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Motors/Rotors - My thoughts on some improvements/new ideas.

Discussion in 'Suggestions and Feedback' started by Drakkenstein, Dec 9, 2013.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Drakkenstein

    Drakkenstein Trainee Engineer

    Hello fellow space engineers,

    This post is essentially a collection of my thoughts and hopes on the motor/rotor. I think the idea is brilliant, but a bit undeveloped (it's only alpha of course). I'll try and keep it short and sweet but I'll probably tend to ramble a bit on my last thought, since it is a concept idea so bear with me.

    *side note*
    As of 2 days ago there wasn't another post like this one.
    I have been working on this for a couple of days, due to work and such so sorry if it is a little bit delayed from the update/redundant noob complaining about the motors-ish. I was sure to browse the forums before making this post and did come across a couple of posts that related to my idea but didn't include all of the ideas that I had into one, so I thought I would make my own.

    Current Controls:
    -Access through cockpit/reactor/gyroscope to toggle on/off and control speed.

    My Hopes:
    -Bind On/Off for a motor or group of motors (assigned through the cockpit/reactor/gyro screen) to a key.
    -Bind Speed Up/Down for a motor or group of motors to a key.

    Why this would be a good improvement:
    -As of right now, the motor system is shiny and new, awesome... but mostly useless (I say mostly because it can be used for aesthetics and I haven't gotten around the forum enough to see if anyone has come up with any brilliant physics altering inventions). With more adaptable controls, it would give a user more ability and, well CONTROL over the motors, and this is something I think should be in space engineers because it opens up a ton of possibilities for build ideas.

    -No power is transferred through motors, must use generators on both attached object and main object to power both.

    My Hopes:
    -Motors allow power to pass through them, and will power the attached object as well as the main object.

    Why this would be a good improvement:
    -The first thing I did was make a ship with a motor on the front that spun, and had 4 mining drills on it. This was because I assumed that power would transfer to the attached object. I think this would be a huge step in making the motors more useful because not only would you be able to power objects on it, but if you had better control over the motors then you could make FUNCTIONING MECHANICS in space engineers. This would open up the tons of building possibilities by a large amount.

    Now, taking the idea of being able to make functioning mechanics, and expanding the possibilities of gameplay in space engineers, I would like to see hydraulics. (I originally had an idea for servos/hydraulics being the addition but decided against servos)

    Hydraulics (and probably hinges or some sort of guiding system):

    What they do:
    -They expand/retract while connected to 2 fixed points and the object then moves.

    How they are used:
    -Hydraulics are used everywhere. They are on heavy construction vehicles, car brakes, landing gear, elevators, and even flight simulators. They are used by pumping pressurized liquid in and out of a piston to make it go up/down, and as a result can lift very heavy loads.

    Why this would be a good addition:
    -Hangar doors, Retractable wings, Elevators(at least one floor), Reinforced doorways (like any space movie/show you'll see ever), the list goes on. Again, playing off of my previous ideas, this would open up the possibilities for the game and help make the people who want to play space engineers to actually create working ships (which was the main attraction for myself.. when I first heard about it I said " wait.. so it's like minecraft... but you can *fly* the ships you make??? I'm in") Now that there is more possibility for being able to create mechanics and more advanced creations I'm even more excited.

    How they would be implemented:
    -This is the tricky part. Hydraulics move either in a line, or along a plane. I think it would be fine to have the piston be the same object, only one wouldn't move. In the control panel, there could be a setting for Linear On/Off, and then if it was off you could choose the axis that it would move along. Now controlling it would also be an issue. You would either have to go to the cockpit, OR (just thought of this) you could set position 1, position 2, and so on and then have it move back and forth. Some ideas, like hangar doors may need hinges.. or something of the likes but that is a different suggestion topic all together.


    Thank you for your time. I hope you liked a part of this post, and can continue supporting it and getting the idea out there. Please post feedback, and help refine this idea to a point where it could be accepted by the general public as 'A good idea'. I won't be offended if you say you dislike one point or another but please, don't be rude. :p

    See you all in space,
  2. Joeliosis

    Joeliosis Trainee Engineer

    I agree with everything you are saying, especially about the motors being for aesthetics only. To get any function out of them, they need to be able to transfer power. The second I saw the new motor function added, I told my good pal that I wanted to mount a motor on the stern of a spaceship, and mount engines on it, for a gyro-motor-Y-wing effect.... It cannot be done because they dont let any attached object communicat to the cockpit. In other words, the thrusters wont realize which way is forward, because of the motor.
    Hydraulics are a good idea, but Im worried about the load it will put on peoples cpu's, when people hinge large objects together.. I dunno, copy and pasting scared me at first, but they made it work like magic,
  3. Drakkenstein

    Drakkenstein Trainee Engineer

    Yah, I don't think that the load on the computers will be too much of a problem, especially after they made it 64 bit. Seems to run like a champ. It would essentially be the same as having a small ship docked in the hangar or just 2 large ships in the same proximity of each other. If the developers and the community think it is a good enough idea, they'll make it happen :p
  4. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax Senior Engineer

    I really do think that some people have the right idea with the servo solution, rather than the motors we have now. Don't get me wrong, motors are great if you want to just spin something one direction or the other, and don't care about little details. I'd say if they ever came up with a wheel module, the current motors might be useful to make little rovers (if they fix the power transmission and keymapping parts)... Maybe some other things too, but only if the strength was boosted and the option to connect the attached module to be a part of the primary assembly (along with the keymapping and such). So many people want functional rotating station rings and other huge structures, and those could look really cool as long as the structure mechanics could handle it.

