How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

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domtropen
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by domtropen » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:22 pm

But won't any futuristic development can make more powerful power armor to compensate for weight at all? I guess if they cannot make the power armor to be at least as agile as normal human then it may not be really combat worthy?

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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by tehprognoob » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:04 pm

Look at Macross Frontier's powered armor. I meant a lightweight, titanium suit and prop. system that doesn't so much protect the wearer as make him able to slide along faster than the normal human speed, Knightmare-ish.
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by Newtype87 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:31 pm

tehprognoob wrote:Look at Macross Frontier's powered armor. I meant a lightweight, titanium suit and prop. system that doesn't so much protect the wearer as make him able to slide along faster than the normal human speed, Knightmare-ish.
And the wearer could probably be killed with a single low-caliber bullet, due to their lack of body armor over crucial areas of the body. Those armors feel more suited for escape than combat, even if they could carry a rifle.

EDIT: I'm reminded of something about body armor. Cops can choose to wear anything from normal bullet-proof vests to ceramic armor plate. The tradeoff is ease of donning and comfort, as well as maneuverability. Any really maneuverable powered armor wouldn't have enough armor to properly protect it (barring some advance in materials science or defense technology) and anything armored enough to handle RPGs and the like would be too heavy and slow to be really useful.
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by azrael » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:55 pm

tehprognoob wrote:Look at Macross Frontier's powered armor. I meant a lightweight, titanium suit and prop. system that doesn't so much protect the wearer as make him able to slide along faster than the normal human speed, Knightmare-ish.
That would be more along the lines of an powered exoskeleton with features. With those, we have yet to overcome the issue of power supply, among a few other things. In civilian medical usage its fine, but in combat, where one may be without a power source for days or weeks, its application is more in question. And for military, it's being considered as a load-carrying system as opposed to actual combat system.
Newtype87 wrote:And the wearer could probably be killed with a single low-caliber bullet, due to their lack of body armor over crucial areas of the body. Those armors feel more suited for escape than combat, even if they could carry a rifle.
The EX-Gear suits of Macross Frontier are designed just for that reason for combat; to give the VF pilot an increased chance of survival and decreased learning time for new VFs.
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by Newtype87 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:05 pm

azrael wrote:
tehprognoob wrote:Look at Macross Frontier's powered armor. I meant a lightweight, titanium suit and prop. system that doesn't so much protect the wearer as make him able to slide along faster than the normal human speed, Knightmare-ish.
That would be more along the lines of an powered exoskeleton with features. With those, we have yet to overcome the issue of power supply, among a few other things. In civilian medical usage its fine, but in combat, where one may be without a power source for days or weeks, its application is more in question. And for military, it's being considered as a load-carrying system as opposed to actual combat system.
Now that makes sense: powered armors and mechs in the civilian industry. Imagine a more mobile crane, or rescue workers able to lift and hold up a collapsing ceiling while injured people are being rescued (still have limited usage, due to risk of going through floor beneath you). Stuff like powered armors may have some application in military usage, but the lack of reliable power would limit them to support crews or maybe the guys carrying the really big machine rifles. At least until we get good long-term power cells or miniature fusion reactors, but by that point do you really need powered armors for battle?
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by AnimeMun » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:25 pm

From what I've heard some people say the only issue with the lightsaber is also the matter of power supply needed to power it. To have enough power to work reasonably at this point the power supplies to the thing similar to it are currently the size of a large warehouse.
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by Newtype87 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:34 pm

AnimeMun wrote:From what I've heard some people say the only issue with the lightsaber is also the matter of power supply needed to power it. To have enough power to work reasonably at this point the power supplies to the thing similar to it are currently the size of a large warehouse.
I think we have the basic idea of how to build a lightsaber, it's just that at this point there's no way to even get them to the level of early lightsabers (the ones that had enough charge for like five minutes and needed a belt-mounted power pack to run). The lightsaber is also canonically an extremely difficult weapon to wield, let alone master. Not only does the blade have no mass (throwing off a trained swordsman's instincts and reflexes), but it also apparently has a gyroscopic effect that makes it tricky to wield. It really is just an all around useless weapon outside of the hands of a few supernatural magic wielders. A blaster beats a lightsaber in range and usefulness in almost all circumstances, Jedi can be overwhelmed with pure numbers, and even skilled Jedi can't block grenades with their sabers (force powers are another story, but that's even rarer than lightsabers). Vibroblades are a much better weapon to give to soldiers, given their greater ease of manufacture (even a master Jedi could take a few days to make a crude lightsaber, and it took Luke a month to make his green one), and their closer similarity to normal weapons (a physical blade that can still be used in unpowered mode). So, long story short: give a soldier a blaster and a vibroknife instead of a blaster and a lightsaber. You can arm them faster and there's less chance of them accidentally slicing themselves in half.
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by tehprognoob » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:45 pm

Where does Star Wars tie in with this thread?

