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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Fargo, ND USA

 Elbows wrote:
Ah, excellent. Another thread where Peregrine comes in to gak all over peoples enthusiasm...as usual. Stellar.


That "enthusiasm" boils down to OP essentially covering their ears and going "lalalala can't hear you!" to people who disagree with their scientifically flawed thesis. Peregrine may not be popular or easy to discuss things with, but that doesn't always make them wrong and pointing out the scientific issues with a flawed thesis isn't "gakking all over people's enthusiasm".

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/05/29 23:05:48


You know you're really doing something when you can make strangers hate you over the Internet. - Mauleed
Just remember folks. Panic. Panic all the time. It's the only way to survive, other than just being mindful, of course-but geez, that's so friggin' boring. - Aegis Grimm
Hallowed is the All Pie
The Before Times: A Place That Celebrates The World That Was 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





The surest proof that mecha have no basis in reality is the fact that they were invented wholly for fiction, and every attempt to demonstrate their real-world utility is working backwards from the premise that giant robots are cool and it would be cool if they could be made to exist.

Anthropomorphism is just not beneficial from a military design standpoint. From ground pressure to target profile to recoil compensation to surface area to terrain traversal, there are a whole host of disadvantages to the humanoid form. Riflemen are trained to fight from prone specifically to mitigate the disadvantages of the human body as a weapons platform.

Even in the given justification of urban combat, there is no reason why an anthropomorphic machine should be any faster, harder to hit, more survivable, or better at staying hull-down than a Bradley or MRAP, and those aren't exactly optimal for COIN ops against RPG-armed insurgents to begin with. If the ability to peek and fire over vertical obstructions were considered militarily useful, the solution would be an extensible weapons mount akin to a cherry-picker, not a human-shaped robot- and the truth is that it's really not actually useful in the first place. In fact, an urban environment full of rubble is a rather poor environment to begin with for a machine that is capable of falling over.

I grew up on Battletech, VOTOMS, and Heavy Gear. I think they're incredibly cool as pieces of fiction. But their internal logic is pure fanwank, and nobody in the military analysis/procurement world takes them remotely seriously.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





geargutz wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
Sorry, but no. The square cube law is just one part of the problem, they would also have massive ground pressure issues and paper-thin armor compared to a tank of similar mass. Add in crippling stability issues, a high and easily targeted profile, etc, and there is no justification for anything larger than power armor (which works despite its flaws because of the need to interact with a human-scale and human-shaped world).

i figured it wouldn't take long for a detractor like his to come in.
maybe you didn't read my "critiques of mechs" section, or maybe i didn't explain it well enough.


No, you explained it perfectly well, Peregrine just exists to dump on threads he disagrees with. The more people who put him on their ignore list, the more smoothly such threads go.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
catbarf wrote:
The surest proof that mecha have no basis in reality is the fact that they were invented wholly for fiction, and every attempt to demonstrate their real-world utility is working backwards from the premise that giant robots are cool and it would be cool if they could be made to exist.


One could have make the same argument about Jules Verne and the submarine back in the mid 19th century...

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/05/30 01:23:05


CHAOS! PANIC! DISORDER!
My job here is done. 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





 Vulcan wrote:
geargutz wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
Sorry, but no. The square cube law is just one part of the problem, they would also have massive ground pressure issues and paper-thin armor compared to a tank of similar mass. Add in crippling stability issues, a high and easily targeted profile, etc, and there is no justification for anything larger than power armor (which works despite its flaws because of the need to interact with a human-scale and human-shaped world).

i figured it wouldn't take long for a detractor like his to come in.
maybe you didn't read my "critiques of mechs" section, or maybe i didn't explain it well enough.


No, you explained it perfectly well, Peregrine just exists to dump on threads he disagrees with. The more people who put him on their ignore list, the more smoothly such threads go.


Except, he's not wrong?

There is no known material currently available, not even carbon nanotubes, that one can build an internal skeleton that could withstand the stress of a single step of an GRV (giant robot vehicle). Let alone putting their feet several yards into any given surface due to distribution of mass being so "on point". Elephants are crazy strong. They also cannot jump. In fact they are on the outside size for mating which requires them to mount the female, an act which is actually hazardous to their health and puts enormous strain on their skeleton.

Japan has built a static life sized Gundam. It cannot move. It is extremely fragile. It barely works with massive internal reinforcement and light weight construction. It's one of the reasons we know the Colossus of Rhodes did not straddle the harbor entrance. It would collapse under it's own weight if it was as large as apocryphal accounts attribute to it.

On the alternate scale. Man sized and up to about 15-20ft powered armor is workable. In fact, if only you folks knew. There are fully functional armored power suits available. In fact, one could build a workable suit with 1980s tech and a modern frame. Armor has advanced but what most people don't know is that all the most advanced armors are not in full production not to hide secrets but because they don't have the shelf life for GI. They are "unstable" and degrade in temp or time or both. That means they cost a lot and don't last. While "Iron Man" type suit is mythical. Something like MADOX-01 is not only reasonable, it is actually quite easily built. I could assemble one with "off the shelf" componentry at this point.


Also.. here is something I saved from the astronomy thread. Do we have Fusion? Time to blow your mind. YES. We do. The US Navy was about 99% there with a small scale prototype circa 200x.. can't recall the exact date. It would be "self sustaining" with the next revision, and it costs a lot less than your Tokamak style reactor. It's also smaller. It also does not require laser ignition. It blew my mind when I saw the design. So simple. It was ridiculous. IIRC the next scale would only require about 40M USD in pre 2010 USD. Exact dollar amount is from some foggy memory of the DARPA request for funding.


Hell.. in what.. 1989 DARPA had a hexapedal GRV design that was in the works. Don't know what happened to that project and frankly, it's none of my business. I never should have seen the designs, but I did.

The stuff that is out there. Seriously. Anyone here with the will could pop out a non-airborne MADOX-01 style suit in about a year with about 10M USD in funding. That's where we are at. Well, actually, we are like way beyond that on the bleeding edge of things.. but yeah. From a non-classified position you could push a suit out with a little work. Remember MADOX-01 was Diesel Powered... aka ICE. No fusion, no Fission. Just good old fashioned Diesel. Which is workable if.. eh.. heavy and awkward.

Still man sized suits are best, even with certain.. ehem.. problems with durability. The other school of thought goes with the larger than man-sized but still small, 15 ft tops usually with a foetal position for the pilot. It's quite comfortable for long periods and does not suffer from limb damage limitations or stress from high explosive impacts. Yes, it's a thing. You can have all the armor you want but getting hit with an RPG will still stress your limbs, cause bone breakage, and other unpleasant results. The larger designs suffer from latency though and more complex control systems.. which is where the latency comes from and in combat latency is death.. so.. There are real world issues to solve before something enters service.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/05/30 01:30:31


Consummate 8th Edition Hater.  
   
Made in us
Bonkers Buggy Driver with Rockets






I think the biggest issue with perigrine and others is that they didn't pay enough attention to the type of combat mecha I suggest.

They hear "real robot" and think gundam/battletech or other massive mechs.

I have not suggested anything like that. Votoms,protomechs,sentinels, madox 01,patlabor,landmates, nightmare frames,titanfalls titans.
These are pretty much what I'm talking about. Striving for low scale warmachines that dont replace tanks or even fight like tanks (they fight more like large solders).

