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  • Could it Exist: Pokeballs

    Could Pokeballs Exist?

    Hello everyone, Flint here. If you played or watched Pokemon as a kid then you can all agree with me that it was amazing. The concept for the series was great, ‘you are a 10 year old who must travel around an entire region to capture dangerous creatures and who said creatures to battle other dangerous creatures in hope of becoming a Pokemon League Champion’ ah yes, my childhood was awesome. But the thing that fascinated me the most about the whole series itself was the device used to capture Pokemon, which are known as Pokeballs.

    Pokeballs are small spherical shaped objects which are used to capture Pokemon. When a Pokemon is captured, it is converted into light energy and remains in that state until the trainer decides to use the Pokemon again. They were created around 300 years ago in the Johto region from apricot seeds. However, now a days more modernised Pokeballs are created by companies like Siph. Co, which is the main manufacturing company in the Pokemon world.

    There are many different types of Pokeballs to use and each one will aid you in different ways. For example a Master Ball will catch any Pokemon without fail and a Dusk Ball will help you catch Ghost Pokemon or Pokemon during the night time period. Having a verity of different types of Pokeballs will make it easier to catch Pokemon on your journey.

    So it’s time to ask the question, could we create Pokeballs in our world to capture wild animals with? Well, my answer would be: Quite possibly yes. Here’s my little theory on why it could be possible. It’s quite complex but you’ll need to use your imaginations.

    It would probably involve a Rapid Cloning device located in the center of the Pokeball. This devise would be similar to the Rapid Prototyping machines used by todays designers and engineers, only smaller and carbon based.

    The animals genetic information would be stored on the ball and using voice activation the user would simply say the animals name and the Cloning nozzle at the center of the ball would begin constructing the creature.

    This process would only take a moment and it would appear the animal was simply leaping forth from inside the ball.

    The only major technological hurdle to overcome would be training your animal to fight, because although rapid cloning can easily recreate the physical animal, it would be difficult to retain any learned behavior outside the ball.

    For example, if the animal knew its name before its genetic information was inputted into the ball then hypothetically all subsequent clones of the animal would also know its own name.

    However, if the animal learned, say, a new attack during a fight, the next time you released the animal it would have no memory of this new attack because the data in the ball would not have been updated.

    I should also mention that this Pokeball technology would involve you killing your animal ever time you wanted to “put it away”. This would probably be best archived using some sort of lethal injection, at which point you could also draw a new genetic sample to upload to the Pokeball, thus updating the information and any learned behavior.

    It can be thought of very much like saving a file on a computer.

    As you can see, there is small possibility that a device such as a Pokeball could be created, but invention a machine like a Rapid Cloning device would take a very long time to create. However, scientists are starting to experiment with cloning methods every day and they are getting very positive results. Scientists can now clone body parts for humans who may need a new limb which will only become more advanced over time, which may eventually lead to scientists being able to clone fully living humans and animals.

    Again this will take a very long to fully enhances but will we eventually achieve it.

    However, would we really want a device like a Pokeball existing if it involves killing our animal partner every time we want to put its genetic samples back into the ball? Personally I hate animal cruelty and if somebody gave me a new dog inside a Pokeball and said “If you want to put the dog back inside the ball, all you have to do is kill it and take a blood sample from it” I would decline that persons offer. Even if the dog comes back with all it’s memories, I still couldn’t bare the fact that I would need to kill my animal friend each time I wanted to use him again. Whether we use an injection to kill the animal or not, we are taking away the life of another living thing just so we can use it to bring a new clone of it back to life to fight again, and then eventually die again. If scientist create a Pokeball with this function, there would be great uproar throughout the world.

    In conclusion, I would really like to have a device like a Pokeball for my own pet (I have a cat) but if it involved the animal going through serious pain, then I defiantly wouldn’t purchase it. All we can do now is wait until scientists brainstorm this cloning method and that it can be created in a painless way for the creature we will be using it on.

    Thank you for reading and I’ll see you next time!

    ~Flint the Theorist


  • Could it Exist: The Three Dimensional Gear

    Could Three Dimensional Gear Exist?

