Giant Robots & Power Suits

  • Published on Apr 18, 2019
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    Giant Robots, or Mecha, in films and comic books fascinate audiences, but are usually considered impractical even with improved technology in the future. Today we'll look at them and concepts like power armor and exoskeletons and see if such suits might have a practical role in warfare or uses other than combat.
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    Giant Robots & Power Suits
    Episode 182, Season 5 E16
    Written by:
    Isaac Arthur
    Darius Said
    Jerry Guern
    Keith Blockus
    Matthew Campbell
    Phonetic Failure
    Cover Art:
    Jakub Grygier
    Graphics by:
    Jeremy Jozwik
    Mike Munt of Apogii
    Produced & Narrated by
    Isaac Arthur
    Music Manager
    Luca DeRosa -
    Paradox Interactive, "The Titan"
    Marcus Junnikkala, "A Fleet Behind The Moon"
    Sergey Cheremisinov, "New Worlds"
    Stellardrone, "Journey To The Sun"
    Marcus Warner, "Emergency Protocol"
    Paradox Interactive, "The Last Stand"
    Ender Guney, "Big Gun Epic Cinematic"
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 1 291

  • Isaac Arthur
    Isaac Arthur  4 months ago +25

    Here's the interview with SciFi Shenanigans mentioned at the end of the vid:

    • Every Censor Will Spend Life In Prison
      Every Censor Will Spend Life In Prison Month ago +1

      @firefox5926 Sure would!
      You're welcome to stay at my place Issac if you're ever traveling through Hollywood Hills. We can discuss how best to bring out life throughout the galaxy without bringing all the same sufferings.

    • firefox5926
      firefox5926 Month ago +1

      @Every Censor Will Spend Life In Prison buy em a beer :)

    • Every Censor Will Spend Life In Prison
      Every Censor Will Spend Life In Prison Month ago +1

      Thanks for your service to our country Issac Arthur!

    • Jean-Luc Martel
      Jean-Luc Martel 2 months ago


    • firefox5926
      firefox5926 3 months ago

      17:54 it also brings up another point when you have android bullet proof body's ... you are effective compared to a human ... super man and at that point you don't even need to worry about getting she .. and walking up to people and shooting is is a bit excessive when you would with little extra danger just tackle them and physically restrain them

  • Len Taclof
    Len Taclof 2 days ago

    Hitler's fetish or obsession with ' bigger is better ' maxed out with Big Bertha and tanks that were, effectively, unusable weapons.

  • Kelvin Casing
    Kelvin Casing 10 days ago

    I can certainly imagine solaris being a thing

  • Black Warrior Lures
    Black Warrior Lures 16 days ago

    I love Stackpole! I wish "I, Jedi" was made into a movie.

  • David Sims
    David Sims 23 days ago

    How are we going to fight terminators without exoskeletons.

  • ekszentrik
    ekszentrik 23 days ago +1

    12:30 ish
    True, giant robots would require cables. Neon Genesis Evangelion, for all it's fantasy with angels (giant monsters), is incredibly hard sci-fi in all technical regards: all the robots run on cables. If the cable is cut off, they have less than 5 minutes of power.
    I suggest it, it's one of my favourite series.

  • Bart De Bock
    Bart De Bock 27 days ago

    greta big robots fighting in arena's is something i'd definetely watch, something akin to the contest thing in alita battle angel. but that wasn't actually all robots, i believe, i think most were cyborgs

  • Turnips Pickled
    Turnips Pickled Month ago

    Awesome vid Isaac! Keep up the great werk.

  • Chris Snyder
    Chris Snyder Month ago

    Ok but why would you order the Fish?

  • John F
    John F Month ago +1

    Mechanized warfare is something I've been really interested for a while now. From what i've seen, the next step we're taking after super accurate drone warfare are small and compact robotic quadrupeds. Basically the hounds from Black Mirror. They are selectively dropped into certain areas, triggered when the enemy interacts with them and are supposed to be too fast to counter attack.

