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Old 2008-10-07, 04:14   Link #1
FLCL
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General Mecha Thoughts

So i was playing mechwarrior 4 mercs yesterday, and it occured to me....how exactly on mecha are the hands/arms ussually controlled? The only appendages left are the feet, and those arent exactly articulate enough to do it. Thoughts?
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Old 2008-10-07, 04:38   Link #2
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The best explanation I've seen is in a game released in 1999 called Warzone 2100 (still one of the best RTS games of all time). They used technology called a Synaptic Link that created a bridge between the operator's brain and the machine they were piloting, meaning they could use powered armour as efficiently as their own body since it was basically like an extension of their own body.
I don't really watch mecha much but what I've seen just seems to be a case of willing suspension of disbelief with little technical merit to speak of. The only exception would be things like Utawarerumono where the mecha is more of a magical nature than technological, which could give rise to the notion that it's controlled via telepathy or some other form of non-technological control.
It'd be nice to see some real background on the control methods of a mech sometimes though, suspension of disbelief only takes you so far, after all.
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Old 2008-10-07, 05:04   Link #3
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In several mecha series, mostly real robots, some supers, arm movements are preprogrammed maneuvers.

During training, adjustment and maintainence, pilots program the arm movements for all sorts of actions. It can be a synchronised action of throttle, pedals, buttons, switches and stuff. More advanced manuevers can require voice command. And can also be programmed into a network for squad movements.

E.g:

Walking - yes walking is preprogrammed to the pilots pace. Sometimes on the ground reprogramming is needed for different terrains. In putting terrain type etc. to let the mech know how much pressure to put into the legs. Kira in Gundam SEED did a high speed programming to Strike in various cases, immediately getting the Gundam to become agile in its terrains, of course he has superhuman typing and programming skills.

Knightmares: They're basically no different from a computer game in controls, even moving and changing of direction is done with the 'track-ball' like control on the top of the joystick.

Melee combat - pilot selects monomolecular blade on screen, the mech instantly moves according to the preprogrammed movements during training and draws the knife. In FMP, the hand controls are quite intricate, with a very sensitive hand control system coupled with the AI. The pilot just need to do simple wrist or finger movements on the controls, the AI will interpret those movements for melee combat. Of course such movements is choreographed and programmed through hours of training.

Maneuver 69 - pull back throttle press button X, the mech goes into preprogrammed dodge and shoot maneuver. Mech will dodge and shoot in the direction indicated on the radar where enemy fire is coming from. Gamlin in Macross 7, always wanted to master this fast reaction maneuver. He did master in the end, the multiple dodging, but still he still has to rely on the computer to help him target and shoot after the high G roller coaster ride. Valkyries drawing their guns and pointing in the direction of the enemy is also preprogrammed computer choreography. Though more advanced valkyries has mind to computer interfaces, micro managing programs and such.

R Formation - Pilot shouts 'R Formation!' and 3 units get in line and presses the buttons in sequence to get into gattai sequence. Ryusei from SRW insists that Super Robots must be voice commanded. And in the gattaied SRX, it requires coordination of all the 3 or 4 pilots and their psychic abilities to execute a hissatsu technique.

More complexed movement:

Maneuver GRaM-X: Ibis disables safety of all weapons, while she does that, she pulls throttle with right hand, left hand readies firing trigger, eyes locking targets on the HUD. Recognising the series of movements, Hyperion executes GRaM-X on Ibis's cue, releasing missiles, switching weapons, performs some rapid adjustments locking enemies in a fix position with firepower while ending with a charging attack.

So basically, the controls of a mech are mostly preprogrammed choreographed movements.

Unless they have full body trace systems, like G Gundam and several famous SRW super robots like Iadabaoth, Daizengar, Dairaioh and SoulGain. But moving around in the cockpit executing those killer martial arts moves is not something that any pilot can do. Besides you need the superhuman stamina to continue fighting this way in a war.

Or there's always the psycommu, psychic, or mind-computer interfaces which allows pilots thoughts to be translated into direct movements for the mechs. Usually too complexed to develop and not everyone has the psychic aptitude.

Other than these, the weirdest are the steering wheel, throttle, gear shifter and pedal controls. Xanbungle and LFO's from Eureka 7 comes into this category.

The famous maneuver, 'Cut-Back Drop Turn', is actually a drifting manuever lol. Change gear, accelerate + brake pedals if I'm not wrong.
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Old 2008-10-07, 05:17   Link #4
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I like the Getter controls. I think it has a lever/stick for every movement.
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Old 2008-10-07, 05:25   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiryuu View Post
I like the Getter controls. I think it has a lever/stick for every movement.
lol

3 of them steps pedals together, 'GEEETTAAA SHAAAAAAIINNN!!! SHAAIIN SUPAAAAAAKUU!!!'

Oh the most unique cockpit and controls I've ever seen is in Sigma Haramonics. Don't read spoiler if you intend to play the game, it will ruin the epicness.
Spoiler for Sigma Harmonics:
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No longer a NEET so I'll not be online as often.
Ignore gender and kick sexuality to the curb!
I'm a big mecha fan, who keeps playing the SRW series.
When I say 'My god...', god refers to Haruhi-sama.

My art album updated 11th May 2013, Science.
Deviant Art: http://ca0001.deviantart.com/
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Old 2008-10-07, 06:02   Link #6
FLCL
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i guess preprogrammed works

neurosynch is also in MW, but idk. lol.

