As we've reported, a new era of giant fighting mechs piloted by humans began in Japan in September when MegaBots' Eagle Prime beat Suidoshi Heavy Industry's Kuratas. Meanwhile, it appears the Chinese have gone in the opposite direction: smartphone-controlled bots small enough on duel on your desktop.
Called GEIO, this robot, which looks a bit like Japan's Kuratas, employs a battery of sensors, AI, and controls to ready itself for combat against your friends, co-workers, or neighborhood cats. Launched today on Kickstarter, It's touted as the world's only first person shooter (FPS) battle bot. In other words, it's like "Call of Duty" IRL, replete with auto-targeting, visual recognition, and a host of power ups and mini-games.
|GEIO can recognize other robots and totems (powr-ups) as well as your face.|
The only downside is it doesn't use live ammo, but LED lights, with which to attack. The enemy GEIO perceives this as battle damage, as you would playing laser tag.
Made by GJS, which previously made the Ganker robot, says it has received tens of millions in series A funding, led by Tencent. In just a few short hours, the $30,000 Kickstarter campaign is nearly half-funded.
For a $109 pledge, you get the bot, a battery, USB charger, and five Basic Totems, aka power-up blocks. For $209, your order is doubled.
Unfortunately, it's a bit late for the holidays, with orders expected to be fulfilled in February 2018.
Besides being a super cool toy, GEIO showcases how inexpensive robotics tech has become. Of course, like the giant-sized MegaBots project, these robots will no doubt get more children interested in the tech making these bots tick.
More than that, it foreshadows a very near future where any plant or factory can afford mobile robots armed with bar-code scanners, optics, and other sensors to wage war on inefficiencies. For now, we'll settle for some hardcore war in the break room.