Lim Jyue (lim_jyue@pacific.net.sg)
Mon, 06 Sep 1999 12:46:26 +0800


At 19:09 09/05/1999 -0700, you wrote:
>Realistically, I don't think that they'll develop any type of mobile
>suits any time soon. However, if someone decides to do so, they will
>most likely start small and work their way up to something over 10
>meters tall.

        Actually, I just saw in the papers the day before that a Japanese
professor has build an Exoskeleton that can amplify the strength of a person
by a factor of 8. =)

        IMO, building MSes/Labours isn't a problem with current
technologies. I think the main problem with that is the power source.
Remember, even Gundam use super-science to justify the compact reactors used
in MSes, and Patlabour uses batteries (for crying out loud..=) that doesn't
last very long..

        That leads me to today's technical question: Given today's
technology, what's the smallest nuclear reactor you can build that's capable
of propelling a vehicle carrying it?

>As for arming them, they'll most likely start with a high caliber high
>rate automatic weapon. And as these 'bots get bigger, they'll probably
>add missiles and so forth. I don't think any type of beam weapon
>whether it be a rifle or a sword/melee weapon will be invented for a
>long time.

        IMO, weapons on an MS/PA/Labour will still consist mostly of
projectile weapons, as they are very reliable and idiot-proof. The basic gun
is still a firing pin hitting a cartridge, and this has been the way for
50++ years already. (Aside: it's all those fancy autoloaders that screws up,
rarely the firing mechanism..)

        Energy weapons are not as effective in an atmosphere as it is in
vaccum, so I'll think only the most accurate or devastating energy weapons
will be used on earth. Long range lasers are too useful to ignore, while
"shotgun" beam weapons at short range is very useful, especially in urban
areas. And of course, a beam saber is way to useful to ignore. =)

        Missiles are a catch-22 situation. While it allows you to have an
excellent punch, they are limited in ammunition and there's always a chance
of the missile exploding under enemy fire. Opps. =)

        Whether MS will be used for combat, well, it's hard to say. Power
armour is much more useful, and an MS's collateral damage (especially
considering the power of a beam rifle) is trememdous. Ever wondered why few
MSes use beam weapons within a colony? Well, a building can probably take a
few 90mm rounds, but a beam bazooka near miss can probably slag the whole
thing..

        Having said that, MSes are much more useful when it comes to
payload, but I think the future of warfare will involve little gorillas
hopping around on the battlefield..

>NO!!!!! Unfortunately, there are a lot of psychos/sickos out there whom
>I don't want to see destroying entire city blocks if they were to get
>their hands on a SUIT. If a 'Labor-sized 'bot or even a power suit were

        Labour-sized bots are very useful in construction and SAR, so we'll
probably see some of them in use. It's like a dump truck; we see a lot of
them around, but few people gets to drive or own one.

-------------
Lim Jyue
ICQ: 24737555

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