Justin Palmer (justin@briareos.demon.co.uk)
Mon, 6 Sep 1999 15:31:48 +0100


In message <470b104d.250408ea@aol.com>, Crnbdr46@aol.com writes
>i have a survey for everyone. well not really a series of questions just a
>couple. do you think that mobile suits should be developed for military use
>and if so what weapons do you think they should equipped with . and last but
>not least do you think that the average joe should be allowed to pilot a
>mobile suit ?
>
        If you had asked me this question a month ago, my reply would
have been "look, I love mecha, I really do, I would *kill* to own a real
Strike Valkyrie, but... I don't believe they'll ever be practical... "
        But since then, I've seen a few things that have changed my mind
a bit.
        One of them was the Honda P3 prototype robot, a robot that is
capable of walking all by itself. I finally saw some footage of it [1],
and it is amazing. Scale it up a bit, stick a pilot in it, and add a
super-conducting battery, and well - can you say AV-98 Ingram? ^_^
        The other thing that changed my mind was a comment by Igor
Sikorsky, the helicopter pioneer (I know, I know, the Germans got them
in service first, and I *think* someone flew one before Sikorsky, etc,
etc... ^_^). He was once asked the following (paraphrasing):
        "Your helicopter can't fly as fast, or as far, or carry as much
as an airplane. What use is it?"
        His reply:
        "You are right. My helicopter will never fly as fast, or as far,
or carry as much as an airplane. But...
        ...my helicopter will be able to do things that no other flying
craft can do."
        I think history tells the rest of that story... ^_^ In other
words, maybe someone will develop a practical mecha. And maybe it won't
get used for Police work, or combat, but maybe somebody will think of an
entirely different application for them. You never know...
        ...and as to whether the average joe should ever be let loose in
one, two things: 1) they let people in charge of all sorts of dangerous
machinery, the passenger automobile among them and 2) treat yourself to
Patlabor on TV, and you'll find the answer in one of the finest anime
mecha series ever made... ^_^
        Sorry for rambling on a bit, just thought I'd use the
opportunity to off load some of these thoughts...

        [1] The same programme featured an American inventor - if you
watch Discovery a lot, you've probably met him already - who is really
into developing all sorts of small, cheap robots for military
applications. I found it kind of reassuring that the shelves in his lab
were stock full of model Labors and Gundams... could he be lurking here
somewhere...? ^_-

I wanna have a pure time... |justin@briareos.demon.co.uk|
Everyones a noble mind; | |
Believing in a sign of Zeta, | |
Beyond the hard times from now! | |

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