     

    Hello everyone, Flint here. If you’ve watched Attack on Titan then you have different heard about the Three Dimensional Maneuver or also known as the Vertical Maneuvering Equipment or the Omni-Directional Mobility Gear. It is a set of gear developed by humans that allows great mobility when facing the Titans in combat. The gear allows the user to fight in a 3D space as opposed to a 2D one. The gear itself takes the form of a body harness that encompasses much of the body below the neck. Although the Gear can grant a skilled user tremendous mobility, it is a demanding art that requires strength, and skill, both of which must be honed through constant practice. Some tools involved in the apparatus include:

    •Handgrips

    •Piston-shot grapple-hooks

    •Gas powered mechanism

    •Iron Wire Propeller with Plug in Blades

    Many people like myself, have always wondered if something like this could be created today. However, it’s not about whether it can be created its about whether it can be functional. Your answer to that may be very disappointing.

    Here are a few reasons why this device would not be invented and why it would not be functional:

    •There is no way you could store so much energy in the form of pressurized gas. Pressurized containers by the way are also incredibly heavy, not something you want to fly around with.

    •Wire management. The biggest problem here is that you also cannot keep your wires in a high tension state nor can you wind them back too quickly after disengaging. If you don’t know what I’m talking about go get a tape measure, pull it all out and let it go free while holding the body in your hands. Now try that with a heavy sharp steel tip with steel blade hooks and grooved steel cable. It’s nasty just thinking about it.

    •Cost and availability. Creating devices like this would cost a very large amount of money and soldiers who would use them might die immediately after entering the battlefield. It would waste a lot of money in our economy.

    •Angle and acceleration. If you’ve studied vectors and trigonometry in math or physics you should realize how difficult it will be to get air born with such a device by shooting your grappling hook forward instead of straight up. Because the upward component of the angle of acceleration must be larger than Earth’s gravity for this to work. And if you shoot almost horizontally like they do sometimes, the force quickly get extremely large (infinite at completely horizontal of course), assuming you don’t want to loose altitude in the process. You could easily generate multiple Gs of acceleration, how do you hold on to your full steel swords? and heavy pressurized containers? Are leather straps enough for such extreme conditions?

    •Once you get up to those kinds of speed and acceleration, the next obvious problem is how to slow down. Never mind swinging at hundreds of km/H, even a simple swing from a small angle into a hard surface is very hazardous if you don’t push against it prepared, with your feet. Considering that these people don’t even wear any helmets or joint protection, any kind of collision will immediately disable if not kill you.

    •One of the big problems with controlling this device would be shooting the grappling hook. The characters in the anime can magically aim their grappling hooks with extreme precision even though they seem to be firmly attached to their hip, but realistically that would be very hard to accomplish. Also note that the hooks fly much slower than bullets which would give a huge advantage for an enemy trying to shoot you down.

    •Hook shooting, simply put, there is no way you could shoot those grappling hooks with such force with mechanical energy, a gunpowder device is required. Remember they are shooting steel hooks attached with steel cable. The whole thing would’ve weighed tens of kilograms fully extended. This, of course also means that the grappling hooks themselves would be more destructive than any other hand held weapon they have in the series. You could just use the grappling hook for a weapon in combat.

    •Possibly the main reason why this device would not be created is the development of it. It doesn’t matter what miracle mechanics you employ, even if it works exactly like shown in the anime, with the hooks shooting perfectly, with automatic aim, incredible winch and integrated computers to control for safety and such. One simple problem will still make it useless: How do you make sure that your hook will actually catch on? Because often they swing with a single hook, and if that were to fail, you would either collide into a break wall or fall to your death. There is of course no way to reliably engage or disengage the hooks simply because of the wide range of surfaces and situations they will encounter, without being able to change the heads. What if you hit steel plating on wooden structure? What if you hit corroded weak cement on a building ? What if you didn’t hit anything? All of these could happen at any moment, with every swing, and each of them could very likely be fatal. In short, the Three Dimensional Manoeuvre Gear just would not work well in the natural world.

    So in conclusion, it could be somewhat invented, but it would not work according to it’s anime self. But we need to remember, we are trying to create safer ways for equipping soldiers in battle, not complex, useless and dangerous ways.

    Anyways, I hope you enjoyed my first blog in my new series on this profile. If you enjoyed it please leave me some feedback because I would love to hear some. Thank you for your time!

    ~Flint the Theorist


  • Could it Exist: Mechs

    Could Mechs Exist?

     

    Hello everyone, Flint here. Let’s face it, we’re all deeply infatuated with gigantic robots, a science fiction staple that includes such memorable mechanical monsters as the Transformers, Pacific Rim Jaegers and even the AT-AT Walkers from Star Wars. But my favourite mechs of all time come from the anime series Gundam.

