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So, for the longest time, I assumed the mobile suits in Gundam had cameras in their eyes for the pilot to see from inside the closed cockpit. However, I learned that, in fact, the camera was in the little green spot usually on the forehead. This left me wondering if there was an in-universe explanation for why Gundams have eyes, then, since a lot of the series does seem to focus on technical details.

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  • Not all Gundam have those eyes. A lot of them only have one. Though I can't explain why, or why some of them have two.
    – Zibbobz
    Jan 22, 2015 at 14:56
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    I'd chalk it up to an after thought. The same way they use swords and stand as bipeds when these things seem like they would only hinder a giant robot. The builders just like to make things more human is all.
    – Kai Qing
    Jan 23, 2015 at 0:22
  • It is mainly because gundam are not robots, they're bipeds kinda like humanoids even. So the features are as close as possible to the humans. However, the eyes are not necessarily useless, they could be filled with different sensors for instance that are crucial for in flight command perhaps, may be even they're used to harvest power. if they're the most exposed area to the sun. Jan 23, 2015 at 8:42
  • One of the other answers is half right about not having 2 eyes. basically when the person is sitting in the cockpit they get a 360 pano view of everything around them. the eyes or eye in the front are cameras, sometimes the the yellow V fin on top of the head are cameras too not all, also sometimes back up cameras on the chest
    – user69791
    Aug 5, 2016 at 1:45
  • Mobile suits have a couple dozen cameras mounted all over the body, some on the front, some on the back, multiple in the head. They're built for usage in space, in a universe where certain types of radiation prevent traditional means of detecting vehicles of war at a distance. As a result, combat mostly takes place up close with optical sensors, since even warships cannot target each other at a range of a half dozen miles. The green panels on the top of the head and on the back of the head are both camera, but I'm pretty sure the eyes are cameras, too. Aug 23, 2019 at 19:26

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Samurai masks usually had teeth and mustaches. You wouldn't chew with those teeth, and you wouldn't take your mask to a barber. The function of those is to cause an impression on whomever is looking at you.

Another alternative explanation is that by having eyes in the mobile suit, it makes it easier for people to know if you are facing them or another direction. If the head was a featureless dome it might be harder for some models. This is specially true in the dark, if the eyes glow (disclaimer, I never watched the original series, but I do remember watching similar shows in which some mecha had glowing eyes).

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Gundam do have cameras in the eyes. If you look in a cockpit of a Gundam, there are four screens: upper screen, left screen, right screen, and middle screen.

Each eye is a side of the screen: left eye being left screen and vice versa. The green camera on the first head is the top screen, and the mouth area is the most common spot for the middle screen.

The glow of the eyes can also be lights too.

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    Hi there and welcome to SciFi.SE. Could you please edit in some images or sources to help support your answer?
    – fez
    Feb 11, 2021 at 7:18
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The two eyes are means of optically measuring distances using parallax measurements (due to the measured offset between the two eyes).

Not all mobile suits have two eyes, many have a large "sensor window" with optics stored behind it. As another respondent mentioned, there are other sensor windows.

The sensor window on the Gundam or one of the Federation's grunt units are often green or orange (aside from the eyes). On a GM (Mass Production unit), you can see the large window on the front of the head, and then a smaller rectangular piece of glass on the back of the head. The GP-03 Gundam prototype (a later revision) has a green sensor window at the top of the chest, right below the head. That one appears to be where the backup cameras is located in the event that the head is damaged or destroyed (decapitated).

Probably mostly a stylistic choice, but in absence of RADAR, parallax can be very useful. The beam rifles and other weapons often have their gunsights, and gun scopes.

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    Is this information derived from an official source? If so, you could improve this answer by editing it to cite that source. Mar 10 at 19:46

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