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54 votes

Is there a reason why giant mechs have optics the size of a person instead of 'normal' sized ones?

Giant mecha are already implausible. Not only is the humanoid form impractical and inefficient for a machine per se, it's also immensely impractical for a machine which is 10 times the height of a ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 48.8k
51 votes

Why would mechs be used in underwater combat but not on land?

Heat Mechs are inefficient temperature-wise, being submerged in water helps them dissipate heat quickly, which allows them to operate longer than few minutes on land before overheating
user88761's user avatar
  • 471
42 votes

Why would mechs be used in underwater combat but not on land?

There are a few reasons not to use mechs on land, with one of the main ones being that the joints are unable to support the weight of the body if the mech is too large. For details see Plausible ...
justforplaylists's user avatar
39 votes

Does adamantium solve the giant mecha problem?

Is this material alone enough to 'solve' the standard problems with giant mecha, namely collapsing under their own weight because their legs can't be strong enough, not being able to move their limbs ...
Morris The Cat's user avatar
38 votes

How to keep my bipedal mech from falling over on its side every time it takes a step

Or, it just does what humans and other bipeds do: it makes use of a combination of dynamic stability, making sure that weight is transferred from one foot to the other before it has time to fall, and ...
Logan R. Kearsley's user avatar
34 votes
Accepted

Are mechanical walking vehicles useful in combat?

There's an interesting case for 'legged' vehicles that have wheels and treads rather than feet. DARPA's Ground Vehicle-X Technology program makes an interesting case for agile, fast, and lightweight ...
EstimatorNoiseless's user avatar
32 votes

What could centipedal mechs do that tracked & wheeled vehicles couldn't do?

Swim Wheel and tracks both suck for moving while buoyant in water. Lots of arms works. Climb A tank can climb a decent incline, but a cliff not so much. If you have lots of arms, you can climb the ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.2k
31 votes

Are mechanical walking vehicles useful in combat?

Almost certainly not. The problem that cannot be countered is the inherent mechanical inefficiency of using legs. The amount of complex engineering that would have to go into this process is not worth ...
Adam Reynolds's user avatar
27 votes

Is there a reason why giant mechs have optics the size of a person instead of 'normal' sized ones?

The "eyes" on a mecha are not actually camera ports, they're radar antenna ports, which require a much larger aperture because of the longer wavelengths used. They, of course, need to be on ...
GrumpyYoungMan's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

Can humans learn unique robotic hand-eye coordination?

A month to a year The human mind is incredibly flexible. Via association we can learn a great deal. When you start riding a bike or car you can see this very well. Moving your arms and legs in certain ...
Trioxidane's user avatar
  • 37.5k
25 votes

Why would mechs be used in underwater combat but not on land?

They are too heavy to go on land. These mechs have seriously thick armor. The weight of this metal is balanced by gas filled spaces. The underwater mechs are neutrally buoyant. Because of their ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
24 votes

Can humans learn unique robotic hand-eye coordination?

Humans routinely learn and master how to control an excavator: a very long arm with the body moving on way more compact base, which is the same situation you are describing. It doesn't take that long ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 291k
24 votes
Accepted

What would a medical condition that makes people believe they are a machine be called?

While I do support Monty Wild's clean and concise solution, I do want to suggest a catchy title: Mechanophrenia, or to have the mind of a machine, could be the term used for those humans who believe ...
Liquid's user avatar
  • 3,816
22 votes

Does adamantium solve the giant mecha problem?

No. Wrong strength. from OP: stop the damn thing crumpling under its own weight Your new stuff has infinite tensile strength. the crystal settled into a phase with (as best they could ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
22 votes
Accepted

How to keep my bipedal mech from falling over on its side every time it takes a step

Authority If you don't want a machine to fall, you make it stand up by exerting some authority on it. Shouting is optional. More specifically, we are talking about turning authority. This is a term ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
22 votes

Can humans learn unique robotic hand-eye coordination?

