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Your Own Mecha 252

BJH writes "A Japanese company by the unfortunate name of tmsuk has just announced the world's largest robot capable of carrying a person - the 3.5m tall, 5 ton T52 Enryu HyperRescueRobot. Their product site is in Japanese, but here's a few fun facts: it's 10m wide with its arms fully outstretched, is powered by an onboard water-cooled three cylinder direct injection diesel engine, has a maximum speed of 3Km/h, and carries seven 680,000-pixel CCD cameras with a separate monitor for each camera. If no whiny 14-year-olds are available to pilot it, it can be remotely controlled (with a dummy plug in the cockpit, presumably)."
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Your Own Mecha

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  • by ciroknight ( 601098 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @09:18AM (#7944214)
    But when can I get my fuckin gundam???
  • by cloudless.net ( 629916 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @09:21AM (#7944229) Homepage
    So are we ready to fight the sentinels yet?
  • by ntsucks ( 22132 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @09:23AM (#7944237)
    Get Signorey Weaver and bring on the Alien mother.
  • by way2trivial ( 601132 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @09:23AM (#7944241) Homepage Journal
    I need to know how to say in Japanese, how much, and do you finance...
  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <teamhasnoi@nospAm.yahoo.com> on Sunday January 11, 2004 @09:25AM (#7944244) Homepage Journal
    does it run Rinux?

    C'mon, this joke's got legs!

    Looks like the perfect thing to babysit kids with or fight mother aliens.

    Scratch that, the kids'll break it.

  • YHBT (Score:5, Funny)

    by ciaran_o_riordan ( 662132 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @09:26AM (#7944247) Homepage
    Don't be fooled. That photo is of a 1 meter tall man standing beside Steve Mann [salon.com]
  • Old idea. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Samuel Duncan ( 737527 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @09:26AM (#7944252) Journal
    Already after WW II in the late 1940ies there were the first mech projects floating around. We had basically everything you need: Diesel engines, decent valves from submarine technology for the hydraulic system, the usual control stuff, sufficiently small electric motors etc. You don't need many electric amplifiers for the electric system because the main system would have to be hydraulic anyway. So vaccuum tubes would do.
    However the projects were stomped due to several reasons:
    1. Weight: these mechs would much too heavy for decent use (200 metric tons)
    2. Stability: without high speed regulation these mech would just fall on the back when lifting something heavy or fire an anti tank grenade.
    3. Reliability: the hydraulic system was every prone to produce leaks and it wasn't even remotely bullet proof. A single foot soldier could take it out with an old WW I gun.
    • so- what's current..

      what's available in an exosuit from hell..


      Weight? hah, try a SheVa gun..

      Stability? Apply the genius of Dean Kamen

      well, we can hope current tech is more up to the reliabiliy & proofing required..

    • Re:Old idea. (Score:3, Informative)

      by LightForce3 ( 450105 )
      In the '60s, GE had a project called "Hardiman". It was scrapped when they couldn't get the limbs to coordinate properly. It was also impractically heavy, at 1,500 pounds.

      Currently, DARPA has a $50 million project [darpa.mil] dedicated to developing exoskeletons for US soldiers.

      How Stuff Works has an article [howstuffworks.com] detailing some of the problems with developing exoskeletons with a few interesting links.

      ~~LF
    • Reliability: the hydraulic system was every prone to produce leaks and it wasn't even remotely bullet proof. A single foot soldier could take it out with an old WW I gun.

      Did they have kevlar [dupont.com] back then?
    • I think every geek has wondered why we don't use mechs in the military. The technology is here, but the mech itself is a big sitting duck. I guess you could say the same for an aircraft carrier but ACs don't float around alone, they're surrounded by support and defense ships and planes. And most importantly, they serve a unique function - they're floating airports. What can a mech offer?

      So a mech would be this slow, lumbering weapons platform that's not as quick or stable as a tank. It would require all
  • Isn't this similarity [sfstory.free.fr] striking?

    The machines would sell like hot cakes if they would advertise with Ripley...
  • Wanted to relax for a minute and read slashdot after a heavy Front Mission 4 session and there's another robot waiting for me here!