  • Marcos Danilo
    Marcos Danilo Month ago

    kinda interesting how the original gundam actually answers ALOT of those problems, in very inventive and logical ways, from why humanoid form, to the dogfighting aspect of combats, all the way to the need for melee weapons.

  • Brandon
    Brandon Month ago

    The scariest and most realistic part of this video occurs at 2:20, where after years of study of the human race aliens decided to spare the robots and unleash their most potent and effective WMD, the vagina mind control ray

  • funncubesde
    funncubesde Month ago

    21:11 who ever did that cut: you are genious!

  • Molotov With Lux
    Molotov With Lux Month ago

    *CYBERHOUND* isn't just integrity

  • Monarchy is the best!

    Praise the Emperor! We shall have our space marines.

  • Krawm
    Krawm Month ago

    The mechs of battletech use a combination of manual controls and neural interfaces in their helmet, this was supposed to reflect how technology had regressed with the fall of the star league.

    • Cluckery Duckery
      Cluckery Duckery Month ago

      Krawm i got mechwarrior 2 in 6th grade. Pulled me into the battletech universe.

  • kassie2k4
    kassie2k4 Month ago

    eva 00 asap, we can use it for construction etc, if it could be as precice as a child building with legos or blocks it could be much faster than existing crane construction
    too bad we dont have the materials sciences for that kind of thing, nevermind the power to replicate muscle-like movement at that scale (i doubt any living thing we could make could function at that scale unless its body was entirely exotic materials and systems, we dont have angels to scavenge and study)
    fun stuff to think about anyways even if its mostly very impractical (especially at near-skyscarper scales) - i think at much smaller scales it could work but we still need much better ways to make things move, much better power systems, and much stronger materials for such a thing to be viable - say maybe when we can 3d print with carbon nanotube lattice construction or something, to keep things lightweight and easier to move at near human speeds

  • Cuaho
    Cuaho Month ago

    "A giant battery and a cable running back to the generator" EVAs anyone?

  • I Go PP Standing Up
    I Go PP Standing Up 2 months ago

    Came back to computer and this was on autoplay. Saw tanks and I decided I had a few mins to watch. I am a simple man.

  • Testeur Glandeur
    Testeur Glandeur 2 months ago

    I am currently writing a sci-fi novel for children in English which is not my mother tongue and being dyslexic doesn't help either. And I am trying to include giant mechas in the story but as you pointed it out, it is not very practical military wise and technology wise to use them in battle except if the battle environment has changed drastically for some reason or another. That's what was the conclusion the creators of the Gundam franchise thought too when writing their manga and animated show. They had a good idea though by creating a man-made particle that has polluted earth and space around the planet as a reason for using such machines. These particles made any radar, long distance communications and other wireless devices completely useless, therefore to kill the enemies you needed to get very close, and it made sense than a flexible humanoid type exoskeleton going at close range combat would become much effective than just using a gun or space fighter. But to be fair it was still a very weak reason for building using such weapons as they could have also used large quantities of automated drones or flying mines which would make more sans to use in this situation. However, since these flying mines or attack drones are probably the best choices in space warfare anyway, this actually could in a way as you pointed it out be the reason for wearing or piloting large humanoid war machines as it would allow better protection against these machines. And actually, it would be probably the case in reality as these drones could as a way to weaken the enemy's drones use some form of electronic interferences or hacking on other less sophisticated automated war machines as a way to gain a clear tactical advantage. But then it would generate a dilemma as the machines in order to be stronger against cyber warfare will have to become more and more intelligent or smart, and at some point in time, they would hit a big problem which is self-awareness. This could cause a huge impact on how these super intelligent drones will behave, they could be unpredictable and even dangerous to use. For instance, they could even turn against their users, so at some point, in order to avoid this issue, this technology will come at a deadlock. these self-automated vehicles would not be able to outsmart each other and even self annihilate each other. Therefore at that point, it would make sense to use humans again in warfare but as I pointed out, they would need lots of protection and firepower, which would lead some to make giant mechatronic exoskeletons or humanoids and they would have to get close to attack each other surrounded by drones and other attack vehicles a bit mike in the Gundam franchise. Well, I realize it is more or less what you were talking about but after writing this comment and listening to your video I now know how I will include them in my novel ahahahah! Writing is great! Thanks Isaac! You are my hero!