    If they went with a servo/stepper model though, it could get much more interesting. A structurally functional (as in actually strong) rotational servo block that you can map to and specify rotational limits (if desired) would allow for swinging doors and the rotational mechanics that many people want. Add in a linear servo block that can be chained for longer slide mechanisms, and you can make any of the hydraulic slide mechanisms that people want... Might be easier to incorporate without the hydraulic pistons protruding (and it will quiet the "hydraulics don't work in space" arguments).
  5. bacondeity

    bacondeity Apprentice Engineer

    This thread and a bag of chips. :thumb:
  6. Drakkenstein

    Drakkenstein Trainee Engineer

    lol i was just checking on the thread and had a bag of chips in my hand... :woot:

    Anyways, @Vrmithrax yah I see what you mean, although I'm not sure the stepper motor is required (as of yet) so really a servo system(or hydraulics, whichever makes more sense to the devs) with said features would be best. I hope this gets more support because I would really like to see it in future updates.
  7. icoblue

    icoblue Trainee Engineer

    I have been thinking the same thing about the hydraulics (or servo, or any other model of LINEAR ACTUATOR). I really think that the devs have done 90% of the coding already, as well. The framework already in place for the rotors could very easily be adapted to drive linear actuators. The applied forces (though in the case of hydraulics [liquids being essentially non-compressible], there would really only be one applied force, since forces equalize in a hydraulic cylinder) would work essentially the same way as the rotors already do, but in a linear, rather than an angular direction. The maximum extension could either be limited as with the rotor (which would be easiest, since the coding framework is already there), or the hydraulic cylinder could have a set maximum extension based on its length (length - 3 blocks, with the first and last block being swivels, and the third unavailable block being required to keep the piston in the cylinder. see below).


    In this way, any hydraulic cylinder longer than four blocks would be extensible, and the user would be able to set their own length as required. Again, this coding is also mostly already there. The way that CTRL+LMB adds a length of blocks in creative mode could very easily be adapted to apply to the cylinder block as well.

    This would solve my two largest complaints about the rotor object, which are that it is actually taller than one block, making it (near as I can tell), the only block in the entire game that is non-standard size (which also makes it the hardest block in the game to build with, since once you set a rotor, all building must be done out from the rotor, with absolutely no hope of ever attaching it to anything other than a [very specifically placed] second rotor. This also means that anything that comes after a rotor is essentially a new ship/station). My second largest complaint about the rotor comes from using them as a crank to drive a piston (the only form of linear actuator possible with the current game mechanics). It works, most of the time, but when using this method to drive a large (minimum 200 square of light armor) hangar door up and down using a compound hinge, the rotor (even at 33 MILLION Newtons) only has enough power to rotate the drive about 120 degrees. This means that either your door needs to get smaller, your drive obscenely long, or you need a different solution to the drive. Next I tried a cantilever drive system, which would multiply the applied force, at least doubling my 33 MN. Alas, due to the crude light armor/landing gear slides and the fact that rotors are one point something blocks long, building this system proved too frustrating for me, not to mention the sheer number of parts waiting to break if I had finished.

    A third, minor gripe about the rotors is that you can't tell them precisely which angle you want them to rotate to. Besides simple convenience, this makes it so that if something attached to your rotor breaks, you have to completely disassemble that entire structure and start over from the rotor out, simply because you can't return the rotor to exact zero (the closest available being 1 and -1, neither of which are close enough to allow the game's mathematics to permit a block to be built perpendicular to the rotor axis.

    Whew. This post turned out longer than I had originally intended. I hope the devs are reading this thread though, because I really don't think it would take them long to implement something like this.
  8. icoblue

    icoblue Trainee Engineer

    Oh, and I second Drakkenstein's idea of a linear guide rail. Really, I second all of his ideas! :)

    Using the landing gear/armor block guide is frustrating and time consuming (especially repairing them every time you move them too fast).
  9. Brenner

    Brenner Junior Engineer

    *Checks date of post*
    Ok, seems that point was fixed :). But some of the points remain valid after all the time.

    Transmitting power over rotors would still be very useful. I don't see that one as a great problem though, mounting a extra small reactor is inconvenient, but doable.

    The controls are the main problem IMHO. You can build a cool 2 axis robot arm with a welder attached to it, yeah. But controlling that thing via rotors only is just not viable.

    First problem is that you cannot access the rotor for the second axis, unless you attach a second cockpit. Not .. ideal. If you could remote control stuff connected via rotor, that would fix this problem.

    Second problem is controlling the rotors themselves. If you could bind their on/off state and their speed to custom keys (like the OP suggested) this would allow for machinery that need finer control, like robot arms. One could even build cars without needing thruster and gryos for control anymore.
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