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Japan seriously considers building real-life Gundam mechas for Defense:

 126 The Handle, Tue, 3rd Jul '12 5:28:04 AM from Location, Location, Loca
Enough with this derail.

My understanding is that a Mobile Suit would be too complicated to control even with motion capture. It should rather work like a horse: extremely stupid, but you tell it "go there" or "turn right" or "duck" and it will obey. All you have to worry about is to point a gun and shoot, and even machines can be taught to do that: see turrets. The only difficulty is getting them to understand allegiance, so a human should still decide the targets. This would be better to either remote-control or use a huge cable, depending on the size.

As for jamming, how many chaff grenades can they carry anyway?
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
I want Kat's glasses!
[up]You mean use chaff for jamming, or to counter it?
They Called Me Mad!! I decided to show them all; but when I looked on my works, oh mighty, I despaired: for it made me realize they were right.
 128 Ira The Squire, Tue, 3rd Jul '12 2:04:48 PM from No idea. Measuring speed
Phyrexian Dalek
[up][up] Only if the mecha in question is a giant. I see no such problems if it is little more than an Iron Man suit.
1) Patent a deadly virus and its treatment. Spread it. Charge outrageous prices to anyone you want dead.

2) ???

3) PROFIT!
 129 Kostya, Tue, 3rd Jul '12 2:14:19 PM from Everywhere
The Razruchityel
Would it be possible for it to use a combination of human and CPU control? What I mean is the suit has certain pre-programmed actions such as run forward, fire gun, pick up object, etc. and a person operating it decides what it should do. Now if something has to be done that's a little too complex for it's programming the human can take control over certain aspects. Ex: He tells it to enter fire mode so it deploys its guns but the human manually selects the targets if he feels it's necessarily.

Would this be workable or is it too complex an interface/program?

 130 The Handle, Wed, 4th Jul '12 2:19:59 AM from Location, Location, Loca
Nothing is too complex if you approach it incrementally. The real question is "how long would it take"?
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
Jolly Good Show
The Japanese Military will become extremely vulnerable to skipping ropes and banana peels...

(Someone had to say it).

Cool as it is, listen to the experts, guys.
It's your God, they're your rules, you go to hell." - Mark Twain
 132 The Handle, Wed, 4th Jul '12 4:43:01 AM from Location, Location, Loca
Who are the experts? I've worked in design, and I can tell you, if you and I are thinking of the same people, the experts are often whiny, dismissive party poopers who shoot down ideas so systematically they've got an outright terror of creativity, of coming up with new ideas. As a result, while they're very good at improving or correcting what already exists, they suck at pulling stuff from the space of things-that-dont-exist-yet.

And when, in your life, have you ever seen anyone slip on a banana peel?

edited 4th Jul '12 4:43:43 AM by TheHandle

I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
Jolly Good Show
Cartoons! (My way of saying 'it was a joke. srsly.')

And I'm sorry, are we talking about completely different things? Because I can understand design experts being consulted when the decision has been made, but...who would you consult for military matters, i.e. the actual commission of this project? Soldiers and, in a few cases, Scholars. It goes without saying that the experts on military matters are the people who've made it their life's work. Just from a quick google search, Eiji Kimizuka stands out.

If they say 'oh yeah, we could totally use these', then fine. I fully support it. If not, then...
It's your God, they're your rules, you go to hell." - Mark Twain
 134 The Handle, Wed, 4th Jul '12 8:34:46 AM from Location, Location, Loca
You would mbe amazed how often stuff that has been done has been judged by experts as "can't be done". See, experts don't want to tell you what you need to know, but what you need to hear from them so that you come back and ask them again (and pay them). So they tend to be conservative, and dismissive of audacity.
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
Jolly Good Show
[up] That's a colossal generalisation. You can see them as 'conservative and dismissive of audacity', but I just see them as people who accept that risking human lives and massive amounts of money on something that might work is just plain old stupid. It's gambling, and that's fine when you've plenty to gain, but they don't. Simple as that.
It's your God, they're your rules, you go to hell." - Mark Twain
Darkness and Disgrace
Frankly, I don't think an "Iron Man Suit" would be all that practical, either. Sure, it'd allow a soldier to carry more, but mobility would be severely limited by the squishy human muscles it needs to augment. You could lift things, sure, but trying to, say, move faster than a human would simply tear the wearer's muscles to shreds. Ultimately, the best you could hope for is an expensive infantry man who's slowed by bulky machinery and is slightly more resistant to small arms fire.
Save a webcomic, read Commander Kitty! "You got your head all tangled up, but if I could only make you care..."
 137 The Handle, Wed, 4th Jul '12 2:02:09 PM from Location, Location, Loca
I can't agree with that last bit. How much faster is "faster"? With good flexibility (and cardio) training, moving faster than a normal human when on these things should be no problem.