  • Ján Chovanec
    Ján Chovanec 2 months ago

    Great content, as always, however I need to take issue with "old historical" armor. You see, it doesn't make you slow, or exhausted. Unlike gear today. In fact soldiers today carry way more than they used to. More importantly, full medieval knight armor is not only lighter than kevlar plates that only protect your chest, but the weight is spread out across your entire body, which makes it feel light.

  • Jean-Luc Martel
    Jean-Luc Martel 2 months ago


  • r3alrand0m
    r3alrand0m 2 months ago

    MAZINGER Z and Afrodita was my favorite robots back in the 80’s.

  • Herbert Miller
    Herbert Miller 2 months ago

    I've been binge-watching several episodes and I noticed something interesting.
    I have so far found three first rules of warfare in this episode alone.
    So just how many first rules of warfare are there?

  • Leaf0nthewind
    Leaf0nthewind 2 months ago

    So small mechs like the dreadnaught from 40k are doable but the battle tech battlemechs not so much

  • FelineSublime
    FelineSublime 2 months ago +1

    Love the shout-out for Michael A. Stackpole. Brother and I grew up on his Rogue Squadron novels and comics, while my Battletech buddy grew up on his Battletech books.

  • nightsage217
    nightsage217 2 months ago +1

    For warring purpose, i cant find better efficient form than those small floating drones. I always imagine in future humankind just brings a beehive of drones on a tank which the tank serves as mobile refuel & command center.

  • asura, being of wrath
    asura, being of wrath 2 months ago +1

    there is a actual mech suit already made. its called the method-3 (method version 3) and it is in south korea

  • IridiuLugia
    IridiuLugia 2 months ago

    A robot dragon or dragon suit which can fly. Please!

    Even if i need to adapt to be quadopedal (or hexapedal regarding wings) i take it. Thanks!

  • Bush Trash
    Bush Trash 2 months ago

    A robot the that can crush a planet with just it's mechanical fingers would make a very good war machine , look cool as well.

  • Mindle
    Mindle 2 months ago

    That stellaris soundtrack tho

  • Savius
    Savius 2 months ago

    **assuming direct control**

  • Bob1942ful
    Bob1942ful 2 months ago +1

    Many years ago I read a sci-fi story about the final battle for Armageddon. Robots and AI where sent in to battle the demons from hell. At the end the humans watched on as God raised the robots and AIs up to heaven. Always felt there was a moral to that story.

  • Tamas Mihaly
    Tamas Mihaly 2 months ago

    I love you Isaac, but in a very different way than that looker at 2:21. I'd really like to learn a lot more about what she was doing there. Cute little green dragon that she be.

  • Cajun Wing
    Cajun Wing 2 months ago

    Get in the robot Issac!

  • Please Complete All Fields

    Giant robots are undeniably cool af, but (1)whats the advantage to having a human inside you mech, as opposed to tele-presence or AI? And (2) if you have no human inside, why make it human-shaped?
    Something closer to AI-controlled tanks makes far more sense than militaries using Evangelion-style humanoid mechs.
    Human-shaped mechs only make sense for more police-style duties- where you're either trying to appeal to humans by using a human-shaped, human-sized bots, or trying to minimize loss of life while negotiating environments designed for humans (which assumes you care enough to not just bomb the place into the stone-age).

  • The Crimson Fucker
    The Crimson Fucker 2 months ago

    Robot Jox is the future of competitive sports. Even in death I jock!

  • Szymon Wlodarczyk
    Szymon Wlodarczyk 2 months ago +1

    Also awesome video!

