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Old 2008-02-26, 14:52   Link #21
King Lycan
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Old 2008-02-26, 16:15   Link #22
Kamui4356
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Think armoured infantry, heavy and large enough to carry mobile artillery guns. Or at least tank calibre weapons. In terms of mobility across multiple terrain, tanks are vastly inferior to infantry. The US had problems deploying M1A1 tanks in the Balkans, for example. The terrain severely limited their effectiveness.

Of course, war mecha remains very much a geek's pipe dream. But I wouldn't mind developing mecha for heavy industrial operations, like mining or deep-sea exploration. Also, if you're going to design a truly stable, multi-leg platform, you need at least six legs, not two.
Ok now think about one of these guys and what that huge gun and all those anti armor missiles will do to your shiny mech. Of course it's going to do the same thing to a tank, but at least it's easier to hide a tank, and the tank probably cost a lot less.
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Old 2008-02-26, 16:29   Link #23
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Haha, Roger Smith will be popping up in Big O next thing you know.
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Old 2008-02-26, 17:46   Link #24
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Real life mecha in military will never happen, no matter how advanced a technology one might have. If you want it to fly it will require preposterous thruster power to get in anywhere in remotely useful speed. It will still have the aerodynamics of a flying brick (quite probably worse) and no amount of technology can fix that. It will never be as armored as a tank. If it would, it would likely collapse under its own weight, not to mention its mobility would be zero (not like it wouldn't anyway ... i don't even want to think what type of hydraulics you would need to actually move one at a reasonable pace).

The logistics needed to maintain one would be astronomical and should something remotely delicate break it would probably be hell to fix. Any tank would turn one in to a pile of scrap metal on battlefield, quite possibly from a distance where the mecha has barely spotted the tank. With a single shot at that, because a hit anywhere is likely to be damaging enough to render the mecha useless. Remember, your armor is not as thick as a tank (unlikely to be anywhere near), and you are much easier to hit as a target. And no, there is no such thing as dodging tank shells, opposite to what anime might show you. Your mecha is clumsy and likely has low mobility and is unstable.

As a firing platform it is unstable; to achieve anything resembling a stable firing position you would need to kneel down. Or better yet: crouch, as that is the most stable firing platform. You also wouldn't be capable of firing with reasonable accuracy while moving. Now that you are down on your stomach you actually need to move your arms to aim with that silly rifle, and incapable of targeting something that suddenly appeared on your flank. Hm, guess having a rotation capable gun on your back would be better, as it could fire in all directions. Now, what do we do if we need to move somewhere ? Obviously we can't do that while lying down ... guess adding some wheels on the stomach would improve mobility while keeping the target profile as low as possible (aka crouching), and the gun on your back can still fire while you move. See where i am getting with this?

Where would you store your ammunition for your rifle? How complex and long would be the reloading process ? How would you hide anywhere with such a huge target profile ? Behind what would you hide ? And you certainly need cover more than that tank that is firing at you from few miles away.

Bottom line: no matter what technology we might attain, a single tank is likely to outperform a humanoid mecha in every way imaginable. Jet fighters would make very quick work out of your mecha, and you would be virtually defenseless against missile attacks. And they are unlikely to need guided missiles to hit you anyway. Never mind the fact you could probably build 10 tanks for the cost of one mecha, which would prove 30 times more efficient in combat.

Whatever advanced technology/armor/weaponry you can mount on a humanoid mecha you can mount on a tank with much greater efficiency. This is a basic flaw of the concept that is not going to change no matter how advanced one becomes. I can't find a humanoid mecha anything but worthless in modern warfare.



Only place i could imagine mecha having a role would be in some construction works, but even then there are likely to be more efficient alternatives.
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Old 2008-02-26, 18:16   Link #25
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^ That's why you don't send pure mechas into battle, you send biomechanic weapons like Evas. When we've mastered the techniques of tissue generation, there's nothing stopping us from building a self-propelled gigantic bioweapon. It would not be sentient, so we could theoretically control it via some sort of computer installed on it. It shouldn't be harder than to recreate a human being in a massive scale, but dumb as a brick.

Of course, fuel would be food. That could or could not be a problem, depending on the circumstances. You'd expect a juggernaut like that to eat several times what a single person eats, but then again, whole armies also chomp down a lot of food.
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Old 2008-02-26, 19:18   Link #26
Kamui4356
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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
^ That's why you don't send pure mechas into battle, you send biomechanic weapons like Evas. When we've mastered the techniques of tissue generation, there's nothing stopping us from building a self-propelled gigantic bioweapon. It would not be sentient, so we could theoretically control it via some sort of computer installed on it. It shouldn't be harder than to recreate a human being in a massive scale, but dumb as a brick.

