Sapient Tank
A sapient robotic ground fighting vehicle
Better Name

(permanent link) added: 2013-02-18 19:15:43 sponsor: GiantSpaceChinchilla (last reply: 2014-04-06 09:35:35)

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Other possible names: Sentient Tank, Intelegent Fighting Vehicle, Mecha Battle Tank, Think Tank, Brain Tank, Artificialy Intelegent Ground Combat Vehicle, Instant Soldier, Treaded Troops, Main Battle Trooper, Armoured Personea, Self Propelled Protagonist, Automated Tank, Calculator Cavalry, Computerized Cavalry, Talking Tank, Artificially Intelligent Armor, Armored AI, Artificially Intelligent Attack Vehicle, etc.

What happens when you add Tank Goodness with Instant A.I., Just Add Water? An awesome soldier with firepower, mobility, and armor thatís what. Occupying the hostile grey land between Attack Drone and Androids (or Gynoids) they tend to fight hard for truth, justice, and the meat-bag way. Also have a tendency to be protagonist.

For additional flavor some such tanks are Haunted Technology possessed by ghosts, demons, or sprits instead of sprites, desktops, or gears

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Ghost in the Shell. Tachikoma automated tankettes and Uchikomas.
  • A Magitek version is present in Slayers REVOLUTION. the "magic tanks" are apparently an offshoot of the Zanaffar Armor artifact created from animals, and thus do not need crew.
  • Bogey in The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye is a robotic brain installed in a desert-trekking tank.
  • Sir Cyrano de Bergerac in Sisters of Wellber is a talking, sentient tank that is probably powered by some kind of magic.
  • Those Who Hunt Elves had a tank that was haunted by the spirit of a cat as the team pet after their Summon Everyman Hero plot ran out of gas and needed something supernatural to keep the tank running.

Comic Books
  • Back in the propaganda days of DC comics, there were a group of World War 2 veterans who traveled around in a tank haunted by the spirit of a famous general who gave them cryptic advice. Their vehicle was called The Haunted Tank.

Film
  • Terminator 2 Judgment Day. They can be seen hunting human soldiers in the beginning of the movie.
  • The Decepticon Devastator in the first Transformers who turned into a tank.
  • BIONICLE. Subverted with the Skopio, it may look like a sentient scorpion tank, but it was actually just a giant scorpion modified to be like a tank by the Great Beings.
  • The Separatist tanks from 'Star Wars'' are either this or crewed by robots. Basically, everything that looks more or less like a vehicle is crewed, and stuff that looks like giant mechanical spiders or big roller-wheel thingies are AI-controlled big honking droids.

Literature
  • Bolo: the titular warrior poets.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Marvin provokes a massive but simple-minded robot-tank that's standing on a bridge connecting two high office towers into showing off it's destructive arsenal, and the drone promptly shoots the bridge supports, resulting in it falling down and getting smashed.
  • In Charles Stross's novel Glasshouse, the protagonist recalls being converted into one of these during the wars he fought.

Live-Action TV
  • One That Mitchell and Webb Look sketch features a giant robotic scorpion created by Doctor Death (which, it turns out, he sincerely intended for peaceful purposes).

Tabletop Games
  • Steve Jackson Games
    • GURPS Reign of Steel, which was based on the Terminator films. The Zonemind AIs have a number of weapons available to them, such as the XAU-03 "Juggernaut" (a robot battle tank armed with a particle beam cannon). It has a neural net computer brain.
    • OGRE is all about giant cybertanks fighting against a mass of more conventional combat vehicles.
  • Paranoia has warbots and combots, all with their own bot brains.
  • Shadowrun has ground attack drones of various sorts, some of which are capable of attacking on their own.
  • Some armored vehicles in Warhammer 40,000 are known to be capable of acting on their own. Whether the "machine spirit" is an Artificial Intelligence or an actual spirit is another question entirely.
  • Aftermath! Book 3 The World of the Aftermath. One of the examples of robot-controlled devices is a Cybernetic Tank, an advanced version of which has Artificial Intelligence.

Toys
  • All Transformers with a tank-based alt-mode. More often than not, they're evil Decepticons and tend to be The Brute, but there are still many exceptions. Most notably, Megatron is often depicted as tank, though he changes alt-modes very frequently.

Video Games
  • Tiny Tank. The cute if deadly tank that you control.
  • Star Warrior. One of the opponents you can run into is the Robotank, a smaller, A.I. controlled version of the Heavy Tank.
  • Team Fortress 2, Specifically Mann Vs. Machine. There are giants as well as actual tanks, all of which have ridiculous amounts of health.
  • Most of the major bosses in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker are AI weapons with no pilot. Two of them, the Pupa and the Chrysalis would qualify as tanks, albeit one is closer to a Hover Tank and the other a Base on Wheels.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2. In the expansions the Mastermind tank is this, just that it controls enemy units. It is mentioned that it is a brain on wheels.

Web Original
  • Red vs. Blue has Sheila, a very nice and sweet sentient AI who just happens to be installed in a badass tank, and considers herself just as "human" as the actual human soldiers on the teams. One of the soldiers becomes especially fond of her and ends up being the one who rides around in her the most.
  • The SCP Foundation has SCP-802, a tank that patrols a small region and attacks any who come near it, and SCP-516, a nonviolent (until pressed) tank.

Western Animation
  • Tankor, the dim-witted tank Vehicon from Beast Machines, at least until Rhinox's personality resurfaces again.


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