Vicious male counterpart isn’t competing anymore [Rebirth]

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Chapter 36.1 Senior’s problems

Mecha training room.

Yan Hao brought the little robot over, set up the recording program and stepped aside.

“Senior, it’s time to start.” Yan Hao said to Sheng Heng who was dressed in a training suit.

Sheng Heng let out an ‘En’ sound and turned towards the black and sturdy mecha in the middle of the field, which was his own mecha, the Black Soul. As he approached the mecha, he jumped up and with a couple of jumps, he came to a clean stop outside the mecha’s cockpit. As soon as Sheng Heng stopped outside the mecha’s cockpit, Black Soul’s intelligent system sensed the arrival of his master and automatically opened up, allowing him to enter.

Entering the cockpit, Sheng Heng made some simple adjustments before connecting to Yan Hao’s communications.

“Can you hear me?” Sheng Heng asked.

“I can.” Yan Hao responded.

“If there’s anything wrong with the pose in a moment, please alert me with a sound and I’ll do it again.” The mecha, after all, wasn’t a human body and couldn’t move exactly like one. Even under command, it could only be as close as possible. To ensure the accuracy of the data, Yan Hao had made a correction model to the robot, so that only when the similarity between Sheng Heng’s mecha and his body yesterday exceeded 96% would the data be considered valid.

An accuracy of 96% was one of the criteria for an advanced mecha fighter, which meant that if Sheng Heng wanted to work with Yan Hao to complete the data collection, every movement he made had to be at the level of an advanced mecha fighter.

The moment he was ready, Sheng Heng took a deep breath and moved his fingers slightly before placing his hands on the control panel. With the slightest movement of his slender fingers, hundreds of buttons representing different commands lit up. As a mecha fighter, if he couldn’t remember the controls and couldn’t operate them blindly, then he didn’t deserve to pilot a mecha.

Yan Hao sat in the corner of the training room, his light brain remotely connected to the intelligent robot. The virtual screen in front of him was divided into two, the left was of a mannequin he had built from the data of the fighting techniques he had collected yesterday and the right was of the mecha in front of him.

As the first move was made, the two models on the virtual screen moved, with Yan Hao’s pre-designed algorithm comparing the similarity of their movements.

First movement, 96.12% similar

Second movement, 96.13% similar

Movement Coherence A.

The third movement, 96.11% similar

The twentieth movement, 95.35% similar

Movement Coherence A-

In the blink of an eye, twenty moves had been done and only eight minutes had elapsed before Sheng Heng’s moves dropped to 95% for the first time.

“Senior, that wasn’t precise enough, you need to raise your right forearm a bit more.” Yan Hao reminded as he compared the differences between the two data models.

“Okay, I’ll do it again.” Sheng Heng responded quickly, then adjusted the mecha’s stance to bring him back to the state where the nineteenth move was completed and then moved on to the twentieth move.

The light brain soon completed the comparison: the twentieth movement, 96.12% similar.

“Was that up to standard?” Sheng Heng asked.

“Yes. Senior, you can continue.” Yan Hao told him.

Sheng Heng continued to manipulate the mecha, followed by ten more moves, with the similarity dropping to 95% on two occasions, but after a reminder from Yan Hao, Sheng Heng was able to fine-tune the moves to make them passable. This kind of ability required a mech fighter to be very familiar with the mecha itself and with the various commands in order to be able to fine-tune it so carefully.

Fifteen minutes passed and halfway through a punch, Yan Hao compared the first half of the data and said, “Senior, your consistency has decreased a bit. Now, it’s only at level B. Do you want to take a break?”

There was a moment of silence on the other end of the line before Sheng Heng’s low voice sounded, “Yes.”

With that, the long mechanical arm of Black Soul retracted and stood quietly in place.

“Senior, would you like to come down and have some water?” Yan Hao took a bottle of water and stood in front of the mecha.

“No, I can start again after a break, it’s a pain getting in the mecha.” Sheng Heng said.

Thinking about it for a bit, Yan Hao felt he had a point, so he didn’t say anything more: “Then I’ll put the bottle of water over here. Senior you can drink it when you come down.”

“Alright, thank you.” Sheng Heng looked at Yan Hao, who was talking to him with his head tilted up on the screen and a bitter smile appeared at the corners of his mouth. He didn’t think it was too much of a hassle to go down there, it was just that he felt ashamed to go down there in his current state.

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3 thoughts on “Vicious male counterpart isn’t competing anymore [Rebirth]

  1. Here’s the part I don’t understand: if you’ve got such high technology like light brains and memetic tracking systems, danger alert systems, etc, then why not have something like a pre-programmed movement macro with parameter adjustments based on a target tracking system to allow users to make complex commands using a single button press? A pair of joysticks for movement and basic upper body rotation would allow the user to control things like walking and running and it is relatively easy to add five or so buttons to the top of a joystick for macros. Additional fine control could be left to individual controls, while new macros could be programmed in using the legacy control system with tracking and automated movement parameters added using a connection to a light brain. Another alternative would be to have a system that is akin to a harness that holds the user suspended in the air and wraps both their hands, arms, and legs in order to allow them full range of motion while also allowing the position sensors in the harness to pick up the movements made by the user. A series of servos or electro-contractive materials could be used to simulate the resistance from external stresses on the mecha so that the user can basically present a 1-to-1 movement system with the mecha. Then you just strap a VR helmet to their head with a pair of screens mapped to a pair of cameras on the mecha, and you can feed other sensors into a UI overlay to allow the user to “sense” other threats around them.

    It’s just weird how archaic the control scheme of mecha is in this universe given the rest of the high technology around them. Another thing that would have 100% been automated if this were modern reality would be the control of mental energy. A mechanism for channeling and controlling mental energy through a machine would be the absolute first thing that people would have developed following the development of the level 1 energy block. That way it wouldn’t rely on people being capable of becoming humanoid calculating machines. Instead, people would merely interface their mental energy with the control system of the machine and it would handle everything else for them, relying solely on the user to provide mental energy if such an energy could not be generated artificially.

    I’ve been ignoring these plot holes because I like the story overall, but I couldn’t help putting them in order to get my mind off them during this second re-reading.

    The problem with trying to write a really convincing mecha series will always be accurately describing the various systems used to control the mecha. How does the user interface with it, what is the mechanics of the mecha’s movement, what is the power system of the mecha, how do the materials withstand the extreme forces they’re placed under in order to mimic human movement with a significant size increase given that force does not scale linearly with size, etc. Mecha may be a man’s romance, but physics will not be on your side if you decide to take the hard science fiction approach to breaking down how everything actually functions. I think series like Knight and Magic probably have the best approach, which is to entirely skip over conventional materials of construction and leave the control scheme up to “magic” as the interface. The less “hard” the science fiction technology systems are broken down, the more readers are willing to suspend their disbelief. At least if the readers have any background in physics, robotics, computer technology, and human-machine interface designs.

    1. I didn’t thoroughly read everything you just said, but I did read the first paragraph and fully agree with you . Why can’t they control their mechas as the people did in the Pacific Rim, except for the partner part?

    2. I mean, this is a novel where herbal medicine is more popular even though the world already has advanced tech already.
      (I don’t have anything against herbal medicine, but can’t they improve it into a convenient-to-use medicine like edible liquid or solid? Imagine you’re piloting a mecha, in a war, and suddenly your joints hurt severely. How are you going to grab warm water and wait for the medicine to brew first?)

      Anyway, I recommend for anyone to just turn off their brain when reading this. Even I especially have a hard time reading this as a tech major college student (still enjoy it somewhat tho haha.)

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