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An old-school toy robot, in front some sparks.

Giant Fighting Robots: Why They Matter

Aug. 10, 2017
When we step aside from competition and market advantages for a minute and focus our energies on creating something legitimately cool, something profoundly innovative and groundbreaking, the results will amaze the world.

I am not interested in destruction. In fact, I have a thorough distaste for violence in general. Which makes our continual coverage of MegaBots and its giant fighting machines an odd fit.

I am, however, extremely interested in creativity, in gumption, and innovation. And that — even with the destruction and violence — is exactly what Megabots is offering.

We started covering MegaBots in 2015, with the Mk. II back in October 2016. At the time, that project felt like the pinnacle achievement of the maker movement: two dudes with some skills, a small team, and financial backing built a legit giant fighting robot. Sure, it was rough; the mechanics were a little crude, and the whole project seemed a bit DIY. And that was great. That's exactly what the maker movement is all about, right?

It's a project I often highlighted in my talks about makers and innovation. A giant killer robot created ex nihilo by a couple of guys with a good idea.

Traditionally, that's where the story should have ended. But it did not.

Here we are again a year later with a whole new robot, a whole system that doesn't seem DIY at all. It's a 16-ft-tall real giant fighting robot backed by a giant team, a giant pile of resources, and some of the very best equipment and knowhow in the industry.

So what happened?

Collaboration happened.

To read more from Travis Hessman, check out our sister publication New Equipment Digest.

About the Author

Travis M. Hessman | Editor-in-Chief

Travis Hessman is the editor-in-chief and senior content director for IndustryWeek and New Equipment Digest. He began his career as an intern at IndustryWeek in 2001 and later served as IW's technology and innovation editor. Today, he combines his experience as an educator, a writer, and a journalist to help address some of the most significant challenges in the manufacturing industry, with a particular focus on leadership, training, and the technologies of smart manufacturing.

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