"dont put all yer boyz in one trukk" "umless its dredds, then take as much uf those as possible"

geargutz interpretation of the 'umies "eggs in one basket" 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





meatybtz wrote:
 Vulcan wrote:
geargutz wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
Sorry, but no. The square cube law is just one part of the problem, they would also have massive ground pressure issues and paper-thin armor compared to a tank of similar mass. Add in crippling stability issues, a high and easily targeted profile, etc, and there is no justification for anything larger than power armor (which works despite its flaws because of the need to interact with a human-scale and human-shaped world).

i figured it wouldn't take long for a detractor like his to come in.
maybe you didn't read my "critiques of mechs" section, or maybe i didn't explain it well enough.


No, you explained it perfectly well, Peregrine just exists to dump on threads he disagrees with. The more people who put him on their ignore list, the more smoothly such threads go.


Except, he's not wrong?

There is no known material currently available, not even carbon nanotubes, that one can build an internal skeleton that could withstand the stress of a single step of an GRV (giant robot vehicle). Let alone putting their feet several yards into any given surface due to distribution of mass being so "on point". Elephants are crazy strong. They also cannot jump. In fact they are on the outside size for mating which requires them to mount the female, an act which is actually hazardous to their health and puts enormous strain on their skeleton.

Japan has built a static life sized Gundam. It cannot move. It is extremely fragile. It barely works with massive internal reinforcement and light weight construction. It's one of the reasons we know the Colossus of Rhodes did not straddle the harbor entrance. It would collapse under it's own weight if it was as large as apocryphal accounts attribute to it.

On the alternate scale. Man sized and up to about 15-20ft powered armor is workable. In fact, if only you folks knew. There are fully functional armored power suits available. In fact, one could build a workable suit with 1980s tech and a modern frame. Armor has advanced but what most people don't know is that all the most advanced armors are not in full production not to hide secrets but because they don't have the shelf life for GI. They are "unstable" and degrade in temp or time or both. That means they cost a lot and don't last. While "Iron Man" type suit is mythical. Something like MADOX-01 is not only reasonable, it is actually quite easily built. I could assemble one with "off the shelf" componentry at this point.


Also.. here is something I saved from the astronomy thread. Do we have Fusion? Time to blow your mind. YES. We do. The US Navy was about 99% there with a small scale prototype circa 200x.. can't recall the exact date. It would be "self sustaining" with the next revision, and it costs a lot less than your Tokamak style reactor. It's also smaller. It also does not require laser ignition. It blew my mind when I saw the design. So simple. It was ridiculous. IIRC the next scale would only require about 40M USD in pre 2010 USD. Exact dollar amount is from some foggy memory of the DARPA request for funding.


Hell.. in what.. 1989 DARPA had a hexapedal GRV design that was in the works. Don't know what happened to that project and frankly, it's none of my business. I never should have seen the designs, but I did.

The stuff that is out there. Seriously. Anyone here with the will could pop out a non-airborne MADOX-01 style suit in about a year with about 10M USD in funding. That's where we are at. Well, actually, we are like way beyond that on the bleeding edge of things.. but yeah. From a non-classified position you could push a suit out with a little work. Remember MADOX-01 was Diesel Powered... aka ICE. No fusion, no Fission. Just good old fashioned Diesel. Which is workable if.. eh.. heavy and awkward.

Still man sized suits are best, even with certain.. ehem.. problems with durability. The other school of thought goes with the larger than man-sized but still small, 15 ft tops usually with a foetal position for the pilot. It's quite comfortable for long periods and does not suffer from limb damage limitations or stress from high explosive impacts. Yes, it's a thing. You can have all the armor you want but getting hit with an RPG will still stress your limbs, cause bone breakage, and other unpleasant results. The larger designs suffer from latency though and more complex control systems.. which is where the latency comes from and in combat latency is death.. so.. There are real world issues to solve before something enters service.


So you're saying the OP is incorrect, and yet when you actually read his post (for example, he discards the viability of anything above 33 feet, which is larger than the 20 feet you claim to be workable... but not THAT much more) and compare it to your post here you're actually agreeing with him more than disagreeing with him.

CHAOS! PANIC! DISORDER!
My job here is done. 
   
Made in us
Douglas Bader






geargutz wrote:
I think the biggest issue with perigrine and others is that they didn't pay enough attention to the type of combat mecha I suggest.


No, the biggest issue is that we don't praise your idea sufficiently. I have read and understood your idea, it still doesn't work. The issues that make larger walkers impossible also apply to yours, and you have done nothing to justify why such a thing should exist in the first place.

There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





 Vulcan wrote:
One could have make the same argument about Jules Verne and the submarine back in the mid 19th century...


I gather you are referring to 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, a novel published six years after the H. L. Hunley attacked and sank the USS Housatonic? Jules Verne didn't invent the submarine, let alone have flocks of fans, entranced by the romantic notion of a ship that goes underwater, attempt to invent military justifications for a technology created as a fictional contrivance. Military submarines were already established reality, and something that naval engineers had been actively struggling to produce in light of the obvious advantages they offered. Nobody's struggling to build a mecha.

Perhaps you can think of a better example.

geargutz wrote:
I have not suggested anything like that. Votoms,protomechs,sentinels, madox 01,patlabor,landmates, nightmare frames,titanfalls titans.
These are pretty much what I'm talking about. Striving for low scale warmachines that dont replace tanks or even fight like tanks (they fight more like large solders).


They still have all the same problems, just on a different scale. Ground pressure is excessive. Joints, limbs, hands, etc are mechanically complex, fragile, and unneeded. Bipedal motion is inefficient and disadvantageous. Having a tall silhouette is a detriment in modern warfare. Surface-to-volume ratios make armor prohibitively heavy. Tracking, aiming, firing, and mitigating recoil are non-negligible technical hurdles compared to simple turrets on stable platforms.

You don't see Wiesels or MRAPs with articulated arms holding their autocannons, or Humvees running around on bipedal legs. Each of these features in isolation offers no benefit, and there's no reason to think that combining them (in a way that just so happens to mirror the anthropomorphic protagonists of Japanese cartoon franchises) will be a military breakthrough.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/30 02:13:56


 
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





 Vulcan wrote:
meatybtz wrote:
 Vulcan wrote:
geargutz wrote:
 Peregrine wrote:
Sorry, but no. The square cube law is just one part of the problem, they would also have massive ground pressure issues and paper-thin armor compared to a tank of similar mass. Add in crippling stability issues, a high and easily targeted profile, etc, and there is no justification for anything larger than power armor (which works despite its flaws because of the need to interact with a human-scale and human-shaped world).

i figured it wouldn't take long for a detractor like his to come in.
maybe you didn't read my "critiques of mechs" section, or maybe i didn't explain it well enough.


No, you explained it perfectly well, Peregrine just exists to dump on threads he disagrees with. The more people who put him on their ignore list, the more smoothly such threads go.


Except, he's not wrong?

There is no known material currently available, not even carbon nanotubes, that one can build an internal skeleton that could withstand the stress of a single step of an GRV (giant robot vehicle). Let alone putting their feet several yards into any given surface due to distribution of mass being so "on point". Elephants are crazy strong. They also cannot jump. In fact they are on the outside size for mating which requires them to mount the female, an act which is actually hazardous to their health and puts enormous strain on their skeleton.

