Why would a civilization with the ability to create Ridiculously Human Military Androids use giant gears twice the size of a man?

The Androids are human-sized with electronic brains that can do everything a human brain can do (the point of that statement being emotions).

They can also wirelessly connect to an info-server.

They are outfitted with nanites that can transform their hands into weaponry, and also be Uterine Replicators.

Their eyes can serve as Everything Sensors, or at least for everything medical, with human biology, within 1 minute of observation and analysis combined.

  • $\begingroup$ Can you expand on what you mean by "facilities"? $\endgroup$
    – Wylia
    Feb 14, 2016 at 2:12
  • $\begingroup$ Where do "2x Man-sized gears" come in? Are they needed for your plot? Is there any reason why you want to include them? $\endgroup$
    – k-l
    Feb 14, 2016 at 3:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I demand you edit in a standard TVTropes warning line. I was lost for an hour. $\endgroup$
    – Sean Boddy
    Feb 14, 2016 at 5:21
  • $\begingroup$ If you were to see into the power room of the facility I work in you would see two flywheels each weighing 2 tons slowly rotating and looking quite out of place in an advanced electronics based system. They are the foolproof way of providing power in the gap between mains power failing and the backup generators coming up to power. It is simple technology but it cannot fail except for a catastrophe. $\endgroup$
    – user23614
    Feb 14, 2016 at 9:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Wylia - Just anywhere. $\endgroup$
    – Malady
    Feb 14, 2016 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


No matter how advanced your technology is, your need for and the efficiency of Simple Machines (Wiki) will always be there. Specifically for gears is the ability to sacrifice speed for torque and vise versa (or they can be used in a direct ratio) and in all meshed-gear configurations there is nearly a 100% efficiency in the transfer of energy if we ignore friction.

Compound Machine:

Two or more simple machines working together to make work easier. Examples: Wheelbarrow, Can Opener, Bicycle


Two toothed wheels fit together either directly or through a chain or belt so one wheel will turn the other. Some gears may have a screw or a toothed shaft in place of one of the wheels. A gear may also be a combination of toothed wheels that produces a certain speed (such as a bicycle's top gear which makes the bike go fast, and the low gear for slow speed.) Examples: Clock, Automobile, Drill


I laugh at your x2: (I've no idea what this one was for but huge skycranes need a sleuth gear* that's about that size, as do the spillways on dams, seaway locks, etc.)

enter image description here


.* A sleuth gear is what lets the crane spin in circles (it lays horizontal just underneath the cab). It's like a guide rail and a control surface.

In a facility such as a foundry, the crucible is usually tipped with a hoist but in fully automated factories it's not uncommon to find it suspended in a gear mount. There're just not all that big usually. Metallurgy is a sector that benefits heavily from economy of scale, so I'd have no problem with you up-scaling anything you'd find in a foundry.

If we lived in The Matrix's city of Zion, we'd need some for the dock bay door's counterweights.

Until your society has unlimited electrical power and food replicators, none of your technologies will change, if ever, the basic logistical problems of feeding, clothing, supplying / diverting / removing water, sheltering the population, providing goods of mass production and the tools with which to do so. Or those found in the finished products intrinsically, i.e., a drawbridge:

enter image description here


Now, if you can also control the weather then a lot of these needs disappear, as most of them are required to combat the logistics of delivering goods and providing services. If we're provided all these things and the nanites themselves need nothing (highly implausible) then OK, go gear-less.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ You can have invented warp speed for all I care, you're still going to need an inclined plane, a lever, and a place to stand. $\endgroup$
    – Mazura
    Feb 14, 2016 at 2:38
  • $\begingroup$ And you'll need a planet. $\endgroup$ Feb 14, 2016 at 3:03
  • $\begingroup$ @XandarTheZenon there are alternatives $\endgroup$
    – King-Ink
    Feb 14, 2016 at 4:09
  • $\begingroup$ "δῶς μοι πᾶ στῶ καὶ τὰν γᾶν κινάσω " Do you translate πᾶ as planet? $\endgroup$
    – King-Ink
    Feb 14, 2016 at 4:30
  • $\begingroup$ @King-Ink Google Translate renders that as "Give me Pas whether or when Agan CHINA". What is it supposed to say? From context, I'd guess "give me a long lever and a place to stand and I will move the world"? $\endgroup$ Feb 14, 2016 at 13:10

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