, while GRD was only good for memes that will die quick deaths.

My doubts with the Giant Robot Duel weren’t simply from cynicism with modern robotics technology, but from skepticism regarding the pilots/builders’ willingness to make it an actual duel. They were going to make it as safe as possible while still creating enough of a spectacle for it to be somewhat watchable. They barely did both anyway, but it had enough hype to make mainstream blogs write apologetic fluff pieces about how okay it was, no matter how lame it turned out to be.

You know you did something right when those dweebs are willing to give you some lip service, even if you don’t really deserve it that much.

Giant Robot Duel Review

What we got were lumbering and barely-mobile hunks of steel and aluminum lamely shooting safe projectiles at each other. Those shots barely had enough energy to knock down gallon drums and other flimsily-stacked obstacles.

Apparently, MegaBots had more than one robot. That’s not exactly fair since Suidobashi had to ship theirs across the Pacific for this showdown, so they only had KURATAS—a fiddler crab-looking thing—to fight with. Meanwhile, MegaBots had the robot they showed off in the trailers, as well as another one with a stars-and-stripes paint job—because #MURICA.

Mike Goldberg trying to hype it up was like putting icing on my dick to encourage bitches to suck it.

Somehow, MegaBots won it for #MURICA. Under what pretense? We just saw Suidobashi’s fuck-you-tronic run over that rust bucket with piss and vinegar and toppled it over. Unless that robot has a reliable self-righting system, that’s the end. However, it was apparently a best-of-3 sort of deal, which let MegaBots bring in Eagle Prime Mk3.

That last one with the chainsaw was exciting in a train wreck sort of way, with the robotics expert alongside Mike Goldberg playing up how shit was getting dangerous with Eagle Prime using a chainsaw on KURATAS. The chainsaw was just dinging away at KURATAS’ non-essential parts—mostly the right arm—and that was apparently enough for a win.

Okay, I’ll give it to MegaBots for the chainsaw, especially since Suidobashi hyped up their close range combat prowess so much in the challenge video. But I still think Suidobashi won with that running fist attack.

Other Comments

I know it may seem unfair to criticize something that people were able to make happen, despite great odds and limitations. In the end, I’m just having fun with my cynical and barely-humorous disparaging of this spectacle. Perhaps it’s indeed cool that it happened anyway, and there are still a lot of people out there who were impressed.

I’m still a big believer in robotics engineering, and this online circus could still get some wide-eyed kids interested in making their own robots. Despite that, I would’ve rather seen BattleBots get the same treatment. I still think that show is underappreciated, and I’d rather celebrate that over this one-off. Perhaps the only two things I can say the Giant Robot Duel has over BattleBots are “giant” robots and Japan being a part of it.

The one big minus it had was Mike Goldberg on commentary. BattleBots had Kenny Florian. As an MMA fan, despite KenFlo having been suspended for plagiarism once, I’d still take him over Goldy.

The one really good thing about this I can indeed get behind is it opens up to more possibilities. There is a lot of potential with building robots and making them go at it with each other that is still yet untapped. I’d like to see what comes next after this.

Until then, I’ll continue to make fun of this Giant Robot Duel because it’s the right thing to do.

If you took that last statement seriously, you need to lie down.

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