Japan has built a static life sized Gundam. It cannot move. It is extremely fragile. It barely works with massive internal reinforcement and light weight construction. It's one of the reasons we know the Colossus of Rhodes did not straddle the harbor entrance. It would collapse under it's own weight if it was as large as apocryphal accounts attribute to it.

On the alternate scale. Man sized and up to about 15-20ft powered armor is workable. In fact, if only you folks knew. There are fully functional armored power suits available. In fact, one could build a workable suit with 1980s tech and a modern frame. Armor has advanced but what most people don't know is that all the most advanced armors are not in full production not to hide secrets but because they don't have the shelf life for GI. They are "unstable" and degrade in temp or time or both. That means they cost a lot and don't last. While "Iron Man" type suit is mythical. Something like MADOX-01 is not only reasonable, it is actually quite easily built. I could assemble one with "off the shelf" componentry at this point.


Also.. here is something I saved from the astronomy thread. Do we have Fusion? Time to blow your mind. YES. We do. The US Navy was about 99% there with a small scale prototype circa 200x.. can't recall the exact date. It would be "self sustaining" with the next revision, and it costs a lot less than your Tokamak style reactor. It's also smaller. It also does not require laser ignition. It blew my mind when I saw the design. So simple. It was ridiculous. IIRC the next scale would only require about 40M USD in pre 2010 USD. Exact dollar amount is from some foggy memory of the DARPA request for funding.


Hell.. in what.. 1989 DARPA had a hexapedal GRV design that was in the works. Don't know what happened to that project and frankly, it's none of my business. I never should have seen the designs, but I did.

The stuff that is out there. Seriously. Anyone here with the will could pop out a non-airborne MADOX-01 style suit in about a year with about 10M USD in funding. That's where we are at. Well, actually, we are like way beyond that on the bleeding edge of things.. but yeah. From a non-classified position you could push a suit out with a little work. Remember MADOX-01 was Diesel Powered... aka ICE. No fusion, no Fission. Just good old fashioned Diesel. Which is workable if.. eh.. heavy and awkward.

Still man sized suits are best, even with certain.. ehem.. problems with durability. The other school of thought goes with the larger than man-sized but still small, 15 ft tops usually with a foetal position for the pilot. It's quite comfortable for long periods and does not suffer from limb damage limitations or stress from high explosive impacts. Yes, it's a thing. You can have all the armor you want but getting hit with an RPG will still stress your limbs, cause bone breakage, and other unpleasant results. The larger designs suffer from latency though and more complex control systems.. which is where the latency comes from and in combat latency is death.. so.. There are real world issues to solve before something enters service.


So you're saying the OP is incorrect, and yet when you actually read his post (for example, he discards the viability of anything above 33 feet, which is larger than the 20 feet you claim to be workable... but not THAT much more) and compare it to your post here you're actually agreeing with him more than disagreeing with him.


Let's be frank. It's pretty nuanced. Something 20ft is going to be pretty vulnerable to weapons designed to take out the behemoths that represent MBTs today. The trade-offs are huge which is why man-sized powered armor remains a primary target. Arguably you get more power-plant into a larger frame more easily. You also get better platform stability for the mounting of heavy weapon systems. But tracked vehicles distribute their enormous mass over a very large surface. Conventional production MBT armor is pretty "old fashioned" but it is mass producible and remains stable over both time and temp. It's also really heavy vs the alternatives. It is also "massive" comparative to some of the more advanced alternatives. Massive here refers to "bulk thickness" rather than pure weight. Point of fact in the 80s we had polymer based armor (not UHMWPE) that could withstand five 50 caliber AP shots at point blank range on the same spot. By thickness it was pretty bulky armor. We, the US, produced entire prototype armored vehicle shells of it for testing at the Redstone Arsenal. But wasn't temp stable (read in that fun place called the Middle East) and had a shelf life on top of being expensive and still vulnerable to the USSRs long penetrators of the era with the Soviets favoring longer sabots than the NATO counterparts to defeat armor.

While the functional motor tech and control systems could be made with 80s and 90s tech and now, off the shelf tech, the "total package" in deployable or GI form remains elusive and with many trade-offs as one changes between man-sized to foetal position suits, etc. We have some crazy systems that are technically production ready but not really combat ready or GI ready. The devil is always in the details.

Consummate 8th Edition Hater.  
   
Made in us
Bonkers Buggy Driver with Rockets






Research and development will solve many of the technical issues. It won't be possible within a decade but much more possible in the next.
So if its eventualy possible the the argument is its usefulness to fighting forces.
That's what I've been arguing for.

"dont put all yer boyz in one trukk" "umless its dredds, then take as much uf those as possible"

geargutz interpretation of the 'umies "eggs in one basket" 
   
Made in us
Douglas Bader






geargutz wrote:
Research and development will solve many of the technical issues. It won't be possible within a decade but much more possible in the next.
So if its eventualy possible the the argument is its usefulness to fighting forces.
That's what I've been arguing for.


So, more claims without any evidence to back them up, complete with arbitrary timescales which seem to come from nothing more than "I WANT COOL GIANT ROBOTS SOON". R&D is not going to solve fundamental issues of geometry and any improvements in technology that could make a walker viable will almost certainly apply even better to conventional weapons.

There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
   
Made in us
Bonkers Buggy Driver with Rockets






I have a change fo any person against the idea of urban combat mecha. I want you to provide me with a mech from science fiction that fits into the ideas I've brought up, this is so that we are on the same page.

and not required, but if you willing then try to argue a battlefield role for that mech, as if your trying to be "pro mech".

The point of this excersize is to weed out those willing to have a genuine discussion from those who arnt willing to argue in good faith.

"dont put all yer boyz in one trukk" "umless its dredds, then take as much uf those as possible"

geargutz interpretation of the 'umies "eggs in one basket" 
   
Made in us
Fresh-Faced New User





I'll preface this by saying I'm an avid fan of most things in robot combat genre; movies, shows, games, comics, toys, etc. I've sketched mechs since I was ~7. A friend and I produce a western-mecha webcomic My Life at War, I illustrate and design weapons for a social media mecha game (which I'm taking a break from working on to write this). I'm mechanically inclined, keep abridged of modern military and mechanical developments to draw inspiration from to keep them visually believable to their audiences. All that being said, in the real world military capacity, manned-mechs don't work. They're like flying cars. They're just a fun idea. Power armor is more likely.

For one thing they don't solve a real world problem.
The cool boston dynamic robots at the moment are mostly just proof of concept of ingenuity, eventually meant to replace humans for commercial and dangerous situations..Robot supply truck was blown up by an IED? Drat, send another. Send ten, they're not a human life.
And with that said, piloted mecha create engineering concerns and complications that unmanned vehicles wouldn't. Neural-interface devices would have astronomical uses from medical, communication, to remote marine/space exploration. But for actual mechs it'd be more practical to have a brain in a jar than a full person. Less organic vulnerability, means less armor and/or more space for other systems, and more risk taking to achieve whatever task is needed. Essentially battle servitors...which have other off-topic ethical concerns.

To a certain extent, crews of historical ground vehicles can enact field repairs with supplies they carry. Spare wheels, tracks, sprockets, etc. Walkers of any size would be more complex than planes, demand much more mechanical knowledge on their pilots, and have to have to carry a lot more kit to make field repairs. Or have more readily available support network to mend a broken ankle, or shattered knee alignment.