And tomorrow's warfare will be all about how fast you can hack the other guy's missiles, not how big your guns are. Granted, you still need physical battle, but hacking a drone takes a nerd, some awesome computers, and plenty of hot coffee, while shooting that drone down needs a highly trained pilot with a multi-million dollar fighter and a comparably expensive missile.
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by blind_dead_mcjones » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:49 pm

Newtype87 wrote: give a soldier a blaster and a vibroknife instead of a blaster and a lightsaber. You can arm them faster and there's less chance of them accidentally slicing themselves in half.
vibroknife? ...yeah why not, so long as you overcome the power supply issues, moving parts, noise, and the fact that you are trying to militarise those weird plug in bread cutting knives that everyone nanna seems to own.
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by Newtype87 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:52 pm

blind_dead_mcjones wrote:
Newtype87 wrote: give a soldier a blaster and a vibroknife instead of a blaster and a lightsaber. You can arm them faster and there's less chance of them accidentally slicing themselves in half.
vibroknife? ...yeah why not, so long as you overcome the power supply issues, moving parts, noise, and the fact that you are trying to militarise those weird plug in bread cutting knives that everyone nanna seems to own.
Remember that in Star Wars, vibroweapons are actually standard weapons, ranging from knuckle guards to massive axes only Gamorreans can wield because of the reverb. Lots of people carry them (I think there are less laws controlling them than blasters), and they can last for quite a while on their power cells.
tehprognoob wrote:Where does Star Wars tie in with this thread?

And tomorrow's warfare will be all about how fast you can hack the other guy's missiles, not how big your guns are. Granted, you still need physical battle, but hacking a drone takes a nerd, some awesome computers, and plenty of hot coffee, while shooting that drone down needs a highly trained pilot with a multi-million dollar fighter and a comparably expensive missile.
Sorry about that. But yeah, tech combat is going to become even more important in the future. On the other hand, you will always have a need for soldiers to hold ground. Might as well keep 'em safe as you can.
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by AnimeMun » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:15 pm

tehprognoob wrote:Where does Star Wars tie in with this thread?

And tomorrow's warfare will be all about how fast you can hack the other guy's missiles, not how big your guns are. Granted, you still need physical battle, but hacking a drone takes a nerd, some awesome computers, and plenty of hot coffee, while shooting that drone down needs a highly trained pilot with a multi-million dollar fighter and a comparably expensive missile.
We were talking power supplies for things such as power armor so I felt it a nice mention as to show how much in the name of energy constraints we have. Basically it will take the however many years it will take to miniaturize the power capacity to make a working lightsaber that fits in your hand and not run out of power in the amount of time it takes to turn it on run forward and slash before any sort of powered armor to become practical by any means. The closest that currently exists is an experimental exoskeleton with a backpack battery that makes up half of the skeleton's weight. This suit could lift 500 pounds sure but it is still semi limited in movement due to the size of the battery to run it which only lasts a few hours without recharging. Not to mention there is no Tony Starks making arc reactors with car batteries and soldering tin any time soon.
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by Areku » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:14 pm

Before we concern ourselves with a never-ending power supply for a lightsaber, it would be more prudent to think about a lightsaber that wouldn't destroy the user's hand within the first few seconds of use. Any device (specifically, the 9" physical unit) that does enough work to quickly melt through several times its own length of bulkhead (Episode 1) is going to have monstrous waste heat. Laws of thermodynamics, etc.

The lightsaber approaches a level of magic on par with The Force itself, so I don't think this sort of good, physics-fearing discussion really has room for it.

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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by AnimeMun » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:56 pm

Areku wrote:Before we concern ourselves with a never-ending power supply for a lightsaber, it would be more prudent to think about a lightsaber that wouldn't destroy the user's hand within the first few seconds of use. Any device (specifically, the 9" physical unit) that does enough work to quickly melt through several times its own length of bulkhead (Episode 1) is going to have monstrous waste heat. Laws of thermodynamics, etc.

