Sketches – Mobile Resource Harvester

Sketch - Bucket Wheel Processor

This is what you get when you listen to the Bagger 288 song after having re-watched the original Star Wars trilogy (that’s episodes 4-6). Basically you have the rough idea of a Jawa sandcrawler mated with the front of a bucket wheel excavator, with the interior gutted into an actually useful industrial machine.

The basic concept for these machines is that they drive across the southern deserts on planet Rugen in the Stettin system, scooping up the top few meters of the surface that are composed of loose sands and ash. It is then run through several sifters and filters that extract economically viable elements, with the spoil dumped out via the conveyor belt in back. The valuable resources are loaded into containers on the back of the crawler (those two boxes sticking out of the back) and are then hauled off to a more conventional processing node located elsewhere.

Of course, this is about as ecologically friendly as most other kinds of strip mining. But when you have plenty of planets to choose from, and you’re effectively driving through a sandblasted wasteland, it’s a bit hard to drum up the politics to preserve it.

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