Here's a clip of a monkey feeding itself with a simple robotic arm controlled via a direct brain interface, taken in the implausible scifi future of 2008: (Nature article on the subject) This work ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
22 votes

Does a hexapedal mech move quicker when it's closer to the ground and the legs are spread out or is it the opposite?

There are a few hexapedal gaits that have been used in robotics. Wikipedia lists Alternating tripod, Quadruped, and Crawl (move just one leg at a time). Insects use the alternating tripod, which ...
wokopa's user avatar
  • 4,735
20 votes

Mechanized infantry of the medieval age

Not really. Blitzkreig has lots of pretty pictures of fast-moving weapons, but the real power of the concept was based on synchronization and a short decision cycle. Weapons and soldiers didn't ...
user535733's user avatar
  • 28.9k
20 votes

What would a medical condition that makes people believe they are a machine be called?

Trivially, this is termed a Delusional Disorder. Medical terminology has no allowance for making catchy titles for these disorders, even if they become common. However, disorders may also be named ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
  • 62.2k
19 votes

Are mechanical walking vehicles useful in combat?

Yes! This is a full functional John Deere walking tractor and tree harvester. On flat terrain (eg Hoth :)), wheels and treads may be more energy efficient, but in obstacle filled terrain, legged ...
qazwsx's user avatar
  • 891
19 votes

What could centipedal mechs do that tracked & wheeled vehicles couldn't do?

They would probably make dragon's teeth less effective Dragon's teeth (German: Drachenzähne) are square-pyramidal fortifications of reinforced concrete first used during the Second World War to ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 291k
18 votes

Are mechanical walking vehicles useful in combat?

Surely... everyone here has seen the utterly terrifying dog-like robots the US military is working on? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1czBcnX1Ww (Hilariously, they have more recently done stuff ...
Fattie's user avatar
  • 1,174
18 votes

Is there a reason why giant mechs have optics the size of a person instead of 'normal' sized ones?

Long Range, Low Light Vision Most answers assume normal bright daylight conditions. So we might as well ask: "Why do telescopes have such enormous eyes, when our tiny eyes work just fine?" ...
Lawnmower Man's user avatar
18 votes

Does a hexapedal mech move quicker when it's closer to the ground and the legs are spread out or is it the opposite?

Generally speaking, the lower the center of mass of a moving object, the lower the risk of it flipping when changing direction. Translated to a vehicle, if you want to make a sharp turn, the lower the ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 291k
17 votes

Does adamantium solve the giant mecha problem?

One other problem is ground pressure. The maximum bearing capacity of the ground is unaffected, and remains relatively low. For reference, bearing capacity of stiff clay might be 300 kPa, or about ...
TLW's user avatar
  • 813
16 votes

What non-combat uses could mechs have?

This question is a bit difficult to answer because 'Mech' could describe a tracked vehicle with a mech upper torso, a quadripedal spider-like mech, a bipedal humanoid mech.. an underwater ROV with ...
Adam Coville's user avatar
  • 1,349
16 votes

What non-combat uses could mechs have?

Logging It's pretty tough to get big logs out of the forest without mowing down a lot of the forest. A big mech with nimble legs would be really handy. Basically anything in very rough terrain that ...
Matt Timmermans's user avatar
16 votes

Why would mechs be used in underwater combat but not on land?

Underwater mechas are already in use There are many tasks which need to be performed by workers working underwater; tightening bolts on pipelines for example. People don't do well underwater, because ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 91.5k
13 votes

How to keep my bipedal mech from falling over on its side every time it takes a step

Easy but inelegant static stability Your feet are C shaped, so they can be lifted over one another while keeping support below the centre of gravity This model is exceptionally simple, and might be a ...
mjt's user avatar
  • 2,695
13 votes
Accepted

Advantages of reverse jointed legs in bipedal mechs?

Joints Let's say these fine engineers have taken clues from biology and are trying to select some joint for their walkers. They would likely be looking at various "knee joints" in the animal ...
PipperChip's user avatar
  • 32.3k

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