Ideally, I could see mecha having certain advantages over existing ground vehicles in their hypothetical-maneuverability. Similar in idea to 4D printing, they need not always be a taller profile: they could stand, or kneel, crouch, shift portions of their bodies in ways to reduce their overall silhouette; move around terrain/obstacles that other vehicles would be unable to follow, etc. Something more dynamic than simply hull down.
But all of that would require levels of engineering that, as other people have mentioned, could be applied to improve existing hardware. And in a fight with any contemporary aircraft that could snipe/barrage them with satellite targeted hypersonic missiles from beyond the horizon edge...all that added dexterity is rather wasted.

The ground pressure issue is more than just sinking, the composition of certain soils under sudden localized exerted pressure can behave differently than it would under something with wider surface area; stepping onto soggy grassy field could create hydroplaning as bad stepping onto ice, certain types of gravel become like ball-bearing between hard ground and the bottom of mecha foot. Comical as that may be for onlookers. Having more than two legs could reduce this and/or using tracked feet, but then why not just have tracked vehicles?

I think what you're saying is you prefer more hard-scifi approach to robot genre, things that operating within their established universes reduce required suspension of disbelief.

The AMP suits work in Avatar as mass-manufactured solution for humans (who didn't have psychically attuned bio-puppets) to interact with the native species, enabling them to physically hold their own if need be, were a more practical vehicle to navigate dense layers of space-jungles vs flyers. If I recall the planet had lighter gravity, which would ease some of the engineering obstacles than operating in earth-standard G.

Armor Shrikes from Blue Gender anime: reasonably sized, similar to Gears with tracked feet for quickly traversing various places that aircraft and bombs might not reach, and were designed to combat giant mutant bugs not fight against conventional weapons of warfare.

Pacific Rim had giant ultradimensional monsters that already break the laws of known physics, in that movie universe using equally-sized atomic robots to fight them doesn't seem as improbable. It's a rule-of-cool from the get go; and at least in the first film the creators tried to convey a sense of heft in movement, instead of the ninja-matrix moves of the sequel. Though like you said you're not talking that scale, in reality humans would just build larger fleets of aircraft and better bombs, but that's a less fun movie experience.

I think that imagined experience is key to the appeal of the piloted robot/mecha genre. It's like the battles in Star Wars being an homage to theater news serials of ww2 dogfights and naval combat, giant fighting robots are like the combined benefits of being an armored knight and a tank at the same time. It's pure power fantasy.
I wouldn't use the term "real robots" to describe still-fictional concept vehicles, unless we're talking the megabots vs suidobashi fight....and even then real as is in WWE.
However, like megabots initiative, real-robots would work better in an entertainment capacity. Like nascar or monster trucks, it's an appreciation of engineering for spectacle. You basically want giant robots for entertainment, why not build them for that?

Now I got to get back to drawing this not-liger blow stuff up.
   
Made in us
Douglas Bader






geargutz wrote:
I have a change fo any person against the idea of urban combat mecha. I want you to provide me with a mech from science fiction that fits into the ideas I've brought up, this is so that we are on the same page.

and not required, but if you willing then try to argue a battlefield role for that mech, as if your trying to be "pro mech".

The point of this excersize is to weed out those willing to have a genuine discussion from those who arnt willing to argue in good faith.


This is just plain absurd. Are you honestly expecting people to make your argument for you as a prerequisite to being declared to be arguing in "good faith"? Does this thread have any purpose besides you fishing for praise for your ideas?

There is no such thing as a hobby without politics. "Leave politics at the door" is itself a political statement, an endorsement of the status quo and an attempt to silence dissenting voices. 
   
Made in us
Esteemed Veteran Space Marine




San Jose, CA

Materials engineering technology will need another 10-15 years to have power supplies with a dense enough capacity, electro-actuated carbon nanotube strong/light/durable enough & pilot interface issues to work through. All of this needs to be addressed before anything combat ready could even be developed, let alone tested.

A mech is workable in a supporting combat role but not really anything else. It wouldnt be fast, armoured, or lethal enuff to replace an APC/MRAP/STRYKER.

If the real world application of a Mech is possible, it would need a whole additional logistic system. Kinda look at how the USArmy integrated helicopters into the existing battle doctrine/supply system for how it would be implemented. Helicopters went from medics(H-13) to troop transport (UH-1), to Attack (AH-1 AH-64) in a relatively short period of time. So if the gov't throws enuff $€£¥ at something & the right people working on it, who knows?
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut







I’m a little bit astonished by the original poster’s categorizing of “real robot” with the listed examples. Because that term was used to describe the approach used in series like Votoms to distinguish them from more aggressively non-realistic gaint robot series. Instead of giant robots fighting giant monsters, you get small bipedal tanks that also end up being used as boarding craft. (The “rollerscates” on the mechs in series like Votoms are there because it’s really hard to beat the wheel for traveling quickly over flat or prepared surfaces.)

Once upon a time, the setting of Heavy Gear attempted to be premised on a set of circumstances where armored civilian walkers would be used for combat because the terrain and available resources made tanks impractical. (The setting has since drifted away from that premise under the lure of bigger and better giant robots...). One of the key premises was essentially vibroweapons being feasible armor piercing devices at short range but being impractical to use in warheads.
—-
On a related note, the original Gundam series put some thought into what circumstances would make what they wanted to do in the series militarily plausible. That’s why the Minovsky particle exists in that series as a byproduct of fusion reactions—to shrink engagement ranges down to dramatic scale.

Personally, giant robots have a lot of dramatic similarities to FTL travel. “How could we make this work?” is a lot of the time less important than “If this worked, what would people be able to do with it?”

The OGRE theory of tank evolution is probably diametrically opposed to the requirements to make giant robots feasible. And it’s probably why all of the Gundam series end up with “mobile armor” as essentially super space tanks.

Disclaimer: People have complained about myomer and other advances needed to make giant robots, and how those advances should also make tanks and armored vehicles better. The thing is that not all of those advances do anything useful for a traditional vehicle.

If you had a wheeled vehicle with a perfect transmission system, it’s still going to handle like a wheeled vehicle. Differentials and such are really useful bits of wheeled technology. What’s a fancy myomer going to do better than them for spinning a wheel?
   
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 solkan wrote:
I’m a little bit astonished by the original poster’s categorizing of “real robot” with the listed examples. Because that term was used to describe the approach used in series like Votoms to distinguish them from more aggressively non-realistic gaint robot series. Instead of giant robots fighting giant monsters, you get small bipedal tanks that also end up being used as boarding craft. (The “rollerscates” on the mechs in series like Votoms are there because it’s really hard to beat the wheel for traveling quickly over flat or prepared surfaces.)

Once upon a time, the setting of Heavy Gear attempted to be premised on a set of circumstances where armored civilian walkers would be used for combat because the terrain and available resources made tanks impractical. (The setting has since drifted away from that premise under the lure of bigger and better giant robots...). One of the key premises was essentially vibroweapons being feasible armor piercing devices at short range but being impractical to use in warheads.
—-
On a related note, the original Gundam series put some thought into what circumstances would make what they wanted to do in the series militarily plausible. That’s why the Minovsky particle exists in that series as a byproduct of fusion reactions—to shrink engagement ranges down to dramatic scale.

