Oh shoot, my apologies to the design team! That’s actually some pretty great attention to detail. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a downed seeker land up-side-down, and the blueprints don’t show what’s underneath so I just assumed that it used the (in all likelihood) hydrogen peroxide thrusters to hover as well. This puts it within the realm of possibility at least.
That’s true, what I meant is more how well the “magic” is explained. In Mass Effect, for example, neutronium (eezo, or element zero as it is known there) has some ridiculous properties which include the ability to manipulate the mass of adjacent objects by running current through a mass field generator. It impacts every single aspect of life within technologically advanced societies (and the game itself); everything from artificial gravity, Alcubierre-like faster-than-light propulsion, wormholes and weaponry to adult toys and toothbrushes all use mass fields, much like how ubiquitous electricity is in our real everyday life. That and the amount of in-game documentation regarding the phenomenon is so extensive that it becomes believable despite the science being absolute BS.
As for the machines in GZ, the biggest hurdle would probably be processing power. Object recognition and automated locomotion require staggering amounts of data to be collected and processed in real time. The machines seem to be comparable to contemporary university-grade robotics, so they’re 30 years late… Although, keep in mind that there are people who have been solely responsible for advancing their field of profession by decades pretty much overnight even in reality. Wernher von Braun is a notable example. As despicable of a person he was, if it wasn’t for him, we could very well still be here in 2019 trying to figure out how to send people into space. So in my opinion, it is, again, within the realm of possibility that someone had a massive computing-related breakthrough which allowed for machines like these to be created.
I always figured the machines use some sort of combustion/electric/hydraulic hybrid technology in lieu of high-capacity batteries. Partly because the fuel tanks are explosive, but also because of the sound some of the machines make. The harvester sounds exactly like a diesel-electric excavator!
Man, that’s really cool! I’ve never heard of it before, but the similarities are indeed striking.