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Watch the Long-Awaited US vs. Japan Robot Battle

Two years ago, the world was promised a giant robot duel pitting the US against Japan. Next week, we'll finally get to watch the "super heavyweight title fight."

In case you forgot, US-based MegaBots, Inc. challenged Japan's Suidobashi Heavy Industries to a robot duel in 2015, and Suidobashi accepted — with one caveat: that it be melee combat. MegaBots was up for the challenge, but needed to upgrade its Mk.II robot before putting it against Suidobashi's Kuratas machine for some hand-to-hand action.

After crowdfunding more than $500,000 on Kickstarter to update its machine, MegaBots last month finally unveiled its official entrant to the giant robot duel: Eagle Prime. The $2.5 million robot, which seats two, weighs in at 12 tons, stands 16 feet tall, and is powered by a 430 horsepower V8 LS3 engine. Check it out in the video below.

Suidobashi's Kuratas, the "only other known giant piloted robot in the world," according to MegaBots, weighs in at 6.5 tons and stands 13 feet tall.

Both robots were piloted from the inside by the founders of both companies: Kogoro Kurata of Suidobashi and Matt Oehrlein and Gui Cavalcanti of MegaBots.

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The duel, which has already taken place, is set to air on the MegaBots Twitch channel on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. PST. Immediately after it airs, the battle will be posted to Facebook and YouTube.

"Get ready to witness the most incredible sports entertainment that the world has ever seen: Nation-on-nation robot combat. Multi-ton behemoths will swing punches, tearing steel armor panels off each other until one mech is left standing, while the opponent is left a heap of scrap metal," MegaBots wrote on its website. "Welcome to the future of sports."

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The sign plastered to the front of the cage — a mock-up of those reportedly used in CBP facilities to hold separated children of migrant families — read “Detention center powered by Salesforce.” “It’s hard to miss an 800-pound cage rolling down the street,” Jelani Drew, lead organizer of the demonstration and campaigner for the non-profit advocacy group Fight for the Future, told TechCrunch. “They had to look and that was the goal.” [gallery ids="1719937,1719939,1719940,1719941"] 1,800 families were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border from October 2016 through February of this year, per Reuters. And another 2,342 children were separated from 2,206 parents between May 5 and June 9, according to Vox. In late June, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to end family separation, though the zero-tolerance policy, which mandates that any persons entering the U.S. illegally be prosecuted, remains. Salesforce chief executive officer Marc Benioff, who has a reputation for advocating for liberal causes and politics, has said the deal with CBP does not involve CBP’s U.S.-Mexico border policies. CBP, rather, uses some of Salesforce cloud tools, specifically Salesforce Analytics, Community Cloud and Service Cloud, to bolster its recruiting process and to “manage border activities.” When asked for comment, Salesforce told TechCrunch the cloud-computing company respects the right to protest and pointed us in the direction of Benioff’s tweets, which reaffirm the business doesn’t have an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and that the CBP contract is unrelated to family separation. Our employees asked me to review how CBP uses us & I included them. I’ve proudly engaged & discussed this with all our Ohana. Salesforce doesnt work with CBP regarding separation of families at the border. We dont have an agreement with ICE. Im proud of our Ohana & their Kuleana! — Marc Benioff (@Benioff) July 20, 2018 That tweet, posted in July, was a response to a petition signed by 650 Salesforce employees, who took issue with the CBP contract, specifically CBP’s use of Salesforce Service Cloud to manage activities at the border. “We cannot cede responsibility for the use of the technology we create–particularly when we have reason to believe that it is being used to aid practices so irreconcilable to our values,” the employees wrote. “Those values often feel abstract, and it is easier to uphold them when they are not being tested. They are being tested now. In addition to his tweet, Benioff wrote in a memo to employees at the time that he is “opposed to separating children from their families at the border.” “It is immoral. I have personally financially supported legal groups helping families at the border. 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RAICES, The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, recently rejected a $250,000 donation from Salesforce because of its contract with CBP. Benioff contacted RAICES executive director Jonathan Ryan over the summer to discuss the opposition to Salesforce contract with CBP, according to a new report from The Guardian. The pair were scheduled to speak until Benioff canceled last minute. “I am sorry I’m scuba diving right now,” Benioff reportedly wrote to Ryan. We’ve reached out to RAICES for comment. Google reportedly backing out of military contract after public backlash Benioff and Salesforce are among several large tech companies that have struck controversial deals with government agencies. Employees at both Amazon and Microsoft have protested their companies’ contracts with ICE. Google reportedly decided not to renew a Pentagon contract after employees resigned in protest of the search giant’s involvement with controversial AI research project Project Maven. Jacinta Gonzalez, senior campaign organizer with Mijente, a national hub for Latinx organizers, told TechCrunch the she and the other protesters are hopeful tech companies will drop their contracts with both CBP and ICE. “We’ve been incredibly concerned with corporations, particularly the tech corporations, that are facilitating ICE and border patrol’s destruction of immigrant communities,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a matter of continuing to pressure these investors and executives a these tech companies that are making billions at the expense of immigrants. They are profiting off the suffering of immigrants.”

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