    First thing that came to my mind were: what are the stats on the arms/legs/body and if it's a somesort of repair/rescue wanzer, where's the backpack?

    btw does anyone know what 'ep' stands for in fm4?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 11, 2004 @09:33AM (#7944274)
    NEWS
    Releasing new model rescue robot "T-52 support dragon" with fire fighting coming out first system (Inc.) the Kitakyushu city National Fire Prevention and Control Administra,
    (Germany) fire fighting laboratory, the Kyoto university and others and development

    Corporation (high main Yoichi Chief Executive Officer: below head office Kitakyushu city) 2004 January 11th (day), the Kitakyushu city National Fire Prevention and Control Administra and
    the independent administrative corporate body fire fighting laboratory, Assistant Professors Kyoto university Yokokouzi the new model rescue robot "T-52 support dragon which was developed
    (...)" at the Kitakyushu city fire fighting coming out first system which is held at the Kitakyushu city Moji Ku it released.

    The "T-52 support dragon" in order to be able to execute the necessary job of real power at such as disaster actual place, total height approximately 3.45 m, at weight
    approximately 5 t and worldwide biggest size, adopting hydraulic drive system for drive of the upper body and the like which possesses 2 arms.
    The person boarding to the robot, either one of operation and the remote manipulation which utilizes the radio and the mobile communication device etc.
    it can select according to circumstance.

    The "T-52 support dragon" was developed for utilization development of the rescue robot it was formed by the member of "prevention of disasters robot development conference".
    did the design production of the robot, the Kitakyushu city National Fire Prevention and Control Administra police/policing anti section emergency rescue section, adopted,
    the opinion of the specialist of the fire fighting disaster relief robot engineering of
    Assistant Professors Kyoto university Yokokouzi who does the research of the independent administrative corporate body fire fighting laboratory and the remote manipulation type robot etc.
    which do the research of the rescue robot from stage of the design. Design went Takashi Satoshi Takahashi of the robot creator (the Kyoto university venture representation).

    In addition, the Kyushu Institute of Technology which is the local university institution which does the research of the robot,
    Fukuoka prefecture and Kitakyushu city of the Fukuoka prefecture industrial engineering center and the local self-governing community etc., also
    foundation Fukuoka prefecture industrial technology promotion foundation participated.

    Released as for the "T-52 support dragon" with the experimental model, to work actually, furthermore development improvement is needed with the latest fire fighting coming out first system.
    Adjusting to intended purpose such as durability heat resistance, and improvement of work ability the schedule which keeps continuing development.
  • The Kid? (Score:2, Funny)

    by rudib ( 300816 )
    Hey, is that whiny wannabe-soldier included in the price? I need someone to reload my gatling gun... :)
  • Yes yes (Score:3, Funny)

    by Dark Lord Seth ( 584963 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @09:37AM (#7944284) Journal

    Someone better sell this technology to Suzuki. Despite the fact Suzuki cars are horrible now, even I would be interested in one if they make some REAL Transformers! * que Transformer main theme *

  • by radoni ( 267396 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @09:38AM (#7944288)
    ...over compensating for something.

  • 5 Tons!!! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 11, 2004 @09:41AM (#7944299)
    Wow the "T-52 support dragon" weighs in at 5 tons. If it does not find somebody on the first pass then their will be no need for the second as it will crush them into oblivion.

    babelfish translation [altavista.com]
    • That's not a problem that's a feature. Now they can be 100% sure there aren't any survivors left behind.
    • "If it does not find somebody on the first pass then their will be no need for the second as it will crush them into oblivion."

      Look at the bottom of that picture. It may suck for rescuing people, but it would make a killer snowplow for those of us who live in the sticks.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 11, 2004 @09:42AM (#7944303)
    ...948 models later and it's Judgment Day!

    (Giant grippers crushing one of the few remaining
    human rebels):
    Please...stop..."rescuing"...me! Aaaaarrggghh!!!

  • http://www.banryu.jp/

    very interesting....
  • by roadhog95 ( 462989 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @09:46AM (#7944320)
    All we need now are auto-balancing walking chassis and shoulder mount gatlins! You cant tell me military organizations havent already gotten their drooly mits over this one.!

