Re: [gundam] Mobile suit mechanics
Sat, 13 Mar 1999 04:31:35 EST

In a message dated 3/12/99 7:27:24 AM Mountain Standard Time, writes:

<< Just a query on how mobile suit pilots control their machines. Mobile suits
closely mimic actual human movement. Is this programmed into the suit itself
(as in, press a button marked "draw beam saber" and the MS will automatically
reach backward and grab the saber's hilt)? Or do the pilots have to supply the
actual reflexes for MS to act (ala the "neural-interface" used in
Robotech/Macross or servos like those used in Daimos)?>>

I always thought that an MS had a fairly sophisticated artificial intelligence
that performed all of the actual movement functions any one could ever ask it
to perform. All the pilot needs to do is direct the MS by using the cockpit's
controls. Foot pedals could easily control walking, running, and turning,
while joy sticks control upper body movement like guiding the arms when
necessary or targeting another MS. For complex movements like shoulder rolls,
kneeling, or beam saber fighting, I would think that the MS would make the
appropriate moves as it (and the pilot) saw fit. This would explain hoe
children can pilot MS's by simply reading its manual.

<<The fact that the suits hold their weapons with hands seems an impractical
redundancy especially considering the added effort needed to program the
necessary moves/reflexes into the suit's computers. But having the weapons
built-in to the suit's structure (ala Battletech or Robotech Destroids) will
limit MS flexibility to combat situations.>>

The weapons being hand held would make servicing and repairing the MS a lot
easier to do in the field than hard mounted systems would be. And there is
also the fact that an MS can scavenge a weapon off the battlefield by simply
picking one up and checking to see if it worked. I see MS's as highly trained
(or programmed) soldiers, that can adapt to new situations as fast as its
pilot can. Maybe faster, as seen in at least one case.

<<Now assuming MS designs had other things in mind than combat (which we do
see in the shows--mobile suits helping in rescue attempts, reconstruction,
etc.), that would make programming them even more tedious--you would have to
imagine every conceivable motion/movement situation that the MS might enter.

Would skip the need for explanations if pilots actually thought their machines
through the motions. >>

Not if every MS's artificial intelligence was based on an actual person, a
person that was smart enough to be able to figure out how to do most things
with only a basic amount of continual guidance. Kind of like an 18 meter tall,
highly trained pet.

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