Personally, giant robots have a lot of dramatic similarities to FTL travel. “How could we make this work?” is a lot of the time less important than “If this worked, what would people be able to do with it?”

The OGRE theory of tank evolution is probably diametrically opposed to the requirements to make giant robots feasible. And it’s probably why all of the Gundam series end up with “mobile armor” as essentially super space tanks.

Disclaimer: People have complained about myomer and other advances needed to make giant robots, and how those advances should also make tanks and armored vehicles better. The thing is that not all of those advances do anything useful for a traditional vehicle.

If you had a wheeled vehicle with a perfect transmission system, it’s still going to handle like a wheeled vehicle. Differentials and such are really useful bits of wheeled technology. What’s a fancy myomer going to do better than them for spinning a wheel?


Uhh, we have workable myomers as of.. what two decades ago for the most primitive version, alcohol bath kind. We've gone beyond that.
   
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geargutz wrote:I think the biggest issue with perigrine and others is that they didn't pay enough attention to the type of combat mecha I suggest.

They hear "real robot" and think gundam/battletech or other massive mechs.

I have not suggested anything like that. Votoms,protomechs,sentinels, madox 01,patlabor,landmates, nightmare frames,titanfalls titans.
These are pretty much what I'm talking about. Striving for low scale warmachines that dont replace tanks or even fight like tanks (they fight more like large solders).


It would probably be helpful if you assumed a little less prior knowledge on the part of everyone else. You keep throwing out these names as if they mean somehting to everyone, and seem to be doing so in place of actual argument. I know what a Titan is in both 40k and Titanfall, I've played Battletech and have a passing familiarity with Gundam and Robotech stuff but at least half of your list of things you're talking about are just random words to me. If you don't think people are debating the correct "type" of robot perhaps you need to be clearer about what you're talking about and not pre-suppose any knowledge from others?

geargutz wrote:I have a change fo any person against the idea of urban combat mecha. I want you to provide me with a mech from science fiction that fits into the ideas I've brought up, this is so that we are on the same page.

and not required, but if you willing then try to argue a battlefield role for that mech, as if your trying to be "pro mech".

The point of this excersize is to weed out those willing to have a genuine discussion from those who arnt willing to argue in good faith.


It's your job to make your argument, not everyone else's. So far I don't think you've actually responded to any of the dissenting points in this thread other than to berate people for not thinking outside the box, or lacking imagination. Plenty of genuine, debatable points have been brought up that could form the basis of a discussion but it seems that you're the one not willing to discuss those points. In fact, I'd say the most interesting discussion in this thread has come from everyone else, rather than any of your comments. There have been some pro-mech comments in amongt the largely anti-mech posts but you haven't really provided any counterpoints of your own.

Why not take your own advice? Construct a pro-mech argument that engages with the problems and challenges a mech would face that have been brought up in this thread.
   
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Spoiler:
 PondaNagura wrote:
I'll preface this by saying I'm an avid fan of most things in robot combat genre; movies, shows, games, comics, toys, etc. I've sketched mechs since I was ~7. A friend and I produce a western-mecha webcomic My Life at War, I illustrate and design weapons for a social media mecha game (which I'm taking a break from working on to write this). I'm mechanically inclined, keep abridged of modern military and mechanical developments to draw inspiration from to keep them visually believable to their audiences. All that being said, in the real world military capacity, manned-mechs don't work. They're like flying cars. They're just a fun idea. Power armor is more likely.

For one thing they don't solve a real world problem.
The cool boston dynamic robots at the moment are mostly just proof of concept of ingenuity, eventually meant to replace humans for commercial and dangerous situations..Robot supply truck was blown up by an IED? Drat, send another. Send ten, they're not a human life.
And with that said, piloted mecha create engineering concerns and complications that unmanned vehicles wouldn't. Neural-interface devices would have astronomical uses from medical, communication, to remote marine/space exploration. But for actual mechs it'd be more practical to have a brain in a jar than a full person. Less organic vulnerability, means less armor and/or more space for other systems, and more risk taking to achieve whatever task is needed. Essentially battle servitors...which have other off-topic ethical concerns.

To a certain extent, crews of historical ground vehicles can enact field repairs with supplies they carry. Spare wheels, tracks, sprockets, etc. Walkers of any size would be more complex than planes, demand much more mechanical knowledge on their pilots, and have to have to carry a lot more kit to make field repairs. Or have more readily available support network to mend a broken ankle, or shattered knee alignment.

Ideally, I could see mecha having certain advantages over existing ground vehicles in their hypothetical-maneuverability. Similar in idea to 4D printing, they need not always be a taller profile: they could stand, or kneel, crouch, shift portions of their bodies in ways to reduce their overall silhouette; move around terrain/obstacles that other vehicles would be unable to follow, etc. Something more dynamic than simply hull down.
But all of that would require levels of engineering that, as other people have mentioned, could be applied to improve existing hardware. And in a fight with any contemporary aircraft that could snipe/barrage them with satellite targeted hypersonic missiles from beyond the horizon edge...all that added dexterity is rather wasted.

The ground pressure issue is more than just sinking, the composition of certain soils under sudden localized exerted pressure can behave differently than it would under something with wider surface area; stepping onto soggy grassy field could create hydroplaning as bad stepping onto ice, certain types of gravel become like ball-bearing between hard ground and the bottom of mecha foot. Comical as that may be for onlookers. Having more than two legs could reduce this and/or using tracked feet, but then why not just have tracked vehicles?

I think what you're saying is you prefer more hard-scifi approach to robot genre, things that operating within their established universes reduce required suspension of disbelief.

The AMP suits work in Avatar as mass-manufactured solution for humans (who didn't have psychically attuned bio-puppets) to interact with the native species, enabling them to physically hold their own if need be, were a more practical vehicle to navigate dense layers of space-jungles vs flyers. If I recall the planet had lighter gravity, which would ease some of the engineering obstacles than operating in earth-standard G.

Armor Shrikes from Blue Gender anime: reasonably sized, similar to Gears with tracked feet for quickly traversing various places that aircraft and bombs might not reach, and were designed to combat giant mutant bugs not fight against conventional weapons of warfare.

Pacific Rim had giant ultradimensional monsters that already break the laws of known physics, in that movie universe using equally-sized atomic robots to fight them doesn't seem as improbable. It's a rule-of-cool from the get go; and at least in the first film the creators tried to convey a sense of heft in movement, instead of the ninja-matrix moves of the sequel. Though like you said you're not talking that scale, in reality humans would just build larger fleets of aircraft and better bombs, but that's a less fun movie experience.

I think that imagined experience is key to the appeal of the piloted robot/mecha genre. It's like the battles in Star Wars being an homage to theater news serials of ww2 dogfights and naval combat, giant fighting robots are like the combined benefits of being an armored knight and a tank at the same time. It's pure power fantasy.
I wouldn't use the term "real robots" to describe still-fictional concept vehicles, unless we're talking the megabots vs suidobashi fight....and even then real as is in WWE.
However, like megabots initiative, real-robots would work better in an entertainment capacity. Like nascar or monster trucks, it's an appreciation of engineering for spectacle. You basically want giant robots for entertainment, why not build them for that?

Now I got to get back to drawing this not-liger blow stuff up.


