So I have in mind a plot point in mind where my protagonist is elected to pilot a giant humanoid robot with flight capabilities - Kinda like a mobile suit from the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise. To pilot this robot, the pilot docks a specialised car into the chest, whose interior transforms to form the cockpit of the robot, with a HUD of the robot's 360° peripheral vision displayed on all of the windshields. This robot is to be used on land, in the air and in space, using its legs alongside thrusters on its calves and upper back to move around, and its hands to manipulate tools and weapons, such as it's characteristic Sonic Sabre™ (which needs a better name).
My character, however, has only ever driven the car, not the robot. And when the time comes for him to do the latter, he has had no training or briefing other than a brief flick through the rather rudimentary 'Beginner's Guide to the Gamma Bull'. But, when he gets going and has a minute or two of practice, he finds piloting the robot to be a piece of cake.
But for that to be the case, the control method for the machine must be really intuitive. Again, my character has only ever driven the car, which is a push-and-go automatic. How exactly could the car's interior transform to make piloting the robot so easy? What additional functions could be made available?
Some things I've had in mind;
Avatar style - The mech suits in James Cameron's Avatar have their pilots stand upright in a harness, using the motion of their arms and I presume their legs to make the robot itself move around. This would be perfect and undoubtedly very intuitive, but I'm not sure how well the interior of a car could accommodate this, even after transforming slightly - Remember, the pilot still has to use all of the cars windshields for sight.
Mostly automated - The other idea I've had is that the controls remain somewhat as simplistic as those of the car, meaning that a lot of the robot's motion would instead be automated - Pushing the gas pedal, for example, would make the robot run or walk, but the robot itself would be doing all the calculations regarding balance and footfall. The problems I encounter with this concept, however, is how the pilot would control things like arm movements and flight - Could the steering wheel split into two joysticks? Could the PRNDL stick be a joystick?
Mental link - As somewhat of an addendum to the previous idea, the pilot could have some manual control through physical controls, but other aspects of the machine's motion would be dictated through a mental link, a la the Alaya-Vijnana from Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. However, would the mind be able to cope with controlling its own motions while also sending motor orders to body parts it doesn't even possess? Would the unstable mind of someone whose never controlled a giant robot before cope with such stress?
"Why a car?"
Honestly? Rule of cool. I consider it a pretty core part of this system's concept and feel too attached to ditch it. Sorry ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
"What's the advantage of a giant robot?"
See the previous question.