Of course, fuel would be food. That could or could not be a problem, depending on the circumstances. You'd expect a juggernaut like that to eat several times what a single person eats, but then again, whole armies also chomp down a lot of food.
Biomechanical weapons would be even worse. Evas and angels were only as tough as they were because of the AT field, and they were composed of some weird solidified light or however they discribed it. They were biological, but they weren't really flesh. If they had been, they would have been much slower, bulkier, and chewed apart by those UN attack copters.
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Old 2008-02-26, 20:09   Link #27
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Quote:
Biomechanical weapons would be even worse. Evas and angels were only as tough as they were because of the AT field, and they were composed of some weird solidified light or however they discribed it. They were biological, but they weren't really flesh. If they had been, they would have been much slower, bulkier, and chewed apart by those UN attack copters.
Evas were a shitty example to use, of course, but I was thinking more on the lines of colossal anthropomorphic creatures--alive, probably, but with no true sentience. Do you really think that even a not so properly armored guy over 20 meters tall, and especially engineered to be a physical monster would not resist bullets? Perhaps tanks would damage them a bit, but everything else would be like bugs. Maybe the biggest problem to solve would be metabolism (bigger animals tend to have slower metabolism) but I suppose it could be engineered to make it faster, thus solving the "slowness" problem.

Hmm, this gives me an idea...

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Last edited by WanderingKnight; 2008-02-26 at 20:24.
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Old 2008-02-26, 20:27   Link #28
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That wouldn't be your only problem, if something eats, it needs to shit ^^. But it could be even worst if it has sexual organs.
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Old 2008-02-26, 21:00   Link #29
Kamui4356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Evas were a shitty example to use, of course, but I was thinking more on the lines of colossal anthropomorphic creatures--alive, probably, but with no true sentience. Do you really think that even a not so properly armored guy over 20 meters tall, and especially engineered to be a physical monster would not resist bullets? Perhaps tanks would damage them a bit, but everything else would be like bugs. Maybe the biggest problem to solve would be metabolism (bigger animals tend to have slower metabolism) but I suppose it could be engineered to make it faster, thus solving the "slowness" problem.

Hmm, this gives me an idea...

*Sketches a few lines on a page and saves it in his pocket*

If you see a best seller with this topic in the future, it wasn't me
Resisting bullets won't be enough though. Something that big is going to attract air support and anti-tank units. Being biological, it'll be even more vunerable than an actual mech. Sorry, but as cool as mechs are, they just aren't a practical weapon's platform. Rarely does sheer coolness win battles.
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Old 2008-02-26, 21:05   Link #30
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Quote:
Something that big is going to attract air support and anti-tank units.
But you have to mix them with a regular army. I mean, artillery is noisy enough to warrant lots of attention, however it was used intensively before battleships made them obsolete. If you have an army to protect them, it can cause a lot of rampage.

Likewise, it can draw attention away from the enemy for the real forces to enter. Anyways, everything can be destroyed, the point is, it's still useful.
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Old 2008-02-26, 21:06   Link #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyfall View Post
Whatever advanced technology/armor/weaponry you can mount on a humanoid mecha you can mount on a tank with much greater efficiency. This is a basic flaw of the concept that is not going to change no matter how advanced one becomes. I can't find a humanoid mecha anything but worthless in modern warfare.
I agree--for the most part.

If humanoid forms were always inferior in the battlefield, we would see efforts to completely replace soldiers with remote control tanks, etc.

While the human form doesn't excel at most any given task, it is very versatile. When the technology is advanced enough, I can certainly see humanoid mecha having a small place in military operations covering more varied terrain such as forests or cities.

I'd expect to see four-legged machines before two-legged machines, though. And if militaries foresee such need for mobile, aggressive forces to trample through cities and forests as to pursue development of something like that, I think we have some giant problems on our hands.
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Old 2008-02-26, 21:24   Link #32
Kamui4356
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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
But you have to mix them with a regular army. I mean, artillery is noisy enough to warrant lots of attention, however it was used intensively before battleships made them obsolete. If you have an army to protect them, it can cause a lot of rampage.

Likewise, it can draw attention away from the enemy for the real forces to enter. Anyways, everything can be destroyed, the point is, it's still useful.
The problem is they're very resourse intensive, and would serve mainly as a magnet for enemy fire. A mech and your bio mech would both cost a lot to make, and be very difficult to mass produce. It's never a good thing when your most expensive, hardest to build systems are best suited as a destraction. For the cost of one mech you could likely build quite a few tanks or planes.
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Old 2008-02-26, 22:25   Link #33
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By the time tech has reached gundam level, I don't see why they would even bother with them. Land based stuff unless they have serious armour or shields will get ponied by space based stuff any day. Orbital bombing FTW.
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Old 2008-02-26, 22:29   Link #34
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Despite being a most ardent fan of mecha, even I think that IRL mecha as portrayed in Gundam, Eva, Macross or the like are impractical at best.