    But seriously, I think this is a great step in the right direction as far as conserving not only the lives of those in danger but also those of the brave people attempting to rescue them. What would be interesting to know is how soon American based construction and demolition corporations would be snapping this up.. Look close. This isnt much large than a standard issue BOBcat and the extra servo arms add tons of additional flexibility (npi)..
    • We need one that can snatch aeroplanes out of the air as they dive towards huge skyscrapers, filled to the brim with wailing passengers.
    • Maybe it's a step in the 'right' direction. (If world machine domaination and bloodshed is the goal) But I don't know if Machine soldiers are all that good of an idea. First, even tanks- as tough as they are, are preety easy to destroy. Just get a clean shot. Same thing with Blackhawk hellicopters. I wonder if it would be possible to actually 'mass-produce' something like this.
      • by gilroy ( 155262 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @10:40AM (#7944548) Homepage Journal
        Blockquoth the poster:

        First, even tanks- as tough as they are, are preety easy to destroy. Just get a clean shot.

        Um, no. A clean shot with what? Your grandma's 22 isn't going to bring down an M1A1 Abrams. Neither is your nephew's AK47 or indeed any small-arms. A heavy chain machine gun won't either. And while it's true that there are a distressingly large number of Warsaw Pact derivative (and unfortunately even NATO derivative) rocket-propelled grenade launchers out there, successful operation of an anti-tank weapon is not plug-and-play.

        They are vulnerable to mined roads, etc. But then, so is everything (except hovercraft?)

        Same thing with Blackhawk

        The Blackhawk is a helicopter. It's intrinsically fragile. (Even the Apache -- which is the combat helicopter you probably meant to reference -- turned out to be surprisingly vulnerable even to small arms fire.)

        But the helicopters are not nearly as vulnerable as a mech would be. Despite forty years of cool anime, it's time for the fanboys to understand: Mech warriors are a dumb idea and a waste of resources. The human form is not particularly well-adapted for industrial warfare, and it offers no advantages for modern weapon systems. Indeed, I think you can argue well that the human form forces compromises that detract from combat effectiveness.

        That's one of the lessons of Matrix Revolutions: There is no way -- even with $100 million -- to make mech warriors look less than stupid, because they are instrinsically stupid.
        • How the hell did this thread about the "world's largest robot capable of carrying a person" turn into a military discussion. When we see robots, why is it that we automatically think weapons? I realize that the military might be the first to pick up the new technology, just like it happened with airplanes and nuclear fission, but in the long term I can imagine peaceful uses, as they were intented in the first place by their original creators. People who invented airplanes and fission did it to make humans m
          • Blockquoth the poster:

            How the hell did this thread about the "world's largest robot capable of carrying a person" turn into a military discussion.

            Mech warriors are a staple of science fiction, or more accurately, of anime. It's a natural branch point for the discussion.
          • Crikey, man, no joke. I looked at that thing and thought it'd be a killer way to move stacks of planks and whatnot out on the jobsite - not to mention something very strong to "hold this up here just like that for a minute." As much of a Robotech geek as I might have been (or thought I was) back when I was a teenager, when I grew up I started to think of technology for useful purposes, not destructive ones. Maybe that's the problem with the current crop of warmongers - they never grew up. I'd put my mon
        • Yes, but as Relena explained to Hero the human form is favored because it humanized combat again...eventually armies will tire of "remote control" warfare and mass murder of troops. Also, once you are fighting militas with only small arms like in Iraq, you need fewer troops anyway...the giant "demon" robot would instill hoplessness, fear, and dread in the poplace you wish to control. Fewer people would attack them. Also, they'd survive most surprise attacks enough to retaliate quickly and ruthlessly.

          Y

          • Blockquoth the poster:

            eventually armies will tire of "remote control" warfare and mass murder of troops

            That's a very fiction-oriented view of the military. They're interested in winning, period, and will evaluate new weapons on their ability to contribute to that goal and on the opportunity cost of adopting the weapons system.

            Of course, since armies are led by people, it's entirely possible that mechs will be developed and adopted because "they look cool" and fall into fashion with the right person at

            • If that were a desirable ability, we could put hydraulic lift rams on existing vehicles. We don't because, in fact, it's hard to do and not particularly useful.

              Exactly. Modern tanks kill from miles away. A fighting vehicle/robot that relied on hydraulic arms for combat would be destroyed before it got anywhere near a modern tank. It's simply an anthropomorphic fantasy that makes no sense in the world of high explosives.
        • That's one of the lessons of Matrix Revolutions: There is no way -- even with $100 million -- to make mech warriors look less than stupid, because they are instrinsically stupid.