[up][up]I know. What I had in mind were those experts who would say that "three percent is a good inflation rate which we should stick to" and "growth is always good" and "government is like a householf", and then not-provide any serious, scientific justifications for those amazingly stupid claims. I mean, those can be true situationally, but aren't general truths.

Just like experts being dishonest, cowardly and Know-Nothing Know-It-All is definitely not a general truth... but they're the ones you'll see the most on "serious media". The Times. National television. That sort of stuff.

Anyway, if Japan makes a counterproductive investment defense-wise, I honestly don't give a crap, and I would actually encourage them to folow that path. I just want them to make those things, and couldn't care less about the consequences to them. You won't ever see me say an outright lie on purpose, but I'm definitely not an impartial party here.

edited 4th Jul '12 2:08:30 PM by TheHandle

I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
 138 Ira The Squire, Wed, 4th Jul '12 2:02:31 PM from No idea. Measuring speed
Phyrexian Dalek
[up][up] You guys are doing it.

edited 4th Jul '12 2:02:51 PM by IraTheSquire

1) Patent a deadly virus and its treatment. Spread it. Charge outrageous prices to anyone you want dead.

2) ???

3) PROFIT!
 139 The Handle, Wed, 4th Jul '12 2:10:52 PM from Location, Location, Loca
[up]Where can I buy shares?
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
Darkness and Disgrace
[up][up]That kind of proves my point. Notice how the applications mentioned are pretty much "human-shaped forklift".
Save a webcomic, read Commander Kitty! "You got your head all tangled up, but if I could only make you care..."
 141 Ira The Squire, Wed, 4th Jul '12 10:48:58 PM from No idea. Measuring speed
Phyrexian Dalek
Yeah, I was just point out that your "don't think it would be that practical" thing is practical enough that people actually start doing it for real. So either you're right and there are a lot of idiots involved (lot more than, say, a handful of politicians suggesting an idea) or this isn't as impractical as you say it is.

Besides, who says that the exoskeleton has to make people move faster? A soldier moving at the same speed as normal and yet stronger and more bullet-proof is a significant advantage already.

edited 4th Jul '12 10:55:27 PM by IraTheSquire

1) Patent a deadly virus and its treatment. Spread it. Charge outrageous prices to anyone you want dead.

2) ???

3) PROFIT!
 142 Deboss, Wed, 4th Jul '12 11:08:57 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Would it be possible for it to use a combination of human and CPU control? What I mean is the suit has certain pre-programmed actions such as run forward, fire gun, pick up object, etc. and a person operating it decides what it should do.

See Gasaraki. Well, the first fight or twonote .
 143 Tam H 70, Thu, 5th Jul '12 3:09:42 AM from 合計虐殺 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War ALWAYS changes. Man does not.
Minister, if we went by your diktats, we wouldn't have set foot on another planet.

Or gone to the bottom of the sea, or the top of Everest.

We would still be in caves.

We ascend as a species BECAUSE we take risks. Every argument that you have deployed was used against using horses as transportation, carriages, chariots, ox carts, boats, ships, trains, cars, bikes(pedal and engine powered), planes, helicopters, submarines and submersibles and space exploration.

Did we listen? Well, yep. Which held back our development, but we got there eventually. I have no idea if these so-called Gundams are going to work, but that should not, must not, stop people trying, even if it costs money that some folks would think would be better spent on hookers and blow.
[up] Unless its Gundam Hookers.
 