Of course, that's not preventing us from actually having humanoid fighting machines, just not the 10-meter+ tall type. In many areas, the humanoid shape is still the the most efficient at multi-tasking at our size level.

Like this example of a military powered exoskeleton being developed right now:

SARCOS Powered Exoskeleton
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Old 2008-02-26, 22:38   Link #35
grey_moon
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Originally Posted by LoweGear View Post
Despite being a most ardent fan of mecha, even I think that IRL mecha as portrayed in Gundam, Eva, Macross or the like are impractical at best.

Of course, that's not preventing us from actually having humanoid fighting machines, just not the 10-meter+ tall type. In many areas, the humanoid shape is still the the most efficient at multi-tasking at our size level.

Like this example of a military powered exoskeleton being developed right now:

SARCOS Powered Exoskeleton
Pretty darn cool, but how long would the portable backpack power last

*edit*

Thoughts on why the humanoid shape is rather poo for fighting.

It is all about the posture, we expose everything vulnerable when are able to attack. Our chest, stomachs, groins, face and throat. If we were 4 legged we would minimise our vulnerable areas to our face and the throat as our shoulders (shoulder blades...) would be in the way of our vital spots.
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Old 2008-02-26, 22:46   Link #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoweGear View Post
Despite being a most ardent fan of mecha, even I think that IRL mecha as portrayed in Gundam, Eva, Macross or the like are impractical at best.

Of course, that's not preventing us from actually having humanoid fighting machines, just not the 10-meter+ tall type. In many areas, the humanoid shape is still the the most efficient at multi-tasking at our size level.

Like this example of a military powered exoskeleton being developed right now:

SARCOS Powered Exoskeleton
i agree.. this is a very real possibility in my opinion. perhaps not even for military use, but surely there are a lot of benefits in creating an effective exoskeleton?
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Old 2008-02-26, 22:52   Link #37
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The only military use of anything close to mecha would be a kind of exosuite, however this is more in line with Master Chief or the space marines from 40k. Something to enhance the capabilities of the individual warfighter. There will need to be alternatives to tracked and wheeled vehicles however these alternatives will borrow more from arachnids and have six or more legs. The humanoid form was taken from a design that was built for climbing trees. Our ancestors sacrificed some of their mobility to gain the huge advantage of having better control and use of tools . If you want to design a vehicle that can climb trees then the humanoid form would work well, for anything else there are better alternatives. I liked the biological vehicle idea taken from eva but with that technology it would be a waste to design something similar in shape to a human. Especially because scaling biological life up requires thicker bones and thus the giant would be stocky and ungainly defeating the real purpose of mecha, which is to look cool. However that idea made me think of something better if that technology were available. Design a mindless hive styled organism with the queens kept carefully contained and monitored as the production line. The queens cheaply produce small eggs by the million. These eggs are airdropped over targeted territory and the larvae will eat and grow on their own. Then they bury themselves, cocoon and wait. Given the high level of genetic engineering technology required it wouldn't be too difficult to also have a two way radio hardwired into its brain making it almost like a psychic and giving its owners total control at this point. The creature can be dormant for years in its cocooned state and at any time they could be released and set to perform hundreds of different missions. These creatures would be modeled mostly after insects and might look more like zerg or tyranids rather than mecha. Personally I hold mecha in such low contempt that I refuse to watch mecha anime out of principle, if its stupid enough to take mecha seriously, then its too stupid for me to watch. I'll watch anime with mecha but only if that isn't the focus.
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Old 2008-02-26, 23:23   Link #38
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Originally Posted by no common sense View Post
These creatures would be modeled mostly after insects and might look more like zerg or tyranids rather than mecha.
I can't see how something like that could possibly go wrong.

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Anyway, I could see mechs resembling tachikoma from GitS:SAC, but anything humanoid and signifigantly larger than a human is called target practice. Though I can't discount the possibility of humanoid robots the size of a human replacing soldiers. It might not be the most effiecent system on it's own, but it has the benefit of being fully compatable with any equipment built for humans to operate.
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Old 2008-02-26, 23:44   Link #39
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Actually if going on about size, wouldn't smaller be better? Me thinks of attack nanobots ripping ppl apart on the microscopic level.
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Old 2008-02-27, 00:03   Link #40
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We already have that capability, its called biological warfare. But yes smaller machines are the way of the future.
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