          I thought the lesson of Matrix Revolutions is that none of the special effects guys nor the writers could imagine shielding the operators of military mecha...

        • "successful operation of an anti-tank weapon is not plug-and-play."

          Isn't it? I have a different opinion. The standard anti-tank weapon of the swedish army takes no time to understand on how to use. It is simply a point and click weapon with no inteligence.

          Simply point and fire - if you remeber to fire at the weakest points (the side and rear armor or upper armor) you are almost sure to make a kill in up to 300 meters on Russian tanks, however it is better at closer range.

          Since the armor on a M1A1 is bett
    • "All we need now are auto-balancing walking chassis and shoulder mount gatlins!"

      Don't forget the big fluorscent bull's-eye painted on it. It's too small to mount heavy armor and/or weaponry, it's too big and heavy to move nimbly through buildings and such and find cover, and it's too slow to have the manueverability of a VTOL. One RPG and the show's over.

      Anybody that's seriously thought about the idea agrees that mecha isn't anything but a big, stupid target. If it's much more than a basic exoskeleton
      • Gasaraki had a fairly good "realistic" take on mecha. I think they were maybe 10 feet tall at most. Mostly meant for urban combat where they could easily maneuver between and into buildings.

        They also stuck with just two models of mecha for the entire series(one developed by each side).
  • 3km/h! Even the useless walkers from Star Wars were faster than that. Imagine if these things were destoying Tokyo:

    Random Japanese Person 1: Aaaaaagh! The evil robots are coming!
    Random Japanese Person 2: It certainly does seem as if this is the end. They are only six kilometers from here!

    Time Passes

    Random Japanese Person 1: This is boring. Perhaps we should go to them.
    Random Japanese Person 2: My grandma could outrun these fucking evil robots. What a bunch of losers.

    More Time Passes

    Random Japanese Person 1: Do you realize we could have watched "Amelie" by now?
    Random Japanese Person 2: Yes, perhaps the evil robots are not ready for prime-time yet.

    Still More Time Passes

    Random Japanese Person 1: Well, I'm tired of waiting. I'm going to hop a bullet train for Kyoto and catch a baseball game.
    Random Japanese Person 2: I'm in. Those robots are still over a kilometer from here, and it looks like some kid just took one out with a "Red Ryder" BB gun.

  • Skid steering? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jacobcaz ( 91509 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @09:52AM (#7944344) Homepage
    It looks like it's a skid-steer vehicle in the picture. That's lame, I want two-legged locomotion!

    I've driven a lot of Bobcat and Case Loaders and this thing doesn't look 1) as stable and 2) as useful as a skid-steer front loader. It looks like the center of gravity is way to high!

    Of course, it has pinchers, so bonus points for looking cool.

  • I think its about time we had something to compete with mainstream competitive sports.
    Imagine, "RoboBOWL IV in Wichita!": Humans piloting battle mechas! (we'd probably have to tone it down to "touch tackling" starting out) We dont have to worry about training camps, gender based deliniations (though i must say, some of the female transformers from the 80's did help me through puberty) or player injuries! (much.. Im sure rumors of sabotage and unnecessary roughness resulting in pilot injury or death will so
  • by Faust7 ( 314817 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @10:13AM (#7944418) Homepage
    If no whiny 14-year-olds are available to pilot it,

    Sure there are. Finding some that can pilot and are clinically insane, however, may take time.
  • Now then.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ndnet ( 3243 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @10:19AM (#7944438)
    There are a few threads saying 'oh, this has been done' and 'it's useless' already.

    That's silly. It's a prototype. (Perhaps even a test type or earlier!) It has no weapons. No armor. The electronics are there, but the cockpit in the current form is uncomfortable and small. There is no life support. It's small, bordering on "this is just a new kevlar vest, right?" tiny.

    But before millionaires can have Big series and the rest of the world Leos or Zakus, these inefficient designs must come and go. Eventually we'll stumble on a Tallgeese or something.

    Besides, they didn't say it was combat-ready. IIRC, the blurb says it was the "HyperRescueRobot." That doesn't sound like something I'd want to pilot into a war.

    Not to mention the fact that the cockpit not only lacks armor, but is exposed. What is this, Dorothy-1?