  • Szymon Wlodarczyk
    Szymon Wlodarczyk 2 months ago +1

    Man it is stellaris music

  • ben73 73
    ben73 73 2 months ago +1

    Titanfall is still cool af 💪😂

  • jeova0sanctus0unus
    jeova0sanctus0unus 2 months ago +1

    first rule of warfare:
    The indexing system for the rules of warfare is broken and needs debugging.

  • SteveAkaGoatpile
    SteveAkaGoatpile 3 months ago

    to this day I hold the design of the spider tanks and Tachikomas of Ghost in the shell to be the best implementation of Mecha in anything. stable four to six legs, wheels or tracks on the legs to move rapidly on roads, low slung stable platform to mount weapons on.

  • firefox5926
    firefox5926 3 months ago

    5:21 the difference being that one is absorbing that energy over the area of the buttocks and or cheek with it then be dissipated via the entire muscle mass of the body as it works to slow the torso etc and return it to the pre firing position and on the other end .. buy what ever the surface area a 5.56mm diameter circle has

  • firefox5926
    firefox5926 3 months ago

    4:26 an tank .. which are basically a tortoise formation of Armour plates but with better mobility

  • CatholicDragoon
    CatholicDragoon 3 months ago +1

    23:54 Isaac Arthur not only gives you a reason for Gundams to exist in the future, but why kids would be piloting them as well.

  • ℛɛᴛʀᴏ ℛɛᴅ
    ℛɛᴛʀᴏ ℛɛᴅ 3 months ago

    Giant robots are too damn giant. They're easy targets.

  • Christian Cuneo
    Christian Cuneo 3 months ago


  • Stevius Maximus
    Stevius Maximus 3 months ago

    I love your videos! Have you read Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series?

  • Kev G
    Kev G 3 months ago

    the limbs are a big disadvantage. One of the best things about a tank, or artillery for that matter, is that it a streamlined weapon. The whole structure is a weapon. The human form has a bunch of "floating parts" that serve no immediate weaponized purpose other than close combat, which can be better applied under a different form (a four legged form, for example, with the " floating parts" extending slightly under the main body is better). the large humanoid mecharmor takes all the weaknesses of the human form and amplifies them, take out one leg and the giant robot has to fly or crash, take out an arm and the damage potential is apparently halved.... it's a poor idea unless it's form fitting to increase body protection...

  • TheMegaOne1000
    TheMegaOne1000 3 months ago

    Arthur talking about 40K brings limitless amounts of joy to my hearth.

  • Night Shade
    Night Shade 3 months ago +1

    So power armor does make sense if the portable energy problem is solved. I'll take it!

  • Elder Moose
    Elder Moose 3 months ago

    Funny was directed here from Gundam NT, and damn was that one of the best TVclip recommendations ever. Glad i found your channel. Though are you named Issac Arthur as a pseudonym that's similar to Issac Asimov or were you just fortunate enough to have a similar sounding name?

    Edit: you have alot of "first" rules of warfare

    • Patrick Kenyon
      Patrick Kenyon 3 months ago

      I think he chose the name as an homage to Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.

  • Donavan Dufault
    Donavan Dufault 3 months ago +1

    Mister Arthur, I love your videos, but I grew up on Transformers, Macross and Battletech, and will love big bots until the day I die, and I WILL write giant robot fiction! Kudos on mentioning Micheal Stackpole.

  • Sophrosynicle
    Sophrosynicle 3 months ago

    I know Legends of Dune aren't the fan's favorites, but I really enjoyed the Cymeks (brains in big animalistic/insectoid robot bodies).

  • Dale Martin
    Dale Martin 3 months ago

    Exo-skelitons like the ODST armor would be cool.

  • Dale Martin
    Dale Martin 3 months ago

    U.N. Spacy wants you!

  • DavionistVano
    DavionistVano 3 months ago

    Hi from a Battletech fan from Russia. Was nice to hear about a Sci-Fi universe that I like in your video.

  • Chris Hendry
    Chris Hendry 3 months ago

    "Would you like a second life as a giant, weaponized cyborg?"

    *Pulls out the knife*
    "Where's the best place to stab myself?"

