• Tag Archives gundam
  • 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


  • Behind the Scenes: Gundam Wing and OZ

    Organization of the Zodiac

     

    Gundam Wing OZ
    OZ Logo

    Purpose: Military Organization
    Led by Treize Khushrenada
    Part of United Earth Sphere Alliance  and Romefeller Foundation
    Subsidiaries: MO-V, OZ Prize, Treize Faction
    Last Seen December, 195 A.C.

     

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Mostly Commonly Used: OZ-06MS Leo

    Mobile Weapons: OZ-00MS Tallgeese, OZ-00MS Tallgeese Flugel, OZ-00MS2 Tallgeese II, OZ-06MS Leo, OZ-06MS-SN3 Leo-N, OZ-06MS-SR2 Leo-R, OZ-06MS-SS1 Leo-S, OZ-07MS Tragos, OZ-07AMS Aries, OZ-15AGX Hydra Gundam, OZ-08MMS Cancer, OZ-09MMS Pisces, OZ-10VMSX Gundam Aesculapius, OZ-10VMSX-2 Gundam Burnlapius, OZ-12SMS Taurus, OZ-13MSX1 Vayeate, OZ-13MSX2 Mercurius, OZ-14MS Gundam Aquarius, XXXG-00W0L Gundam Lucifer

     

    History of Organization of the Zodiac

     

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Treize & Zechs

    Part of a military wing from the Romefeller Foundation, Organization of the Zodiac is the forefront of the United Earth Sphere Alliance. They mostly serve as ‘black ops’ or Special Forces for the Alliance Military. The original leader was General Chilias Catalonia. In AC 193 he died in battle and was succeeded by Treize Khushrenada.

    OZ became a large portion, though, once militaristic Alliance heard the Colonies wanted independence. Treize created a coup de’etat when he gained the trust of the Colonies and promised them independence. He, however, did not give hem independence but put them under control of the Romefeller Foundation.

    The Gundams made OZ their primary target and took them down after several long battles. The final battle of December AC 195 was the last known existence of OZ. Former OZ members fought newer members now called the White Fang. Once the fight ended, mobile suits were taken apart and OZ no longer existed.

     

    Members of Organization of the Zodiac

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Random OZ Soldiers

     

    Zechs Merquise

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Zechs

    He is an ace pilot and has many nicke names, “Lightning Count” and “Lightning Baron. He wears a mask to hide his true identity, Milliardo Peacecraft. He was once the son of a pacifistic family and has a younger sister, Relena Peacecraft. He joins OZ to take revenge for his family. He pilots the Tallgeese III, but mainly the Gundam Epyon.
    Treize Khushrenada

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Treize

    He is the leader of OZ. He is very charismatic mostly due to being born into a rich family. He is possibly the father of Mariemaia. He pilots the Tallgeese II. He also created the Gundam Epyon and Tallgeese III mobile suits. He has a constant fight with the Gundam Pilot Wufei.
    Lucrezia Noin

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Noin

    She was once the instructor of the Lake Victoria Academy. When she attended their herself, she achieved the second highest grade in history just below Zechs. She is somewhat motherly to her students. She pilots many mobile suits including a green Aries and a white Taurus. She is deeply in love with Zechs.
    Lady Une

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Une

    Lady Une is the right hand woman of Treize. She is very fierce, ruthless, and brutal. She assassinates Relena’s ‘father’ for Treize. She has a mental conflict after Treize suggests that she be more lady like.
    Trant Clark

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Trant

    A very ambitious soldier. He finds the Wing Gundam Zero after Quatre abandons it.  He tests the limit of the system and forces Heero to test Wing Gundam Zero.
    Alex

    Alex

    Trained by Noin at the Lake Victoria Academy, he joins OZ. He makes it to Lieutenant and pilots a Cancer. His call sign is Red Cancer.
    Mueller

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Mueller

    Trained by Noin at the Lake Victoria Academy, he joins OZ. He makes it to Lieutenant and pilots an Aries. His call sign is Blue Angel.
    Broden

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Broden

    OZ’s Fourth Flying Squadron captain.
    Luna Armonia

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Luna

    An orphan that was taken in by Valder Farkill. She was made his guard and was even given Mercurius Shuivan suit.
    Soris Armonia

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Soris

    Luna’s older sister and was taken in by Valder as well.
    Broom Brooks

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Broom

    A commander of the OZ black ops squadron Prize and one of the Stardust Knights.
    Valder Farkill

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Valder

    A member of Zechs Merquise’s unit and of the Specials. He had more kills in the fight with the Alliance earning the nickname “Dark General of Destruction.”
    Rosshe Natono

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Rosshe

    A Stardust Knight and leader of OZ Prize. He is very honorable and plays fair in fights.
    Lowe Sernan

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Lowe

    A mechanic and Special Lieutenant of OZ.
    Kratz Shelby

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Kratz

    A leader of the OZ Prize and one of the Stardust Knights.
    Aretha Walker

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Aretha

    She answers only to the Stardust Knights and part of the OZ Prize soldiers.

     
    Trinoi Levinski

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Trinoi

    He was forced out of OZ due to his left hand injuries.
    Karl Noembreux

    Gundam Wing OZ
    Karl

    He piloted Gundam Lucifer, which had the ZERO System 2.0, and made him go mad.