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The NO-M1-E2900 was developed for use with the NO-M1-1a - Mantus Infantry Power Armor, it became available in YE 29.
A new development for power armor is that the Mantus comes with its own Artificial Intelligence. The AI has a rather quiet personality, and not an assertive one – most of the time it simply lets the pilot get on with whatever he or she wishes to do, only coming in when it is needed or to give advice. The AI is not more intelligent than a human, but it does think considerably faster and have complete control over the Power Armors systems when needed.
One of the things the AI does is calculate trajectories and so forth or the target, and then steady and aim the weapon – effectively aiming for the pilot. This is usually not noticeable, but you’d notice the suit tracking the target with the weapon. The result of this is that the power armor very rarely misses a shot. The AI also follows all potential threats with its sensors and alerts the pilot to the significant ones, if necessary taking control of the armor to avoid one given that the AI can react significant faster than a biological pilot.
The AI really comes in to its own when in mêlée however, since it is largely built to be able to make a human pilot comparable to a more advanced creature in a power armor – despite humans not being able to react as fast, having the innate tactical knowledge of fighting experience. It uses its own reactions to move the armor to attack or defend, although whenever possible it leaves the pilot to think that it was truly his decision (often it does this by learning what fighting style its pilot likes to use and emulating it). It is also able of ‘learning’ and opponents style of fighting, and with this information form a crude variety of predictive programming where it has a pretty good idea what the opponent is going to do, allowing it to react even faster.
The actually personalities of the AI change somewhat from armor to armor, but tend to show a dry wit when they do speak. They are completely subservient to the pilot and can not over-ride a command from him (or a higher ranking official if programmed in). The AI is capable of operating the armor without an occupant.
The interface between the pilot and the AI which allows them to control the power armor as they would their own body, and being capable of tell the power armor to do things while never opening their mouth, actually relies on a number of systems.
Firstly there’s a system is that of a general pressure sensor in the polymer which works to keep some form of movement interface even if the higher systems are disabled.
The primary interface of the Power Armor is a SQUID, Superconducting Quantum Interface Device, which is capable of detecting the magnetic fields produced by the brains electrical activity and in effect actually read the pilots mind. Using this it is capable of both reading the movement (or motor) centres of the brain, and thus fully replicate what the pilot wants to do in terms of movement, but also read the speech centres of the brain. With this in place all the pilot needs to do is to think an instruction in a particular way (a quickly learnt skill) and the armor will be able to receive it. The SQUID is capable of reading other parts of the mind to generally improve its performance. The Armor improves its efficiency with time as it grows to know the pilots brain better.
In order to make the interface two way – something needed for the data transferral, a very complicated and subtle magnetic field generator is installed in the head-piece of the Mantus, which is delicate and specific enough to encourage electronic activity in the brain and in effect actually relay data in to the mind. This is a rather complicated system – but it does seem to work, with the pilot seeing what it asks the armor to show it, and experiencing other stimuli usually from the perspective of the armor itself and also to ‘talk’ to the pilot by way of manipulating the areas of the brain responsible for hearing. Alternatively, if you wish to avoid that for some reason or another you can be given some goggles which can be relayed relevant data, and ear-phones, although this will significantly reduce the effectiveness of the armor.
Of course the armor is also fitted with a NovaCorp bio-neural interface which allows it to perfectly interface with anyone possessing the relevant port. This does simplify the situation somewhat.
Another new asset of the Mantus is the ability to ‘Slave’ some forms of NovaCorp device, bringing them under the control of the armor. This can be such things as the weapon drones specifically designed for this armor, or (and this is fairly common) an Arachni II drone. The armor can control up to five weapon drones or Arachni drones.