Pacific Rim appeals to people in a very special way. Specifically the way that thinks giant robots are cool, and should totally fight giant monsters. It gets better when every country has their own version, just like the severely underrated G Gundam. The movie also points out how woefully unprepared we are for an invasion of Kaiju. Something must be done to ensure that we will be safe when the first attacks happen.
Don’t worry, the technology to build Jaegers already exists. Here’s what we will need.
Japan built a full scale model of the RX-78 Gundam not too long ago, and that’s a good place to begin our construction. The model was held up a welded steel skeleton, but that isn’t going to be strong enough to survive a brawl with a kaiju. What this project needs is something stronger.
Graphene is the strongest material known to man. It has a breaking strength of 100 times greater than steel of the same thickness. In other words, the force required to puncture a paper thin sheet of graphene is about 20,000N; or the equivalent of dropping a 2 metric tonne car on it.
It also has excellent electrical conductivity, which will help if we want to electrify the outside of our machine. Less exciting scientists are currently trying to build electronic circuits from the material because of this property. Something about the fact that graphene can exist in layers only one atom thick and using that property to build even smaller electronic devices.
However, building a 75m tall Jaeger out of the stuff might prove a little difficult, due to manufacturing costs. As of 2008, producing a single cubic centimetre of graphene costs as much as USD100m. Thankfully, we aren’t limited by silly things like economics when the whole world is in danger.
What we need here is a way to combine the minds of two pilots so that they both respond to the same stimulus at the same time. It would also need to allow for mental controls of certain functions of the Jaeger, seeing as there aren’t many control panels to be poked.
Researchers have wired a pair of lab rats together so that one rat’s brain will be able to transmit information to the other. The experiment involved the rats pressing a lever when they saw an LED light. After both the animals knew what to do, the rigged it so that one rat would see the light while the other had to press the level. Also, one rat was on North Carolina while the other was in Brazil. We have this mind melding thing in the bag.
Elsewhere, the University of Minnesota devised a method to fly an AR.Drone using nothing but the power of the mind; and an EEG machine. Cram that machine into a helmet and we’re good for most of the command and control system of our Jaegar.
Finally, the ability for the machine to mimic the movements of the pilots can be achieved by cramming a Microsoft Kinect into the cockpit. It might need a little extra hacking to get it to do exactly what we want it to do, but every military should invest in some sort of motion controlled giant robot.
According to the wiki, most Jaegers use a nuclear reactor to provide power. Later versions moved away from nuclear fission because of the cancer risk to pilots. One would think that getting eaten by giant monsters would be a greater concern.
Now, shoving a nuclear power plant into a moving machine might sound like an impossible task. It’s not, aircraft carriers and submarines all use nuclear power to go for years before refueling. And they have been doing it for years.
The smallest nuclear powered vessel is the French Rubis-class attack submarine, which displaces 2,600 tonnes. That’s less than half the weight of the average Jaegar. Yes, displacement and weight don’t mean the same thing; but we can afford to fudge things here a little.
The most important part about a Jaegar is the AI voiceover. Nothing like the calming voice of GLaDOS to prepare a pilot to punch kaiju. But we’re Malaysians and won’t stand for a Mat Salleh telling us that all systems are nominal. The only question is, who do we get? Perhaps Jalaluddin Hassan’s deep comforting voice?