I was thinking the Iron men would be the 'front end' to the system - the friendly face of the STC. The Iron Men would co-operate and interact with the colonists to design the systems and infrastructure the colonists wanted and needed.
It would not take much storage in future technology terms to house all the templates and standards for a new colony based on STC. Coupled with a AI to manage it all and interact.
The benefits of such a set up would be to deny humans full control of the colony infrastructure, making harder for humans to screw it up (making it idiot proof by removing the idiots :P). If the Iron men are human shaped it would mean there would be a certain amount of redundancy built into the system as a whole, as the tools and gear used by the Iron Men for maintainable could also be used by humans too - should the Iron Men hand over control of that side of things. Also all access ways, and control panels are humocentric. Some Iron Men could even by quite human looking, maybe even like Ash of Bishop of Aliens or Terminator covered in synthetic flesh, enabling expression and ease communication.
In case of an accident the Iron Men may be vital - a colony could have a single Iron Men, and that Iron Men would be the source of knowledge for their survival. The Iron Man would know how to make tools from scratch, to use them and teach others, to start building and planing for a later civilization, while taking care of the colonists immediate survival. The tools the Iron Man makes first of all would be used to build shelters etc. but later they could build more advanced tools using the tools they have already made, and keep advancing, step by step.
I single Iron Man could rebuild a civilization from scratch, though how long they last would be anyone's guess - I imagine they would at least get a colony up to the Iron Age or greater, maybe even up to the industrial revolution, or leave a lot of project plans and blueprints for future generations to go into an industrial revolution later. The Iron Man could even build a printing press and print out books.
On a full STC supported colony, with hundreds of them helping out, and STC machines and automated factories with rapid prototyping machines for molds, to build what they need, and to build ever more advanced tools to make more advanced devices (and more even more advanced tools), which in turn are used to make even more advanced devices (and more advanced tools), and so on - I suspect a colony could be quite advanced in no time 🙂
There are a lot of benefits to having the STC inside an 'Iron Man' who is human sized, proportioned, and who uses tools that humans could use too.
Hearing feedback is very important to me in developing my ideas. Much of my designs are inspired, and crafted, by chatting to fans on forums before snowballing into a full concept you'll find here. I would like to thank all those who have contributed critiques and participated in discussions over the years, and I would especially like to thank all those who commented on this specific topic. If you would like join in, you are most welcome!
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