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Thread: A question of functionality in sci fi designs

  1. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    (honestly I can't really see even the Big Dog be used to carry people in that condition despite its stability, and having it carry bigger loads is iffy to me as well and I haven't heard much about it in the past seven years so I'm not sure if they're still developing it?)
    BigDog has been succeeded by the LS3 "AlphaDog," the field testing of which began this year. http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/r...oor-assessment


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  4. #28
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    Good to see it still makes that horrible nightmare noise.

    Ill see if I can get any of the TAD ID folks in here, we discussed this topic in some detail..
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  5. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcarman View Post
    I built one. It's a recycling system. Comes out, goes into a easy bake synthesizer and out pops a high energy snack. Goes right to the mouth through the suit. No touch no fuss.
    But will it also scratch your itchy balls?
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    Black Spot, that's the million dollar question. But Starcraft marines are totally realistic, just look at this detailed video of how they suit up:

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    That so makes my weapon of choice itching powder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    BigDog has been succeeded by the LS3 "AlphaDog," the field testing of which began this year. http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/r...oor-assessment

    OMG...poor things, it makes me want to shoot them to put them out of their misery.

    Also...this is the kind of problem you get when you let Bill Carman do industrial design.
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  10. #33
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    Everything I do is perfectly functional Jeff. And it looks bitchin'.
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  12. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Fictional worlds still function according to our reality though...so they need to look like they work. Your car example for instance...at its core it is still a car...and better function as such.
    Been awhile since I've been to this thread a bit late.
    But yes things work in the realms of reality. Except one technological breakthrough can break plenty of the bindings of that reality. In the same way people never thought flight was possible, or even something like electricity was remotely feasible. Suddenly a new material is created and it changes the very laws of nature as we know them, or a metal that is as thin as a straw is developed that can hold tons.

    Things should feel fairly functional enough to believe it's possible since with any concept it needs to feel real enough. But when people compare too much to our reality it bugs me with things like "That wouldn't be able to support that structure, or that little thing could never power something that large". Since our reality is ever expanding and the impossible becomes possible all the time.
    Last edited by JFierce; June 26th, 2012 at 09:16 PM.
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  13. #35
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    "Black Spot
    Quote:
    But will it also scratch your itchy balls?"

    Doing that with a giant metal claw is a nerve-wracking prospect.

    "Things should feel fairly functional enough to believe it's possible since with any concept it needs to feel real enough. But when people compare too much to our reality it bugs me with things like "That wouldn't be able to support that structure, or that little thing could never power something that large". Since our reality is ever expanding and the impossible becomes possible all the time."

    I agree. I think when characters in movies treat what we think as crazy technological miracles with a sort of everyday meh-ness, like the Mr Fusion or the Bladerunner Spinner or the Starship Enterprise, that adds a lot of believablility to it. Like, theyre reaction shows that to them this is nothing special, just as we do with giant skyscrapers or the Panama canal or the moon landings. Miracles become commonplace quickly.
    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; June 26th, 2012 at 11:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TASmith View Post
    Black Spot, that's the million dollar question. But Starcraft marines are totally realistic, just look at this detailed video of how they suit up...
    I watched that trailer as well, hence I mentioned it in the original post. I even did a helpful diagram for it. The trailer in itself is pretty good, and at first glance I even liked it. And it is nitpicking, I know, but I have some problems with it. Like for example how you never see how his shoulders are built up. And what is all this metal doing on top of his naked skin? Or his feet. How long do they have to be to fit the proportion of the final suit? And so on.

    I mean, don't get me wrong, that trailer looks awesome, and I'm aware that my criticisms of it are going into the realms of pettiness.

    As for itching powder. That would be an unfortunate case of psychological warfare. Especially if you do end up snipping your balls off with your force in the power of ten... I would make sure to install something to counter it. Like tiny tasers to remove the itchiness with minuscule electrical shocks.
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  15. #37
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    Well, seeing as we're on the topic... I've never quite been able to make sense of power armour.

    It's like, if I take one of countless stereotypical designs of power armour as an example, it lacks the agility of an infantryman and the speed of a tank. It can't get in small places or hide in foxholes, so it's a very big target. It can't carry enough supplies to remain self-sufficient for a few days without resupply, or carry the firepower of a tank. Even the heaviest tanks of today are very vulnerable to man-portable weapons. Imagine what it'd be like with much lighter protection to enable a man to move inside it. A lot of tanks have low turret profiles precisely to avoid the problem of silhouetting themselves on the horizon and all that, so what do all those mech designers do? Make them so tall that you can see them from miles away and shoot them dead before they even realise you're there.

    It's all good fun, though, and I've been a fan of giant robots smashing each other to pieces since I first found out about Battletech and Mechwarrior. As petty as it probably appears, it is very interesting to me analysing some of these designs. My opinion is that if you can make a cool and visually interesting design for a film or something, then the audience will probably think, "hey, that looks cool," for a few minutes, then promptly forget about it when the next piece of flashy FX comes up. If you can make one that also looks like it could really work and function in reality, then people will remember it for a long time.

    As for toilet needs in an armoured suit, I guess they'd do what they do in tanks or aircraft in battle, which is just wet yourself.
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  16. #38
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    Because a tank or a helicopter gunship would almost always batter a mech suit, some series build in ways to rationalise their use. Like say radar has become terminally jammed preventing accurate ballistic or guided missile strikes, and so hand to hand combat mechs are sort of believable.
    Or like in Evangelion, where really theyre part of a complex conspiracy and not really giant robots at all.

    There are loads of reasons why mechas dont work.

    Theyre too tall, theyre easy to disable with a single shot, theyre very easy to hit with bullets or missiles, they consume too much energy, the bearings in their legs need to be made of impossible strong materials, their waste heat would melt them and anyhthing near them, theyre not as useful as tanks in battle, theyre too complex, theyd find it difficult to shoot heavily recoiling ballistic guns while moving, or at all,
    BUT THEY LOOK AWESOME!

    Mecha as practical war machines
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Tr...l_War_Machines

    Too many words about why mechas are stupid
    http://www.denbeste.nu/Chizumatic/tmw/mechas.shtml

    Other applications i can think armoured suits are or might be useful might be in bomb disposal, deep sea operations, dangerous animal husbandry, metal smelting, space industry.
    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; June 27th, 2012 at 11:02 AM.
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  17. #39
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    The above why mechas are stupid is what bugs me. Why are people talking about cooling, power, supporting weight, the bearings. Once again. Future/different universe/planet sometimes. Different new metal or power source suddenly changes all the possibilities. The size and being a target could be an issue, I agree. I always viewed a mech as an all around vehicle in design, many utilities. Why give something hands? Because look at all the shit a human hand can do. Then it's designed in a humanoid form for familiarity and simplicity.


    Also disagree a bit with why a mecha would carry a rifle or such instead of attaching it to the suit directly. If a robot has everything directly attached to the suit then you can't change weapons on the fly, you have to customize every weapon to match the robot while if it has a trigger and a handle the mech can use it. You run out of ammo with your big shoulder cannons that are mounted to your suit? Eject it but good luck getting another one on in the heat of a battle. Run out of ammo with your rifle? Go grab another one in a few seconds off a fallen ally or even enemy. The hand getting chopped off makes it useless in that arm, but it's the same as if any robot had it's gun hit/chopped of. You could always do what something like Gundam does and do both. Have mounted and unmounted weapons.


    Mechs aren't remotely feasible for us. We have nowhere near the tech or even environment to ever need it. Ever. If we're doing mechs it's going to be tiny mech suits to help soldiers wield weapons they normally couldn't carry across terrain something like a tank or something with wheels might not go.
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