Mecha (also known as Mechs and Walkers) are vehicles that move by walking on mechanical legs. They are common in science fiction. Mecha differ from power armor in that suits of power armor are worn and correspond directly to the wearer's body, while Mecha are piloted in some manner from a cab or cockpit, allowing them to be much larger than the pilot(s) and far different in shape.
Examples of Mecha
- The fighting and handling machines in HG Well's The War of the Worlds
- The Mobile Suits from the Gundam Franchise
- Numerous Vehicles in the Star Wars universe (AT-TE, AT-AT, AT-ST, and SPHA)
- Various walkers from Warhammer 40,000, most notably the Titans, as well as Eldar War Walkers and Imperial Dreadnaughts and Sentinels.
- The Knightmare units from Code Geass.
- The Battlemechs from Battletech
- The Ganmen from Gurren Lagann
- The Amplified Mobility Platforms from Avatar: some claim they are powered armor, they are wrong.
Mecha are commonly depicted as being comparable or superior to more conventional AFVs in science fiction, however (despite the claims of a few fanwhores) this is an unrealistic prediction of the future, as mecha have numerous inherent problems, including:
- High Profile: this makes them easier to target and harder to hide than conventional treaded and wheeled AFVs.
- Expense: mecha require numerous systems that tanks don't (numerous motors for legs, stabilization systems, etc.), making them inherently more expensive to produce and maintain.
- Armor: due to their appendages and the nature of their locomotion, mecha would have many more chinks in their armor than tanks and would have to be more lightly armored than tanks.
- Ground Pressure': Due to the nature of their locomotion, they exert greater pressure on smaller areas of ground than treaded or wheeled vehicles; as such, they are more prone to getting stuck in mud or other soft ground.
- Complexity: Technologies that could conceivably negate these disadvantages could just as easily be applied to conventional AFVs, which would still be cheaper to produce.