Tag Archives: technology

Chinese robot challenges US robot to duel

So the duel between the US and Japanese robots that I previous mentioned here is still on, a little behind schedule. But there’s already a new challenger waiting, the Chinese robot Monkey King.

Well, at this point I think the only thing I have to add is this:


Science of Anime: Beam Sabers

Star Wars had lightsabers before any anime did, but weapons similar to them are quite common in anime, so they’re the topic today.


First of all, they certainly can’t literally be light. Neither a normal beam of light nor a laser stops when it reaches a set length, or blocks other beams from crossing itself.

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“Reactionless” drive may also be a Warp Drive?

I’m a little behind with this; I was deliberately holding back for a couple of reasons.

I wrote about a “quantum vacuum plasma thruster”, in other words a device similar to the one that this latest news involves, a few times during the early days of this blog, never really saying much about it myself. Since then, I’ve done more research, and found that the variety of explanations for how it’s supposed to work is wider than I’d been aware of, but none of them seem to be very likely and some of them violate the law of conservation of momentum. Nonetheless, there does seem to be some evidence that the EmDrive does in fact work somehow.

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Science of Anime: Capsules and Poke Balls

Some anime, especially certain shounen series, seem to have a “throw it in” mentality. They have all kinds of individual elements whose presence in the series seems unrelated to anything else in the series. This results in some really unique worldbuilding.

Dragon Ball is a great example. At it’s core, the central premise of the early parts of the series was “loosely based on Journey to the West and has magic balls that summon a wish-granting dragon”. But just look at everything we see within just the early episodes. Dinosaurs! Hovercars! Animal people! Whatever the heck Puar is! Transforming at the full moon! Then we get robots (including Arale from Dr. Slump), a manwolf (which is not the same thing as a wolfman), someone whose personality and hair color change when she sneezes, and Krillin being able to smell at first but then not after he’s reminded that he doesn’t have a nose. (Okay, that last one falls under Looney Tunes territory.)

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Science of Anime: Minovsky particles

Possibly the most famous example of fictional physics in anime would be the Minovsky particles and Megaparticles from the Universal Century Gundam timeline. Megaparticles are easier to explain; so called because they are large for a subatomic particle, their properties are the explanation for most of the more futuristic weaponry.

Minovsky particles are more interesting because they show how committed Tomino was to justifying what he thought needed to be justified, even though he could have easily gotten by with no explanation for this. (But Tomino’s ideas of what was and wasn’t realistic weren’t always right. The Guntank, actually more realistic than walking mobile suits like the Gundam, was phased out for being “too super robot” just because Getter-3 also had treads instead of legs.)

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Science of Anime: Space Elevators

Pop quiz time: what do Tekkaman Blade, Gundam 00, and Battle Angel Alita have in common?

They’re all anime that have space elevators and orbital rings. A space elevator is exactly what it sounds like; a tower that goes all the way from the ground up into geosynchronous orbit, so that you can get things into space on an elevator (or a vertically oriented train) instead of launching rockets. An orbital ring is a structure that goes all the way around the planet’s equator connecting several space elevators.

Tekkaman Blade

(Well, the Orbital Ring in Tekkaman actually isn’t as far from the Earth as one should be.)

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