Diagnostic Interpretation Computer
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The Diagnostic Interpretation Computer is a distributed computer network located in every BattleMech. The DI computer can be thought of as the 'Mech's central nervous system, and is critical to the functioning of a 'Mech in combat.
The DI computer consists of separate processing units scattered throughout the 'Mech, connected to each other and all other components of the 'Mech via fiber-optic wiring. This wiring is extensive, imbedded into every armor plate and throughout the chassis, allowing the ability to bypass damaged sections. So long as a component remains connected even by a thread (both figuratively and literally), data can be sent and received, allowing the 'Mech to continue functioning despite suffering catastrophic damage.
Using its connection to every external and internal sensor and every component in the 'Mech, the DI computer is responsible for monitoring the status of all other systems, communicating this information to the pilot, and relaying their commands to the 'Mech. When a pilot uses their controls to move their 'Mech forward, it is the DI computer which coordinates between the fusion engine, gyro and actuators to get the machine walking. The DI computer can also stand in for a 'Mech's battle computer, though at a reduced efficiency.
Beyond simply monitoring and managing systems, the DI computer is incredibly smart and capable of making independent decisions, though it is not truly autonomous in the sense of artificial intelligence like the Caspar drones. When the 'Mech is moving forward, it is the DI computer which adjusts each footstep to remain stable over uneven terrain or shifts the 'Mech out of the way to avoid collisions with obstacles. This helps new pilots quickly learn how to control their 'Mechs, and a pilot can override these instincts when needed - crashing through a grove of trees or smashing an arm through a building to get a clear shot with its weapon - but it takes years of training for a good pilot to know when to rely on their machine's intelligence and when to use their own judgement.
- TechManual, p. 42-45
- Classic BattleTech Companion, p. 233-234