From: Lee Daniel Crocker (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Jan 15 2002 - 17:15:43 MST
> > I have an idea for a powered lance that is thrust forward by the blast
> > from a blank magnum cartridge, but restrained, so it doesn't become a
> > projectile.
> Could you put a big electrical charge through it momentarily, as a bonus?
Watching several seasons of both BattleBots (the good ones) and Robot
Wars (the wimpy ones), one learns a few basic facts about what is
effective: traction, control, ruggedness. A weapon such as you mention
above is not much different from existing tethered-projectile weapons
(most of which are compressed-gas powered), and would suffer from the
same problems: in order to impart much impact on the other guy, the
robot has to be much heavier than the projectile so recoil won't move it
out of range (which limits the impactofthe projectile), and then has to
be sturdy enough to absorb that recoil without damaging itself. Many of
the most destructive robots kill themselves in the attempt to dish it out.
The thing that seems most lacking to me, and where I think the
greatest benefit could be achieved in current conditions, is in the
"control" end of things. All of the robots are currently human-
controlled, and the skilled operators rule, but most of their skill
is wasted doing conceptually simple but complex in the details
things like moving straight, changing direction, timing attacks, etc.
It should be possible to put a lot of that skill into the hardware,
after which the operators can move upto a higher level of skill and
strategy. Computer traction control, weak-AI movement, and a good VR
interface on a simple and sturdy bot should be able to take over.
-- Lee Daniel Crocker <firstname.lastname@example.org> <http://www.piclab.com/lee/> "All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past, are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC
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