    Now, I'm toying with building a Big O cockpit. I just need a few other parts funded and built, and then "It's SHOWTIIIIME!!!!"


    (Note: I have been considering a Big O replica cockpit, but slowly changing that plan. Unsuprisingly, Slashdot is the impetus for this gradual change.)
    • by gilroy ( 155262 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @10:42AM (#7944570) Homepage Journal
      Blockquoth the poster:

      Not to mention the fact that the cockpit not only lacks armor, but is exposed. What is this, Dorothy-1?

      No, it's Zion. (Because if my enemy's favorite weapon was pinchy tentacles, I know I'd design an open-air cockpit into my main line of defense...) :)
  • No, thanks... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by paulcammish ( 542971 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @11:15AM (#7944773)
    ... ill have a Tachikoma/Fuchikoma [kukaku.free.fr] instead: http://www.banryu.jp/ [banryu.jp]

    Ok, ok... Yea, it looks more like an Evil Aibo... damn.

    • You do know Tachikomas are inherently evil, right? Behind those cute voices and blue shell, they are plotting for world domination! Since they -are- AI tanks...

      For those who don't know, Tachikomas are from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and Fuchikomas are from the original movie/game.

      And it's a great year for Ghost in the Shell fans, with a new movie [slashdot.org], a game [slashdot.org], and.... MORE GHOST IN THE SHELL! Season 2 being shown on pay-tv in Japan.
  • by tjstork ( 137384 ) <todd...bandrowsky@@@gmail...com> on Sunday January 11, 2004 @11:27AM (#7944858) Homepage Journal

    That thing is a weapon of mass produced destruction!

  • by payndz ( 589033 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @11:42AM (#7944958)
    You realise that this marks the birth of the Genom Corporation? Quick, better set up the first AD Police unit!
  • Wasn't that the exoskeleton in aliens?
  • Looking back at the old Dr Who episodes that were enjoyable at the time, the Daleks certainly look wimpy compared to this guy.
  • Hyper? (Score:3, Funny)

    by azav ( 469988 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @11:58AM (#7945050) Homepage Journal
    What specifically makes this a "Hyper" robot?

    Did it drink too much coffee? Put too much sugar on its cereal? Does it have ADD and is a total spaz?

    Marketing dorks.

  • by MrPerfekt ( 414248 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:04PM (#7945090) Homepage Journal
    DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER!
  • And then it doesn't even walk, let alone have an autocannon...
  • They should be using Gekiganium Alloy [akira.ru] to build these robots. The way these things are constructed now, we won't stand a chance when the Kyoakkians invade.
  • They've got giant mecha robots, they've got water for cooling the engine, and diesel for fuel - Water + Heat = Steam! The world can be saved by Steam!

    Sorry. But how can you pass up a straight line like that one....

  • IF we have to give our lives tonight, we give'em HELL before we do!!!

  • by Fantastic Lad ( 198284 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @05:26PM (#7947169)
    Mech; of team-work. (You need tons of people to design, maintain, command and finally, pilot mechs. That's Japanese thinking to a 'T'.)

    American kids, (in the land of All for One and Crumbs for All), dreamed of Batman and Spiderman, ultimate individualists.

    And so kids grow into adults, adults engineer reality.

    When sitting around on my friend's front porch many, many years ago, this came to us a new and startling realization. My friend turned to me aghast, "The Japanese are going to have fucking mechs! --The Americans are going to have idiots running around in capes."

    He then, imitating a big robot arm, held up his hand and swatted the porch. "SQUASH!"

    Although. . .

    With genetic research and the recent spate of films like, "Spider Man," (which no longer look to nuclear science to create its heroes. . .) It'll be interesting to see which dream of youth irresponsibly brought into adult reality turns out to be the more devastating.


    -FL

  • This is obviously the first step to power-armor suits that we've all fantasized about from SciFi.

    I think if they truly catch on and become a widely used consumer item, an academy of sorts could be created to train users in using the suits. Or at least some sort of vehicle training. Trust me, when these things come out in the future, you'll DEFINITELY want someone having to pass a license test if they're gonna be using it on the street. Otherwise, crushed people start appearing.

  • "Does it run on Propane?"
  • ...Cross the T-52 Support Dragon [enryu.jp] with the Honda Asimo [honda.com] maybe we'll get This? [mahq.net]

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. -- Winston Churchill

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