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Earlier tonight, a friend of mine's pointed out a rather old, long weblog entry at TechRepublic.com. Being a multivaried robot anime watcher, Battletech and Super Robot Taisen player, and an amateur technical designer, this was an interesting read. I'm not going to make enemies out of any mech artists here--it's a decently-organized rant on why creating real giant bipedal robots is, well, impractical and just plain stupid to pursue. There are several good points made, but do make a judgment for yourself too.

Article here: blogs.techrepublic.com.com/gee…
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:iconpsionicninja2000:
psionicninja2000 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2009
Reminds me of a comment Stephen Gallacia (not sure if I spelled his surname right) made in an interview in regards to a question about mecha making an appearance in Albedo (his comic.) A retired Navy man, he made the interesting observation of soldiers being able to "hit it if they can see it."
Basically the comment came down to the opinion that a three-story tall bipedal robot was an easy mark for a guy with a shoulder-launched missile. To be fair, he does have a point. The way a mecha is built has more places for a critical failure (the limbs for instance) then a tank.
Honestly, I see that kind of future leading more towards wearable suits like Iron Man or WH40k Space Marines then multi-story warmachines. At least in that case we have a reason for making our "robots" have hands. =P
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:iconeva-guy01:
eva-guy01 Featured By Owner May 19, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Giant robots will be invented for practical use once we start cloning dinosaurs then they start rebelling and take over the world.

Seriously. It might just happen in the future.
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:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner May 29, 2009
So you want to rewrite an amazing movie called "Jurassic Park" and add bipedal robots? Possibly with emo/super-gar pilots and giant explosions and whatnot?

I'm in!
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:iconeva-guy01:
eva-guy01 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually, the answer lies in availability of power, materials and the human psyche. Robotech (not Macross, different storyline and power specs) gave off the most important factors on why humans would fashion vehicles in their image, and here are the examples:

1) Unlimited power became available. Using the Robotech example, unlimited power was found in Protoculture seeds that have a power life expectancy of 12 years of continued use. If we can develop a similar power supply that could provide massive power in a small structure (30 foot tall robots are considered small structures since current power supplies require the size of a small building) then having to make it move around will be easy.

2) Tough Materials became available in large quantities. With great power should come with tough internal and external structures to support them. Moving parts get grounded down when in continued use, and a machine that mimics the human body would assume to have some perpetual moving parts, not to mention limbs that are constantly being pounded by the combined forces of gravity and ground.

3) Man's perfect vision of the ultimate machine is when he or she can drive it like an exact extention of the human body. You can see this in many of our current probes, where some small subs have claws and limbs that mimic hands, and cameras that mimic the complete vision of the human eye (to include peripheral vision). To me, the perfect machine would be something that looks like a human body, and when a human rides it, becomes and extention of its actual body. No tracked tank or hovering craft or fighter plane can completely mimic our need to be human.
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:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2009
I can see where you're coming from. Humans, if you think about it for a moment, are absolutely amazing "machines" outright, being able to repair themselves and withstand constant attack from the inside (powerful acids and bases, enzymes, rogue DNA, etc.) and the outside (bacteria, physical impact, extreme climate conditions, etc.). Many machines can't do that for years on end without some sort of maintenance, which of course has to come from human effort in some form.

Our direct power-to-weight ratio is immense compared to many of the best drive systems (this doesn't include gearboxes, hydraulics, and other torque multiplication methods, but they add weight and trade off speed), and we can move aptly in all dimensions with far less noise and less wasted energy. Stability control and other feedback systems are impressive, considering our eyes, and ears are located at the head--the total opposite of where our most stable points, the feet, often are. Plus, there's this sentient, sapient computer called a "brain" that learns from its mistakes and can adapt to its surroundings extraordinarily quickly. I could go on and on, but I'm sure you know this all too well. :p

Creating a true mechanical walker with the abilities of the human body? That's quite something. I'll stick with fiction for now...
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:iconredrapt0r:
RedRapt0r Featured By Owner May 19, 2009   Writer
Bipedals no, quadrupeds, most definitely possible.
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:iconxperimental00:
Xperimental00 Featured By Owner May 18, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Read that one long ago. But well, we got working crawlers (research, industrial and amateur) and a giant beetle mech as of today.
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:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner May 18, 2009
True. Tri-legged and higher seems to have taken off a lot better, with much better stability, such as the Big Dog military transport.
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:iconxperimental00:
Xperimental00 Featured By Owner May 19, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I wonder how long will it take for us to bring RA2's Terror Drone to life. :lol:
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:iconplasmafire3000:
PlasmaFire3000 Featured By Owner May 19, 2009
On the other hand, you could start by building a (sorta realistic) RA2-style Tesla Coil, like this guy in Australia:

[link]

That final photo looks awesome.
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:iconxperimental00:
Xperimental00 Featured By Owner May 19, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, yes it is awesome. But hey, that one's ingenious, without any Photoshop editing at all.
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:icongrid-gunner:
grid-gunner Featured By Owner May 18, 2009
That guy may be right for now. But as history has proven to us through repeats in events, we may one day have to rewrite history or throw out what we have learned. As advances in technology won't stop and times keep changing, giant robots (whatever shape they may be) may one day be useful to humans. Unfortunately it most likely will not be during our time. :C At least thats what I like to think of it for now!
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