  • Yuarian Smith
    Yuarian Smith 3 months ago +1

    Close quarter combat and missions which require precise attacks will benefit the most from humanoid/quadruped robots, for dealing massive damage we already have a lot of good options.
    Really like the pack of robo hounds idea, would be really effective in an inhabited city.

  • Yuarian Smith
    Yuarian Smith 3 months ago

    Anything with humans inside is gonna be weaker and less nimble than without, since humans tend to become mush at higher accelerations and radiation.

  • CorruptedKing
    CorruptedKing 3 months ago

    You should see Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans. I could see something like the Alaya Vijnana system being a thing.

  • Barris42
    Barris42 3 months ago

    Prepare for titanfall!

  • John Hall
    John Hall 3 months ago

    Did u ever read open space books frum marvel? Or tomorrow knights or fusion ?

  • Adrian
    Adrian 3 months ago

    the zoid is the ultimate combat machine.

  • Clint Brooks
    Clint Brooks 3 months ago

    We need mobile suits

  • Eanna McNamara
    Eanna McNamara 3 months ago

    Just wondering if you made a real hulk buster would that be useful it's only 4 or so meters tall keeping it relatively short. Would that smaller hight make sense?

    SHERMAN YOUNG 3 months ago

    What about the robot yagers from Pacific Rim 🤔

  • Akhier Dragonheart
    Akhier Dragonheart 3 months ago

    A little late to this party but did anyone else just have the Zoids theme playing in their head while watching this?

  • francis chow
    francis chow 3 months ago

    Tanks have to be low to the ground as possible to avoid being a target, so that makes robots a no go from the get go. There are no terminator grade metals to make it possible, legs and arms are too vulnerable to being immobilized by normal rifles, or at worst case an anti material rifle. I guess the oceans are the one place where giant robots would work, its the place where giant ships roam, but they would be more like that, drone ships than humanoid of any kind.

  • bitVictim
    bitVictim 3 months ago

    Personally I would rather work towards building a future without gross terror weapons, it's why I like this channel. It talks about the need for cooperation. If we build robots and mechs to annihilate each other, say goodbye to 99 percent of all the cool ideas this channel talks about. At this rate, all that will be left will be drones wandering around a dead radioactive world (without the "water chip" adventure, and with a lot of more death/cancer).

    • bitVictim
      bitVictim 3 months ago

      @Patrick Kenyon Yeah well, if we were clever we would learn how to get rid of them. That's a lot harder than making more. De-escalation requires complete trust and unity of purpose, two things our species is lacking.

    • Patrick Kenyon
      Patrick Kenyon 3 months ago

      We already have plenty of gross terror weapons.

  • thatguy
    thatguy 3 months ago

    Wouldn't you just pass out when piloting a mech in space?
    I understand tanks a really good at fighting infantry and vice versa, so maybe a mech might be good at ground combat, it could take the punishment of rocket fire while dishing out even more fire power.
    Would have a lot more movement than a tank too.

    • Patrick Kenyon
      Patrick Kenyon 3 months ago +1

      @thatguy Acceleration would have to be slow.
      But I don't think anyone is proposing to travel close to C with these things. They don't seem designed for combat at those speeds and ranges.

    • thatguy
      thatguy 3 months ago

      @Patrick Kenyon g force? You try flying around in a gundom and not passing out.

    • Patrick Kenyon
      Patrick Kenyon 3 months ago

      Why would piloting a vehicle in space be any different than an astronaut going EVA? (Exiting the vehicle)

  • Prot
    Prot 3 months ago +1

    I hereby volunteer for any type of giant robot piloting/powersuit R&D programs at the cost of only/to myself with releasing liability of any other individual, corporation, government or entity outside of my biological being.

    I can has signup now?

  • dlawson688
    dlawson688 3 months ago


  • Brandon Case
    Brandon Case 3 months ago +1

    Have you read the original Starship Troopers? Comparatively ancient, text-only power armor. Very interesting book, especially placed in context

  • horatio
    horatio 3 months ago

    Bio-ships, yay))
    Wraiths like it))