Thankyou for your contribution to the thread. I love “my life at war”. There is an amazing lack of real robot focused webcomics, so i really do appreciate your work.

One of the reasons i mentioned pacific rim 1 as real robot was because it focused a lot on the weight and impact of such a massive machine and even showed damage and the eventual repair of the jaegers (at least what was left with them). Guillermo made an amazing movie that i loved and watch many times. Too bad in the 2nd movie they took it out of his hands and put kids in the mecha (a well worn out trope in the genre) and had them perform ninja like acrobatics. The jaegers lost their weight and uniqueness (that's why i consider the 2nd movie super robot).

Good examples of the amp suits and the armor shrikes as they are in the size range i like.ill talk about them in detail in future posts.

As far as combat rolls for my idea of mecha it would never have the mechs fight in environments they cant traverse in. if the ground is too soft then theres no point of having them get stuck (even tanks are still plagued by poor ground conditions and even modern mbt are still traversed on roads as much as possible). These combat mechs would be used in dense cover environments where the ground is hard wither by densly packed soil or paved roads, and where their vertical height works well amongst the buildings/rocks/trees.

Smaller real robots that are around 15ft/3meters would be light enough where they can be more easily transported. there could be dedicated wheeled vehicles that just get them to the city/town, or they can be airdropped in (from either ac130s or adapted dual prop helicopters).

i've explained my reasons for why i would prefer non drone mechs, but that doesn't mean they can't be done, its just that it seems more practical to have the pilot be there instead of elsewhere, there is a reason why we don't have any drone fighter/bombers. We have only done this for small vehicles that are relatively cheap and disposable.

as for repair and maintenance, with any good military infrastructure, that can be mitigated until those resources are truly cheap enough and easy enough to instal. with that mechs are easy to repair and get back in the fight. As with any combat vehicle it starts off as hard to repair until it's been integrated in the military system and is now efficient for combat.

meatybtz wrote:

Uhh, we have workable myomers as of.. what two decades ago for the most primitive version, alcohol bath kind. We've gone beyond that.

The normal “anti mech” detractors are often stuck in the coldwar era way of thinking. Tanks are best,nukes are the final option,and the technology since then hasn't advanced enough to make any changes to that formula.
They will ignore every new bit of tech that proves them wrong and any military battle that proves the tank not even remotely the perfect combat vehicle they think it is. Thats why ive started to ignore them. They aren't willing to change their minds or take any bit of counter evidence seriously.



Automatically Appended Next Post:
Slipspace wrote:
It would probably be helpful if you assumed a little less prior knowledge on the part of everyone else.

Well,it was my mistake in thinking that those interested in this topic are already knowledgeable in the genre. I provided links for images of all the mechs i talked about in the 1st post.i do plan to talk about these real robots Ive listed in future posts in detail.



Slipspace wrote:
Why not take your own advice? Construct a pro-mech argument that engages with the problems and challenges a mech would face that have been brought up in this thread.


I have,many times already and it was even in the 1st post. But what can i do when you guys decide not to read and understand what was written and come in with already set opinions.

the reason im doing the challenge of “provide an argument for combat mechs” is because i've already made my own argument and i have also critiqued common real robot tropes and their shortcomings. My whole 1st post is about this. Ive looked at the argument from both sides, the least you guys do is look at it from one side and don't even bother trying to look at it from the “pro mech” side. With that said then I've been putting more effort behind this discussion then you guys,can you keep up?

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2019/05/30 08:04:57


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I think the crux of the problem in this thread can be summed up from the OP:

geargutz wrote: I'm picky and im stubborn. I'm stubborn that i think the real robot genre can be based in science despite many who say “tanks will always be better” or “the square cube law disagrees with you”


That's just a flawed position to take. Handwaving away dissent with some future tech explanation isn't an argument. Even that argument, ironically, lacks imagination. You mention a few times walkers would have to be bipedal for neural links to work because humans are bipedal but that doesn't even necessarily hold true. There's no reason a sufficiently advanced neural link system couldn't simply interpret the signal to move to an area and translate that through to a four or six-legged walker. It seems like this is all just a case of "I want mechs exactly like in my favourite movies/TV shows/games".

geargutz wrote:imagine a titan from titanfall or a protomech from battletech marching, along with infantry, into a war torn city with densely packed buildings and crowded streets to bring firepower and fear to the enemy.


Ok, let's take this example and run with it. What advantages does a 15-foot tall mech have in this scenario that, say, a Bradley or armoured Humvee doesn't? What advantages does the regular vehicle have? How do you overcome the major problems of a mech in an urban environment? Even if we assume it's going to be more mobile/agile than a tracked/wheeled vehicle (not a given, by any means) it will still be more vulnerable to attack because it's less well armoured due to its basic shape and construction. Is it actually any more suited to an urban environment than a Humvee? Are there really any places a mech could go that a Humvee couldn't? I'm not sure there are, at least not in any meaningful combat situation. In addition, the wheeled vehicle has the advantage of being able to carry people inside its armoured body and, if necessary, quickly retreat. Cities are designed for cars and people so a mech that's triple the size of a normal person will encounter a lot of problems traversing that environment. Simple things like bridges or underpasses could present real problems to a mech of that size. The ground pressure means one wrong step could see the ground underneath you collapse into a basement or sewer. Even a slight misstep could topple the mech, leaving it as a sitting duck for enemy fire.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/30 09:48:55


 
   
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I can totally see the possibility of 4 legged mechs or robots being developed in the near future. The US armed forces already have a "Robo-horse" as a load carrier. Developing them into combat UAVs is a matter of time in my opinion. (Currently, there are tracked UAV weapon platforms).
I think we won't see many 2 legged mechs, because of simple reasons.

- Stability. Keeping 2- legged thing stand upright or run around on uneven terrain is much harder to achieve than with 4 legged mechs.
- Mobility. 4 legged crawlers are harder to topple over, have a lower center of mass, can change ground clearance more easily.
- Resilience. If you destroy 1 leg of a bipedal mech, it goes down. If you destroy 1 out of 4 legs, it will probably still stand and fight.
- Weight distribution. Needs no further explanation.
- and possibly many more that I can't think of atm or reasons that were stated before.

As has been said, the AMP suit is seen in Avatar I think could exist and work in real life. It's small, relatively agile. Same with the IG sentinel, but there I have a problem with missing arms and it being too high/having it's the center of mass too high. Police droids from the Chappie movie have something to them as well. Or real humans in armored exoskeletons.
What I think could totally work is an AdMech Dunecrawler. If it would be practical... who knows.

tl;dr - bulky humanoid robots as presented are very unlikely in my opinion, 4+ legged crawlers are more practical and likely to appear IRL.
personal opinion: big humanoid robots and mechs like Gundam, Battletech, Titanfall, etc. are stupid and impractical, they just look cool and are popular because of it. Smaller frames, like the AMP suit, have their use only in very specific conditions, like urban areas, rough or dense terrain, otherwise, not.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/05/30 09:58:12



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 Hawky wrote:

tl;dr - bulky humanoid robots as presented are very unlikely in my opinion, 4+ legged crawlers are more practical and likely to appear IRL.
personal opinion: big humanoid robots and mechs like Gundam, Battletech, Titanfall, etc. are stupid and impractical, they just look cool and are popular because of it. Smaller frames, like the AMP suit, have their use only in very specific conditions, like urban areas, rough or dense terrain, otherwise, not.