The lightsaber approaches a level of magic on par with The Force itself, so I don't think this sort of good, physics-fearing discussion really has room for it.
I am not suggesting we make lightsabers. In fact I am afraid for the day where everyone on this forum has a real lightsaber (please watch three in the afternoon and six in the morning to see my point there). I merely used it as an example of something else with high power demands in a small package. Basically meaning we advance battery tech to that point then we will be able to make practical powered armors that would be the size of an Iron Man suit. Or perhaps more reasonably War Machine or Iron Monger.

Also one must take into account the usage for such armaments. More than likely they'll used for high construction level or military level mechanical space suits. (think the high grav gear in 00)
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by Newtype87 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:35 pm

Areku wrote:Before we concern ourselves with a never-ending power supply for a lightsaber, it would be more prudent to think about a lightsaber that wouldn't destroy the user's hand within the first few seconds of use. Any device (specifically, the 9" physical unit) that does enough work to quickly melt through several times its own length of bulkhead (Episode 1) is going to have monstrous waste heat. Laws of thermodynamics, etc.

The lightsaber approaches a level of magic on par with The Force itself, so I don't think this sort of good, physics-fearing discussion really has room for it.
Actually, from what I remember, lightsaber blades don't give off heat. What we see in episode 1 isn't the lightsaber actually melting through the bulkheads, it's the blade energizing the metal until it melts itself. At least, I think so. The actual cutting blade is probably really small, with most of the visible blade being the containment field.

Either way, though, we're a whole long way from a working model, and a long way from most mecha shows. Personally, I'd love 00's holographic controls and computer screens, those were awesome.
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by Areku » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:35 pm

Newtype87 wrote:Actually, from what I remember, lightsaber blades don't give off heat. What we see in episode 1 isn't the lightsaber actually melting through the bulkheads, it's the blade energizing the metal until it melts itself. At least, I think so. The actual cutting blade is probably really small, with most of the visible blade being the containment field.
Well, the blade has to do one of three things: exert a field, emit heat, or emit particles. I doubt it emits particles, given that Jedi don't seem to die of radiation poisoning. So it either emits a field (presumably one which lends itself to a cutting action), or breaks stuff by heating molecules to the point that they become disorganized or change phase (both of which result in broken objects). Considering the lightsabers are shown to make metal look like molten wreckage, as well as instantly cauterize wounds, I'm guessing it heats things.

Also, it sounds like you're talking about energization on a molecular level, which is the definition of heating. Temperature is the measure of an object's average random molecular kinetic energy (big words, simple concept; think of all matter as a molecular gas), and heat is the transit of the difference in energy between an object's "cold" and "hot" temperatures.

So yes, "energizing the metal until it melts itself" is heating, with the lightsaber providing the difference in energy. Applied energy is work, and all work processes create waste heat; even if a large amount of the heat is rejected from the blade and into the object being "cut", the act of channeling that thermal energy into the object creates added heat, which would have to be emitted from the physical part of the lightsaber that is held in the hand. And we're talking about a lot of work, so a lot of waste heat. In order to deal with this waste heat in a way that doesn't burn the user, we have to presume a sort of technological development that equates to magic for the purposes of this thread, like dumping the waste heat into another dimension.

Anything dealing with the way lightsabers use or allocate energy seems to be beyond the scope of this thread. :P

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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by AnimeMun » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:55 pm

Alright, points have been made on the lightsaber concept. Could we please either finish this subject off or get back to power armor and/or other mecha related technologies?
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by quasadra » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:00 am

i always see powered armor as a soldier support system. it wont make him a super hero, but improve his combat effectiveness. like extending a soldier's endurance. i dont think powered armor is supposed to take the role of a tank. powered armor or not they are still soldier. i leave those more knowledgeable in this as to whether powered armor can do this stuff or not.
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by tehprognoob » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:52 am

Not so much powered armor as power boost exoskeleton (Points at signature.) that gives soldiers extra perks.
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by azrael » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:07 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/10703219

As I said, we're getting there. But it's important to keep in mind power is still an issue. It only has a 42-mile runtime (but if you equip it with solar panels, it becomes unlimited at the expense of load capacity, which would defeat its purpose) and it's only a lower body exoskeleton.
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Re: How far away are we from Mecha Show Tech Levels?

Post by tehprognoob » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:37 am

Awesome. In the future, we can strap these on and hope that the marathon judges don't notice ^_^
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