Reach Robotics has announced a fighting robot that is reminiscent of hit TV show Robots Wars, but without competitors falling to pieces as they often do in the kid’s programme.
The robust ‘bots look like spiders with multiple limbs offering a huge amount of movement. They can crawl, run or walk like a real-life monster. In battle mode, MekaMon robots can take on up to four competitors at once, all battling to be crowned the fighting champ.
Everything is controlled using a smartphone companion app, which is also where controllers can choose their robot’s strengths and any armaments they wish to equip them with. It’s then up to the person controlling their robot to use everyday objects as places to hide and then jump out on their enemy.
Sensors dotted around the MekaMon’s body detect when it’s been hit, but its catalogue of movements will ensure it reacts in the correct way for the shot. If it’s a barrage of machine-gun shots, it’ll twitch repeatedly, whereas if it’s a huge blast, it will appear to be more of an impactful blow.
MekaMon has attracted significant funding from some of the leading VC tech firms including London Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Passion Capital, Techstarts, Hardware Club, and Iglobe Partners.
The company was established by Silas Adekunle, a 25-year-old who taught himself robotics and decided to bring one his favourite TV programmes to life, without destroying everything in each robot’s path.
“We’re bringing back a childhood curiosity,” Adekunle told Digital Trends. “It harkens back to a time when kids played with sticks and turned the living room duvet into a fortress. I think we’ve lost that in the digital age, and we’re basically trying to bring it back.”
Reach Robotics has now developed a software development kit (SDK) that will allow anyone to programme their own routines, bringing the DIY robots to life. If that life is fighting, then so be it.
“We want people to be able to learn to program with this,” Adekunle said. “We want to make the experience educational.”