I would argue that titanfall titans are a reasonable size (not unlike the impossible sizes of gundams and battlemechs) and are not that much bigger than the amp suits, but i will agree the amp suit is a very logical size, and your point about their usefulness in urban warfare is the crux of my arguments.

Whether on 2,4 or 6 legs mechs are only viable in an open environments if they are no taller than tanks of infantry. Boston dynamics stuff is looking great and we could see more and more combat support mechs (like you mentioned the pack mule type). Though i doubt we will see actual combat mechs like this unless the gun is controlled by a soldier. No need to worry about austrian terminators when the trigger is pulled by a human.

Maybe a hybrid of an urban combat mech where the bottom half is 4 legs that are governed by good software (like the mule),and the top is like the amp suit in that its a turret with arms (with subsequent exoskeletal arm controls), and the pilot uses foot pedals to direct the legs in what direction to take the mech (kinda a modern day robot centaur). Not quite the humanoid mech i prefer, ,but a good alternative to my ideas (i will note that the amp suits canopy will have to enclosed with actual armor and the pilot given a helmet oculus like HUD to view the outside world with multiple cameras, kinda like the titanfall mech with is multitude of cameras).

Thanks to adding to the discussion in a meaningful way. i really do appreciate it.

And as far as you go slipspace….im not even gonna bother. I have responded to plenty of other posters on this thread who want to have productive discussions. You,bookwrack, and peregrine have come at the discussion in the wrong way, not trying to work with the premise of making combat mecha, and as with them then i'll have to agree to disagree with you.

edit
but tin the interest of replying on last time with you (until you come off your high horse) i will say this.
like the other,you seen to blow up the problems of groundpressue and weight. a 15 foot tall mech is not gonna be that heavy, its weight could be equivalent to a humvee. with the right design its feet could easily distribute that weight. a human can relying on their own sense of balance with neural control or it could be one where a human controls the direction of a 4 legged lower half (like talked about above).
The armor is no greater than a humvee. If it needs extra defence it uses the natural cover rich environment around it to compensate for this. It is fast enough to keep up with the infantry and other combat vehicles. It should be able to traverse rubble and fit between some alleyways. It's not meant to stand on buildings or even go inside them (unless it's a parking garage or mall or other such structure). This beast only needs wpns that are commonly found on other IFVs, it doesn't need a massive canon, just enough to be fire support for infantry in urban combat (it doesn't need the overkill of the tank).

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/05/30 10:37:30


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Titanfall robots seem to be about 7 meters tall, but I have the issue I have with big, bulky robots. They have their center of mass too high, roughly at the 'stomach' area.

AMP suit is roughly 4 meters tall and its upper construction is much less bulky, and the center of mass about be much closer to the 'groin' area. And you want the center of mass as low as possible.

Another counter-argument towards big robots is it's size alone. The bigger it is, the easier it is to hit.
Now imagine being a pilot of an 8-meter tall, clumsy battlemech. Your HUD turns red, warning you have been locked on by several air-to-surface missiles. You launch some countermeasures and hope for the best because you can't hide or run away.
Being smaller offers you the advantage of being able to hide inside a building more easily or try running away/dodging the missile.

You ran into the same reason why there are no battleships cruising the seas in the modern era. They are too big, too slow, too expensive, too costly to lose, too ineffective in modern combat, that is more or less decided by air superiority. I doubt that will change much in the future.

Historical example: Hans Ulrich Rudel, German Stuka pilot destroyed a Soviet battleship 'Marat' by dropping a 1000kg bomb on it. The same thing would happen with your big robots unless they have some very effective defense against air attacks.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/05/30 11:29:03



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 Hawky wrote:
Titanfall robots seem to be about 7 meters tall, but I have the issue I have with big, bulky robots. They have their center of mass too high, roughly at the 'stomach' area.

AMP suit is roughly 4 meters tall and its upper construction is much less bulky, and the center of mass about be much closer to the 'groin' area. And you want the center of mass as low as possible.

Another counter-argument towards big robots is it's size alone. The bigger it is, the easier it is to hit.
Now imagine being a pilot of an 8-meter tall, clumsy battlemech. Your HUD turns red, warning you have been locked on by several air-to-surface missiles. You launch some countermeasures and hope for the best because you can't hide or run away.
Being smaller offers you the advantage of being able to hide inside a building more easily or try running away/dodging the missile.

You ran into the same reason why there are no battleships cruising the seas in the modern era. They are too big, too slow, too expensive, too costly to lose.

Historical example: Hans Ulrich Rudel, German Stuka pilot destroyed a Soviet battleship 'Marat' by dropping a 1000kg bomb on it. The same thing would happen with your big robots unless they have some very effective defense against air attacks.

Well, ill be going to bed soon but i quickly cover this.
The mech is part of a fighting unit,part of a whole military. If its targeted by such a missle its then a failure of the air force in contesting the airspace. In Fact the “almighty” tank would have the same issues with such weaponry as such missiles are designed to hit form above anyway and the top of a tank is definitely not its thickest armor.

One of my issues with most real robot settings is the lack of combined warfare. A mech or a tank are way more vulnerable without support.

One thing we will also have to consider is the possibility of advancing anti missile systems. Currently they are too weighty or too cumbersome. But in another decade we might have tanks equipped with lasers that shoot down such munitions. The mech requires tech to advance,and by that time we might have more answers to some of the biggest problems for such vehicules. And with those answers we might have a completely different looking battlefield.
For example=Warships were the kings of the seas until fighters became massed produced and now carriers are the reigning champs. With advances like anti missile/fighter lasers we might see fighters and missiles becoming less prominent and we go back to battleships ruling the oceans. So thus we can see mecha become more viable as combat concentrates more and more in urban centers (as cities become larger and destroying infrastructure indiscriminately with artillery or bombing runs is less viable).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/30 11:41:10


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geargutz wrote:

but tin the interest of replying on last time with you (until you come off your high horse) i will say this.


Glad we're approaching this in a level-headed and reasonable way. Stay classy.

geargutz wrote:
like the other,you seen to blow up the problems of groundpressue and weight. a 15 foot tall mech is not gonna be that heavy, its weight could be equivalent to a humvee. with the right design its feet could easily distribute that weight. a human can relying on their own sense of balance with neural control or it could be one where a human controls the direction of a 4 legged lower half (like talked about above).
The armor is no greater than a humvee. If it needs extra defence it uses the natural cover rich environment around it to compensate for this. It is fast enough to keep up with the infantry and other combat vehicles. It should be able to traverse rubble and fit between some alleyways. It's not meant to stand on buildings or even go inside them (unless it's a parking garage or mall or other such structure). This beast only needs wpns that are commonly found on other IFVs, it doesn't need a massive canon, just enough to be fire support for infantry in urban combat (it doesn't need the overkill of the tank).