    Mobile Suit Gundam was principally developed by renowned animator Yoshiyuki Tomino, along with a changing group of Sunrise creators who went under the collective pseudonym of “Hajime Yatate”. Most Gundams are large, bipedal, humanoid-shaped vehicles controlled from cockpits by a human pilot. The majority of these “mobile suits” have a cockpit in the “torso” of the machine, with a camera built into the “head” to transmit images to the cockpit and are non-sentient machines.

    Mobile Suit Gundam is said to have pioneered the real robot subgenre of mecha anime.

    Gundam

    It attempted a realism in the robot design and weaponry, by running out of energy and ammunition or breaking and malfunctioning. The technology is practical and is either derived from true science, such as Lagrange points in space and the O’Neill cylinder as a living environment or at least well-explained, feasible technology, requiring only a few fictional elements to function, such as Minovsky Physics as a means of energy production from helium. The necessity of developing humanoid robots is also explained, albeit fictional. The fictional Minovsky particle pervasive in Universal Century is depicted as interfering with radar-guided long-distance cruise missiles, anti-aircraft guns, missiles, and all early warning systems, with weapons systems having to rely on human eyes. In Universal Century, the space-based Principality of Zeon rebels against Earth Federation, requiring a weapons system that could function in zero and normal gravity and be able to open and close air locks, plant demolition charges, and engage with enemy tanks and planes; with a robotic giant being an excellent choice.

    Gundam Mobile Suit

    Now that I have explained what exactly Gundams are it’s time to ask the question, “could they ever be constructed”? My answer is yes but it wouldn’t function like it would in anime. Here are two reasons why. There are obviously more reasons but I believe these two are the most important. Remember, my theories are based off realistic views and not futurist anime views.

     

    The sheer enormity of Mechs

    A good place to start this investigation is by looking at we’ve already been able to produce. As it stands, the largest functional robot currently in use is Vulcan Engineering’s MegaBot.

    It’s an electric articulated-arm production robot that has a reach of six meters and can pick up objects as heavy as 3,675 lbs (1,670 kg). It can spin 360 degrees and handle pitch torque up to 180,000 inch-pounds. And it features an impressive grip force of up to 9,700 lbs.

    Now, as impressive as MegaBot appears to be, it’s clearly a far cry from Gundams monstrous mecha — something that’s several orders of magnitude greater in terms of both its size and complexity.

    Assuming strong, lightweight materials could be developed, the sheer enormity of its moving appendages would still cause tremendous strain on its mechanical parts. Managing all the various dynamics involved, including the robot’s velocity, acceleration, momentum, heat dissipation, and internal torque, would likely be completely untenable. Even if such a thing could be built, it would likely have to move at an agonizingly impractical slow pace. Just imagine trying to slow this thing down once it got going!

    Indeed, as Carnegie Mellon University roboticist Mel Siegel noted in his paper, “When Physics Rules Robotics,” one of the primary problems of robotics is dealing with any excess weight. Engineers are constantly pushing the envelope of what’s possible in terms of size, often working to prevent the weight of the robot to cause it to collapse in on itself. This, among other reasons, is why Honda’s humanoid ASIMO is so tiny at 1.2 meters in height.

    And then there’s the energy factor to consider. After contemplating the amount of power required to energize a skyscraper sized robot, it would require a hell of a lot of batteries. That said, it is suspected that we might someday be able to wirelessly beam energy, use nuclear reactors, or even have an in-house power plant at work. This would help creating a Gundam a little but more realistic.

     

    The sheer impracticality of Mechs

    Cost is another important factor. It’s fair to say that assembling a fleet of these things would be cost prohibitive to say the least. SciencePortal actually conducted a calculation a few years ago to see how much it would cost to build a Gundam. Looking at the requirements, a list that included aluminum alloy, metal processing, a main computer, gas turbine engines, superconductive motors, and more. The Japanese science and technology researchers concluded that it would cost no less than $725,000,000 to build. And that’s just for one Gundam!

    Roboticists typically use a humanoid form on a human scale, because it allows the robot to operate seamlessly in human environments, so, I do have to wonder why it would be useful to have such a gigantic robot in a humanoid shape at all, anywhere, for any circumstance. We couldn’t need to create something like this since there wouldn’t be a need to use it. However, it would be a very good weapon in warfare against other countries if another world war broke out.

    G Gundam

    The only possible reason for producing a robot of that size on Earth would be for aesthetic purposes like an accomplishment of structural engineering simply for the sake of seeing if it could be done. But as for it being something practical or helpful, that’s more unlikely.

    Thank you for reading and I hope you have a good day!

    ~Flint the Theorist