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Real Star Wars – The Force Field


Energy Shield

via wikia.com

In Star Wars, a force field, sometimes called an energy field, seemed to be a very broad, general term for any type of field, most commonly artificial, in which matter or energy was manipulated through some type of force.

Artificial force fields tended to be ‘projected’ from a single device, and thus normally had a certain radius over which their effect gradually weakened to the negligible. Energy from most force fields could usually also be concentrated into a plane, a ‘skin’ around an object, a beam, or even a single point, though this often required more advanced technology. Force fields could be disrupted through outside interference occasionally, such as with the use of a power gem.

Types of force fields:
Deflector shields, artificial fields designed to block matter or energy
Particle shields, shields designed to block matter
Ray shields, shields designed to block energy
Electromagnetic fields, artificial or natural fields of electromagnetism
Magnetic seal, a type of electromagnetic field designed to deflect energy and matter
Electromagnetic pulses, artificial fields that disrupted circuitry
Fence-field, a type of force field, similar to a shock field, used for security purposes around a building or ground installation
The Force, a mystical, naturally occurring force field
Pressor field, a type of force field similar in principle to a tractor beam but instead inverted so as to create an effect of applying external pressure to an object
Relativistic shields, artificial forces that prevented time distortion
Shock fields, electrical fields used for security purposes
Tractor beams, artificial fields that drew matter inward

Bubble Shield

via tech2.in.com

In real-life, a force field (sometimes known as an energy shield, force shield, or deflector shield) is a barrier, usually made of energy or charged particles, that protects a person, object, or area from attacks or damage. It can also also rapid, room-temperature sterilization of food, medical equipment; and contaminated civilian and military gear. Practical uses for force fields would be for satellite protection (from space dust) in space exploration, and military vehicles, aircraft, and possibly even military establishments. Force fields also exist in Star Trek, Lost, and Halo.

A group, from the University of Washington, in Seattle, has been testing a bubble of charged plasma that us intended to surround a spacecraft, contained by a fine mesh of superconducting wire protecting the spacecraft from interstellar radiation and particles of dust without needing a physical shield.

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory is designing an actual test satellite, that is intended to orbit Earth with a charged plasma field surrounding it.

Plasma windows are slightly similar to force fields, being difficult for matter to pass through.

In August 1980, workers at a 3M factory in South Carolina discovered a “invisible electrostatic wall” in an area under a fast-moving sheet of polypropelene film that had become electrically charged to a voltage that “had to be in the Megavolt range”. This phenomenon was a result of Coulomb’s law at work.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems demonstrates their product “Trophy”, a state-of-the-art electromagnetic force field that projects a 360° field around a combat vehicle that stops missiles and other projectiles from hitting it with minimal collateral damage. It works by neutralizing threats fired from short range, and even can neutralize simultaneous threats. It works in high elevation areas, and is applicable to many different military vehicles.

Droidekas

via theforce.net

The development of Force fields is still an emerging reality and requires more attention in scientific understanding and development to become practical enough for use in space, military, or possibly even every-day-life.

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Real Star Wars – The Walker


AT-AT walkers

via ultimatedvd.org

In the Star Wars films, walkers were vehicles that were usually military, that used mechanical legs as its primary method of locomotion over the landscape rather than the more common repulsors, wheels, or treads. Its primary use was for ground assault or transport.

In the original trilogy (the first three Star Wars movies made, IV, V, and VI), there is the All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT) and the All Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST). In the prequel trilogy (the last three movies made I, II, and III) and the Star Wars Expanded Universe, there are numerous other types of walkers.

Star Wars has popularized the use of walkers and mecha in various media, which usually bear a similar resemblance to the bipedal AT-ST. Star Wars walkers have inspired the use of mecha in film, video games, board games, books, TV shows, and Japanese anime. George Lucas claims that he got the original idea for walkers from the cargo lifters which reside in the port of Oakland.

The definition of Mecha from Wikipedia:

Mecha, also known as meka or mechs, is a broad genre of walking vehicles which are usually controlled by a pilot. Mecha often appear in anime, science fiction, and other genres involving fantastic or futuristic elements. Mecha are generally, though not necessarily, bipedal, with arms, hands, and usually fingers capable of grasping objects. A mecha that approximates the shape of a human body allows the use of martial arts movements and swordsmanship, ceremonial acts of honor, saluting, and other human mannerisms that cannot be performed using a tank or airplane.