I'm not sure you understand how pressure works, or how walking works. One of the problems with mechs is they will, at some point, have all their weight on one foot, unlike ground vehicles where the weight is usually evenly distributed at all times. That's a lot of weight concentrated on a small area. If you make the feet wider to compensate you start losing some of the advantages of being bipedal as wider feet means more ponderous movement. I'm also not sure how you think a mech with a much taller profile than a ground vehicle will make better use of cover. We're still talking about a 15-foot tall vehicle here. I don't think cover is easier for it than a vehicle with a smaller profile. To put this into context, your defence against an RPG is "hide". Your defence against things like missiles is some as-yet-unknown and undeveloped anti-missile technology. It's easy to come up with counter-arguments when you can just assert some fictional

This brings up another issue with mechs. They're complex machines with lots of moving parts that are difficult to protect. Your hiding mech may well avoid the RPG, but the shrapnel and debris from the building that's just taken the hit could very well foul up your hydraulics, joints or power plant, or the blast could knock it off balance. One thing most military vehicles generally need to have is extremely rugged and resilient parts. Usually you achieve this through providing extra armour around engine compartments and designing engines and tyres to be able to run while partially damaged. You also have systems reduced to the bare minimum required to make them work. Militaries tend not to like complex machines in scenarios like urban combat. That's one of the reasons the US has yet to replace its main combat rifle. Nothing else is a sufficient upgrade in terms of accuracy, weight and - crucially - reliability over what they're currently using. A mech is probably at least as complex as a plane but its use-case puts it right in the middle of probably the most hostile combat environment imaginable, outside of submarine warfare.
   
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Design challenges to modern vehicles in damaged urban areas:
- can they travel over the debris without falling into holes, falling through the ground or whatever part of a building they are traversing, or getting caught on debris?
- can they maneuver in tight spaces?
- can they effectively use the environment for concealment and protection?

In my view, the military makes vehicles for 1 or all of the following 3 reasons:
- can carry more armour than a person so more survival
- can carry a bigger gun/more guns than a person increasing offensive power
- can travel further/faster than a person

You could potentially also add more agile than a person.

So if you smash all these things together into a lovely venn diagram, then a mech would only be worthwhile if it was able to perform better in an urban environment than another thing that exists.

To me the only benefit a mech might give versus an existing vehicle would be around it's agility and ability to use the environment for cover and concealment. As soon as you get much bigger than a person then those advantages drop away.


Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

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In the end, it's almost certainly not going to be mecha. It's going to be powered armor at best. The point won't be to stand up to anti-tank weaponry, but anti-personnel weaponry. That it will allow infantry to carry anti-tank grade weaponry easier will be just icing on the cake.

Might even go to remote-controlled robots instead, but unless you're using some sort of brain-link technology those robots will not be humanoid for balance issues.

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geargutz wrote:Research and development will solve many of the technical issues. It won't be possible within a decade but much more possible in the next.
So if its eventualy possible the the argument is its usefulness to fighting forces.
That's what I've been arguing for.


And this is a misguided argument, because the fundamental problems with mechs are conceptual, not technological.

The inherent complexity and fragility of joints, tall target profile, instability of a bipedal platform, ground pressure, and greater surface area all derive from basic laws of physics, not from any technological hurdle. Any technological improvement that will make mecha viable will simply make conventional vehicles even better.

Myomers allow simpler limbs? Cool, but ditch a tank's internal combustion engine and use myomer pistons to directly drive wheels, and you've just dramatically simplified the propulsion. Fusion allows compact onboard power sources? Now a tank can replace all that mass of an internal combustion engine with more payload. New armor allows a mech to be adequately protected from light AT fire? Now conventional armored vehicles are nigh-invulnerable. Advances in materials science allow spindly anthropomorphic limbs to adequately handle the recoil of an autocannon? Turn a tank turret into a cherry-picker and aim your gun over obstacles or around corners.

You won't get a mecha. You'll get a super-Wiesel.

Like I said before, the only reason this is ever even a discussion is because sci-fi fans like mecha and want them to exist. When nobody in the military space is publishing articles talking about how humanoid combat robots would be great if only X, Y, and Z technological hurdles could be overcome, that's a good sign that it's not just technology discouraging their use.

geargutz wrote:I have a change fo any person against the idea of urban combat mecha. I want you to provide me with a mech from science fiction that fits into the ideas I've brought up, this is so that we are on the same page.


CNCS Hunter, ATM-09-ST Scopedog, AMP Suit. Take your pick.
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Wait, Pacific Rim is "real robot"? Hm.

   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut





Terrain management is handled via some pretty recent tech (read processor power) and mm radar projection on the ground and sensors. It's a lot of processor heavy lifting to crunch the data into something that can be used for positional and movement solution sets but General Atomics has had some success with it but there again is latency the scanning is usually several seconds ahead of an action and they use predictive analytics to help the robot decide what, how, and where to place it's legs.

They've gone well beyond the "hopping" method for stability they had back in their first prototypes. You could also call it prancing. The robot was in a constant kind of motion but that was terrible for actual usability, wasteful of energy, etc.

By the by, you don't need more compact energy. The most portable and compact energy besides atomic power is liquid hydrocarbon fuels. Anything more energy dense starts to get into high-explosive territory for energy density and is more a liability than anything. Hydrocarbon fuels while flammable are quite stable and burning is better than exploding. Anyways again General Atomics powers their current production (and in the field) robots with ICEs running hydrocarbon liquid fuels. Even their smaller robots operate on liquid fueled motors.

Its all really fun stuff actually. Robotics is a fascinating field. .


Automatically Appended Next Post:
catbarf wrote:
geargutz wrote:Research and development will solve many of the technical issues. It won't be possible within a decade but much more possible in the next.
So if its eventualy possible the the argument is its usefulness to fighting forces.
That's what I've been arguing for.


And this is a misguided argument, because the fundamental problems with mechs are conceptual, not technological.

The inherent complexity and fragility of joints, tall target profile, instability of a bipedal platform, ground pressure, and greater surface area all derive from basic laws of physics, not from any technological hurdle. Any technological improvement that will make mecha viable will simply make conventional vehicles even better.

Myomers allow simpler limbs? Cool, but ditch a tank's internal combustion engine and use myomer pistons to directly drive wheels, and you've just dramatically simplified the propulsion. Fusion allows compact onboard power sources? Now a tank can replace all that mass of an internal combustion engine with more payload. New armor allows a mech to be adequately protected from light AT fire? Now conventional armored vehicles are nigh-invulnerable. Advances in materials science allow spindly anthropomorphic limbs to adequately handle the recoil of an autocannon? Turn a tank turret into a cherry-picker and aim your gun over obstacles or around corners.

You won't get a mecha. You'll get a super-Wiesel.

Like I said before, the only reason this is ever even a discussion is because sci-fi fans like mecha and want them to exist. When nobody in the military space is publishing articles talking about how humanoid combat robots would be great if only X, Y, and Z technological hurdles could be overcome, that's a good sign that it's not just technology discouraging their use.

geargutz wrote:I have a change fo any person against the idea of urban combat mecha. I want you to provide me with a mech from science fiction that fits into the ideas I've brought up, this is so that we are on the same page.


CNCS Hunter, ATM-09-ST Scopedog, AMP Suit. Take your pick.


Inevitably you end up with a wheeled foot, multi-legged tank with weapons mounts in armatures. Not quite a walker but a tank/mech hybrid. No silly arms or human heads but a spider tank. Which is pretty much what DARPA was working on back in 89. The ability to alter its height profile at will or compact for better protection, ability to take on terrain surfaces and hills/mountainous terrain that a tracked tank could not. Wouldn't be an MBT but probably classified as a medium tank.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/05/30 16:03:01


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