 145 The Handle, Thu, 5th Jul '12 5:06:22 AM from Location, Location, Loca
That concept doesn't even work.
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
Jolly Good Show
[up][up][up] Did you miss the last part of my statement? I'll quote it for you, because I believe your comment to be a gross over simplification

It's gambling, and that's fine when you've plenty to gain, but they don't.

There, see that last bit? Now, I understand you think going to the Moon was a big step for mankind, but shall I direct you to a man who was an expert who is credited with saving a billion people from starvation? Norman Borlaug. He didn't throw money at something with low potential, he worked methodically and concisely on a major problem of the day. He took risks that saved lives.

I see no gaping need for Gundams. You say humanity ascends by taking risks, and you're right. SMART ONES. I refuse to accept this argument that money that could be spent on cancer research, or fertility treatment for those effected by the recent Nuclear disaster there, should be spent on Mechs simply because "the spirit of humanity demands it". To hell with the spirit of humanity if it means a person can wake up cancer free. You can scream 'risks progress us as a species' all you like, but for every single one of those innovations you mentioned, there are a hundred that died in the water because there wasn't a need, there wasn't a will and there wasn't any intellect behind it. Hell, penicillin was only brought into mass market after Government Scientists spent years working on it's cultivation.

Please don't scream ' all risks drive us forward as a species'. That's lumping my idea to jump off the bridge to impress a girl with Churchill deciding not to surrender. There are smart risks, and there are dumb risks. The former are called 'calculated gambles', the latter 'recklessness'.

edited 5th Jul '12 5:28:47 AM by Minister

It's your God, they're your rules, you go to hell." - Mark Twain
 147 Ira The Squire, Thu, 5th Jul '12 5:35:33 AM from No idea. Measuring speed
Phyrexian Dalek
Now, I understand you think going to the Moon was a big step for mankind

I wouldn't say that space exploration is unnecessary though. We do need the resources of three earths for everyone on this planet now to enjoy the standard of living as in the US. And given the way that we're screwing with our planet, well...

edited 5th Jul '12 5:36:04 AM by IraTheSquire

1) Patent a deadly virus and its treatment. Spread it. Charge outrageous prices to anyone you want dead.

2) ???

3) PROFIT!
 148 The Handle, Thu, 5th Jul '12 6:19:31 AM from Location, Location, Loca
[up]That money would be better invested in optimizing our use of resources on this planet. People tend to underetimate how much energy it takes to make something reach escape velocity, or even orbit. A whole fucking lot. Space exploration will only begin once we have actually harnessed and optimized the energies on Earth, and have enough surplus to attempt the stunt.

[up][up]You know what? You're absolutely right. That was brilliantly argued, and I'm behind you one hundred percent on this one. Now go tell the voters: "I can save the lives of one million lives, or build amazingly cool giant robots to scare The Enemy." If human life and human welfare was such a priority as people like to pretend, the world we live in would have an entirely different structure.
I stayed up all night, 'cause I wanted to see where the sun went—and then it dawned on me.
Jolly Good Show
[up] Meh, so what? I understand that no one actually cares about anyone else, and I lost faith in politics about six years ago. But I prefer welfare to giant robots, and I try to make smart risks when I can. I can try and convince others to do the same, but I can't force them to - only person I have control over is myself. So I'll keep making the argument, until I am convinced otherwise. Futile or not.
It's your God, they're your rules, you go to hell." - Mark Twain
 150 Ira The Squire, Thu, 5th Jul '12 6:27:15 AM from No idea. Measuring speed
Phyrexian Dalek
[up][up] Knowing what the laws of thermodynamics (and other constrains) is like I'd say that every one of your points are as hard as each other, if not much harder (the main problem with optimizing energy efficiency is the law of thermodynamics: any more steps than 1 wastes energy. Solar is probably the way to go, but the materials for it is way too scarce on earth for it to be useful. Finding a new way of doing it will be searching in the dark). Besides, space elevators are just as difficult and probably takes a long to develop as alternate energy sources.

edited 5th Jul '12 6:38:35 AM by IraTheSquire

1) Patent a deadly virus and its treatment. Spread it. Charge outrageous prices to anyone you want dead.

2) ???

3) PROFIT!
Total posts: 270
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