In most fiction in which they appear, mecha are war machines: essentially armored fighting vehicles with legs instead of treads or wheels. Some stories, such as the manga Patlabor and American wargame BattleTech, also encompass mecha used for civilian purposes such as heavy construction work, police functions or firefighting.

Some science fiction universes posit that mecha are the primary means of combat, with conflicts sometimes being decided through gladiatorial matches. Others represent mecha as one component of an integrated military force, supported by and fighting alongside tanks, fighter aircraft, and infantry, functioning as a mechanical cavalry. The applications often highlight the theoretical usefulness of such a device, combining a tank’s resilience and fire power with infantry’s ability to cross unstable terrain. In other cases they are demonstrated with a greater versatility in armament, such as in the Armored Core series of video games where mecha can utilize their hands to carry a wide range of armament in the same manner as a person albeit on a much larger scale.

The distinction between true mecha and their smaller cousins (and likely progenitors), the powered armor suits [also known as powered exoskeletons], is blurred; according to one definition, a mecha is piloted while a powered armor is worn. Anything large enough to have a c*ckpit where the pilot is seated is generally considered a mecha.Read more…

In real-life a walker (also known as a mecha), is a vehicle that moves on legs rather than wheels or tracks. Walkers have been constructed with anywhere from one to more than eight legs. They are classified according to the number of legs with common configurations being one leg (pogo stick or “hopper”), two legs (biped), four legs (quadruped), and six legs (hexapod).

Walking Truck (Cybernetic Walking Machine)

via commons.wikimedia.org

The Walking Truck (Cybernetic Walking Machine) was an experimental quadruped robot built by General Electric in 1968. It was designed by Ralph Mosher to help infantry carry equipment over rough terrain. The stepping of the robot was controlled by a human operator through foot and hand movements coupled to hydraulic valves. The complex movements of the legs and body pose were done entirely through hydraulics. The hydraulic fluid and pressure was supplied through an off-board system. The Walking Truck can be seen at the U.S. Army Transportation Museum in Fort Eustis, VA. (Wickelgren, 1996). The robot weighted 3,000 pounds and could walk up to 5 miles an hour. It was exhausting to control and operators, according to program lead Ralph Mosher who was the primary driver, could only drive the Walking Truck for a limited time.
See Full Wikipedia Article.

Land Walker

via sakakibara-kikai.co.jp

The Land Walker is a one-man, two-legged supposed walker transport, 3.40 metres in height. Made with the assistance of P.A. Technology, the walker is copyright of the Sakakibara Kikai Co. and Ltd.
The vehicle’s design features a c*ckpit, two legs, and two air cannons (each firing large rubber balls which ironically cost more than bullets). The legs end in feet containing wheels that help push the walker forward. The walker’s usual speed is approximately 1.5 km/h. It does not actually walk, however, instead shuffling on wheels hidden under its “feet.” This means it is not technically a walker; it merely has the appearance of one.
See Full Wikipedia Article.

This mecha will not work on terrain that is not entirely flat as it would just fall over.

T-52 Enryu (Rescue Dragon)

via dvice.com

The T-52 Enryu (T-52 援竜, lit. rescue dragon), sometimes referred to as “HyperRescueRobot”, is a five-ton, 3 meter tall (approx. 10 ft), hydraulically-operated robot, built to cut a path through debris for rescue workers, in the wake of an earthquake or other catastrophe. It can perform heavy lifting of up to one ton, and its arms have the full range of motion available to the human arm. The Enryu was designed by the Japanese company Tmsuk, and a prototype was unveiled in March, 2004 in Japan.

As of 2006, the robot conducted a performance test at Nagaoka University of Technology and successfully lifted a car from a snowbank.

TMSUK developed the robot in cooperation with Kyoto University, the Kitakyushu Fire Department and Japan’s National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster in Tokyo. The 3.5 metre-tall robot can either be driven from a c*ckpit positioned at the front of the robot or it can be controlled remotely as like its cousin the Banryu, it contains multiple CCD cameras which transmit to the remote driver – in this case, it has seven 6.8-megapixel CCD cams mounted on its “head”, “torso” and “arms”.
See Full Wikipedia Article.

Walking Forest Machine

via robotory.com

John Deere’s hexapod Walking Forest Machine is a type of real walker.

LittleDog

via bostondynamics.com

Two smaller walkers, that do not carry a pilot (or passengers), are BigDog and LittleDog who are both used in the military.

AT-ST walker

via carrotnetwork.com

Real walkers have been created and are quite possible, although many are limited. For more information on the practicality of mecha as war machines, click here.