One thing I like about Attack on Titan are those lovely Omni-Directional Maneuver (ODM) gears! They're the perfect combination of a jetpack and a grappling hook. I love how the thrusters are placed at the center of mass (the hips),
I love how it requires a full-body harness to distribute the force,
I love everything about it.

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The only thing I want to add to my version is an extra thruster on the grappling hooks that push the hooks into and out of anchor objects.

However, it can't work at the speed acceleration we have seen.

This begs the question: at what level (of acceleration) can this thing work in?

That was already answered by NASA, though.

To put it simply, the ODM gear needs a way to prevent any and every acceleration in any direction that goes above a certain limit.

How can it do that?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think the author has gone on record saying that there was actually an engineer involved in designing the Attack on Titan ODM, which is why it's pretty accurate. That said, nope. The main concern here is gravity, not the speed of the cables. It doesn't matter how fast or slow the cables go, a sudden stop after free fall is a a sudden stop after free fall. These will never be safe, but to start I'd suggest changing your last name to Ackerman. $\endgroup$
    – Halfthawed
    Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Halfthawed That spoiler dropped harder than the Bertholdt nuke. I mentioned acceleration as the key problem, but you do have a point. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 20:16
  • $\begingroup$ Hypothetically, couldn't they be bungees? $\endgroup$
    – Zwuwdz
    Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 22:01
  • $\begingroup$ What does ODM stand for? $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ @SRM-ReinstateMonica Omni-Directional Maneuver $\endgroup$
    – V. Sim
    Commented Dec 7, 2019 at 4:56

1 Answer 1


A Related Problem and Solution

This relates to a similar problem and solution. The problem is over-tightening screws. The solution is Torque Drivers. They are special "screwdrivers" which act like normal screwdrivers until some specified force is reached. Once reached, they ratchet around, preventing over-tightening on the screw.

How does this apply? Apply a similar mechanism to your winch/ODM gear. If it experiences force above the limit (perhaps specified by the user?) it ratchets, letting out more cable. This safety feature prevents your people from blacking out without falling to their death.

If they're at the end of their rope, then they really are at the end of their rope. They'll black out but hopefully not run into anything as they limply swing around. They're wearing helmets and protective gear, right? Oh. That assumption is wrong.

The "Other Solution"

Looking up ODM pilots and their lack of basic protection, it seems like everyone is OK with them dying but blacking out is not OK. This problem became much easier but disturbing. Simply adjust each cable's strength so it can only support the weight of the cable and person swinging at a particular acceleration. Once that acceleration hits, cable failure occurs: it snaps. They fall to their deaths, but with their eyes wide open.

Seriously, give them a helmet and some armor first...

  • $\begingroup$ The same fallacy as in the equestrian world "UWU, I have a helemet, god mode active" <- ends up falling the wrong way and snaps her neck like a twig. I doubt armor would help much if they do knock into something. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 23:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles I was having some fun with this all too common fashion choice. Seriously, like with the Brodie helmet of WWI, protecting against incidental debris has a massive effect on injury rates. I think you may be discounting the protective power of armor as well: consider forces experienced by bomb squads, knights, and even car crashes. $\endgroup$
    – PipperChip
    Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 13:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles Just because armor isn't perfect doesn't mean it isn't useful. A straightforward rig that can save even a few - highly trained and valuable - soldiers is well worth the investment. $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles Jockeys in major horse races wear helmets. Skydivers wear helmets. Bungee jumpers wear helmets. People climbing massive trees like sequoias wear helmets. IRL soldiers since the Mycenaeans wear helmets. But for some reason Paradis looked at its army and went "no, this is fine, we can let our soldiers run around with their heads completely exposed and bare", not even bothering to mandate their soldiers cut their hair short (exhibit A, the second in command of the First Interior Squad). $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 20:16

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