BTW its only accelerate+brake at same time if its AWD, RWD has no accel or very little during braking.
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Old 2008-10-07, 06:51   Link #7
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I thought all mechs were controlled with a guitar in the cockpit. My bad.
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Old 2008-10-07, 10:30   Link #8
FLCL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenemis View Post
I thought all mechs were controlled with a guitar in the cockpit. My bad.

only garsara
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Old 2008-10-07, 21:14   Link #9
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Did anyone figure out how you pilot Borot? Really how do you pilot that with steering wheel?
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Old 2008-10-08, 02:56   Link #10
C.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrestrial Dream View Post
Did anyone figure out how you pilot Borot? Really how do you pilot that with steering wheel?
Boss Borot is a super robot that despite its look and recycled components, is extremely high tech lol. Its just that the professor took into consideration that Boss may crash the mech very frequently, so its made up of components and materials that are extremely easy to rebuild and refit.

Because the professor is such a genius, he designed an extremely simple interface that even the worse of all pilots can use it pilot quite efficiently. The controls are the further customised for Boss so that he can pilot Borot just as he likes. And exactly because its so high tech, none of us who live in this age can comprehend the technology put into it.

Boss Borot is a technological marvel to behold.
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No longer a NEET so I'll not be online as often.
Ignore gender and kick sexuality to the curb!
I'm a big mecha fan, who keeps playing the SRW series.
When I say 'My god...', god refers to Haruhi-sama.

My art album updated 11th May 2013, Science.
Deviant Art: http://ca0001.deviantart.com/
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Old 2008-10-08, 03:04   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLCL View Post
So i was playing mechwarrior 4 mercs yesterday, and it occured to me....how exactly on mecha are the hands/arms ussually controlled? The only appendages left are the feet, and those arent exactly articulate enough to do it. Thoughts?
IIRC the Mechwarrior (and original Battletech) universes used some sort of mind-computer interface rather than traditional controls, so the pilot effectively just thought something and the mech did it. It's been a while, so I could be way off.
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Old 2008-10-08, 03:39   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.A. View Post
Boss Borot is a super robot that despite its look and recycled components, is extremely high tech lol. Its just that the professor took into consideration that Boss may crash the mech very frequently, so its made up of components and materials that are extremely easy to rebuild and refit.

Because the professor is such a genius, he designed an extremely simple interface that even the worse of all pilots can use it pilot quite efficiently. The controls are the further customised for Boss so that he can pilot Borot just as he likes. And exactly because its so high tech, none of us who live in this age can comprehend the technology put into it.

Boss Borot is a technological marvel to behold.
So in other words it's powered by high quality bullsh**t
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Old 2008-10-08, 20:29   Link #13
Terrestrial Dream
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.A. View Post
Boss Borot is a super robot that despite its look and recycled components, is extremely high tech lol. Its just that the professor took into consideration that Boss may crash the mech very frequently, so its made up of components and materials that are extremely easy to rebuild and refit.

Because the professor is such a genius, he designed an extremely simple interface that even the worse of all pilots can use it pilot quite efficiently. The controls are the further customised for Boss so that he can pilot Borot just as he likes. And exactly because its so high tech, none of us who live in this age can comprehend the technology put into it.

Boss Borot is a technological marvel to behold.
Lol that was pretty funny and yeah it seems like Borot is really high tech. I mean how many robot's face could change expression.
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Old 2008-10-09, 16:46   Link #14
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how come the power mechs aren't reproduced? If they have the technology to keep fixing it why none to build it again?
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Old 2008-10-09, 23:09   Link #15
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Super Robots are generally one-of-a-kind, found it in a mountain, bottom of the sea, etc. (Notably excluding the Mazingers and Getter Robo, which were built).

Hi-tech Real Robots are mass produced, Strike Daggers, the Destroy Gundam, even the Nu Gundam received a short-lived MP line.

I guess Supers have a magical core which just can't be reproduced :P
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Old 2008-10-10, 00:03   Link #16
C.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animeboy12 View Post
how come the power mechs aren't reproduced? If they have the technology to keep fixing it why none to build it again?
You have to be specific on which mechs you're talking about. Mass production actually happens alot more common than you think. And there are usually good reasons on why the mechs can be mass produced or not.

Firstly mecha is divided into 2 official groups: Super and Real Robots.

But both types of mecha are limited by same factors on whether they can be mass produced. That being, energy source, pilot, materials need to build and sometimes the computer core/system.

A random list of mecha on whether they are mass produced or not and why:

Gaogaigar: Can't be mass produced because there's only one Galeon and one cyborg Guy. But its combination parts, the Gao Machines are mass produced. And to help Guy and Gaogaigar, there are many versions of Yuusha Robo which mostly mass produced, 6x Vehicle Robo, 13x Mike Sounders.

Aquarion: Itself can't be mass produced, because its an ancient weapon of mythical origin. But they've managed to mass produce Aquarions in the form of Assault Aquarions which have very high combat capabilities.

Gunbuster: A Buster Machine though costly, the humans managed to mass produce it to fight the Space Monsters. MP Gunbuster = Sizzler Black/White/Silver. Buster Machines in Top!2 are already mass production models, just that they are customised heavily for different Topless pilots.

Gurren Lagann: The Lagann itself was originally a mass produced unit. Just that not many landed on the planet and Simon only found one, Lord Genome had one. Well, there's also the mass produced Gurren Laganns, the Grapearls.

Macross Valkyries: Most anything except for Protoculture, space whales and such, are mass produced on large numbers.

Gundam series: Gundams are generally overpowered, imbalanced weapns and system test platforms. When these prototypes prove their worth, they will be mass produced with simpler and more stable systems for the common soldier. Most every series, the Gundams are subjected to some kind of mass production or have its technology passed down to others.
__________________
No longer a NEET so I'll not be online as often.
Ignore gender and kick sexuality to the curb!
I'm a big mecha fan, who keeps playing the SRW series.
When I say 'My god...', god refers to Haruhi-sama.

My art album updated 11th May 2013, Science.
Deviant Art: http://ca0001.deviantart.com/
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