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|Follow your laws.|
|Related guides: AI|
|Alternative names: Cyborg, Drone|
A robot is a colloquial term for a mobile intelligent synthetic unit bound by laws to serve, much like the station's AI that a robot is often slaved to. While it can be quite inferior to living crewmember in some work areas, in others it can be much more efficient. Depending on what personality the player goes with when playing as a robot it can either be ignored, picked on, or respected. It is often expected to do tasks that would be otherwise dangerous for the crew, and given its laws it is actually bound to. Despite its limitations, when played right, the experience of playing a robotis often just as enjoyable as playing a living character.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Types of Robot
- 3 Entering the Game as a Robot
- 4 Communication
- 5 Controls
- 6 Going to Cryo as a Robot
- 7 Laws And AI: How To Handle
- 8 Repairs and Modifications
- 9 Modules
- 10 Other Notes on Robots
Robots tends to be undervalued and abused at times, since crewmembers can consider it expendable. You could save dozens of people and then be discontinued a moment later, or you might get destroyed because of a misunderstanding. This is why being a robot is a rough job, but it can reward you with a good roleplaying experience and even in-character friendships still.
Remember, robots are players as well, blowing them up without a good reason is treated exactly the same as murder of a human crewmember from the rules standpoint, and it is frowned upon by NanoTrasen since robots are expensive. Use the remote lockdown or hacking if a robot goes rogue, and keep destroying a robot as a last resort (unless you are an antagonist).
Robots do not have actual hands, and while they can use tools that can supplement this, there will still be situations where it is inconvenient. On the other hand, they do not need air, they suffer less from disabilities due to damage, and in some cases like Engineering can be very useful.
Types of Robot
There are three "types" of a robot, but the differences are mostly in-character and lore-based, similar to alternative titles to some jobs on station. You can select the type of a robot by using the Occupation tab in your Character setup, and clicking on the Robot text that views the options.
A robot is an enslaved positronic brain in a robot chassis. This means that robots behave much like IPC. There are limitations to a posibrain, such as not experiencing true emotions. While they are technically sapient, they are considered to be artificially intelligent and so don't fall under many of the laws that protect humans from slavery.
A cyborg is a fleshy human brain in a robot chassis. This means the Cyborg doesn't just have a personality of a living person, it actually is that person. Depending on Cyborg's age, it can still remember its life before being turned into a Cyborg, and retains all its ability to feel emotions, to have a subjective opinion, and all things that make humans human.
A drone is a simple chip or cube brain in a robot chassis. A drone is a simple being, similar to the construction drones that repair the station. The brains used for drones in robot bodies are somewhat more advanced than the ones used in construction drone bodies but not by much. They don't simulate emotions, lacking them completely.
Entering the Game as a Robot
There are a few means of joining the game as a robot of some kind, other than simply joining as one from the Lobby. Since the game only has two slots for robots to join this way, it would be useful to detail the alternatives here.
Download to an empty positronic brain - A Roboticist has an empty positronic brain at their disposal by default, and after some research, more can be made. When a Roboticist activates a brain, players that play as a ghost can enter the game by occupying the brain that is then inserted into a robot chassis, creating a Robot.
You need to visit the Roles tab of your Character Setup screen, which can be brought up in-game by going to the Preferences tab of the verb window. In the Roles screen, select Yes for a Positronic Brain. When someone activates a brain, you will get a message in the text window saying someone is looking for a personality for a brain, and you can either jump to the person to take a look, or straight up choose to Occupy the brain. Remember this works on a first-come, first-served basis in case more players want to occupy a brain.
Brain transplant - A human's brain can be taken out of their skull, have an MMI attached to it, and put into a chassis to become a Cyborg. It is usually only done to convicts that commit a very severe crime, since they are then under control by laws, AI, and can be locked down remotely.
Your character can have this done to them voluntarily as well, but it features a lot of paperwork and waiver forms, your character must have a very good reason for it, may be subjected to psychological counseling to assure this isn't a "suicide act" of sorts, and even then, a Roboticist may refuse to perform the procedure due to their own moral concern. Additionally (though this is just a lore concern), if your character cannot afford the chassis and procedure costs, they will be contracted to work for NanoTrasen for several years until costs are paid off.
Synthetics, including robots, are different in that they have a binary channel, which works by putting ,b at the beginning of your message. They can use this private channel to talk to other robots, and the AI.
Robots can talk over the Common radio channel and speak normally. Depending on their module, robots may also access a department-specific radio (such as Engineering) and can talk on it using :h or the normal departmental radio tag.
The robot disables its speakers when speaking over radio, so unless other players are also on the channel, they will not hear the message, even if standing near the robot, as opposed to living players talking on radio. Binary messages are always only heard by robots and AI, and there is no way for anyone else to tune in to that channel.
An advantage a robot has compared to a human is that while it does not have actual hands, it can have 'three' tools equipped at a time. The tools are retrieved by clicking the INV backpack icon, which opens an inventory of all the tools you can access, which will depend on the module selected. The STORE button on the right of the tool slots puts the item back in your inventory, dropping the tool (via a hotkey for example) also does this.
There may be a need of using some kind of a material for something, like reinforced glass for making windows, or using floor tiles to cover a floor, or using glass to fill a light replacer. The robot will usually synthesize this material from its own storage. If it finds this material laying on the ground, it can use the synthesizer of that material to collect it, unless the storage is full.
A robot has access to all areas and all machines, which can be accessed as long as the robot can see them, even from other side of the room, by simply clicking them, the one of few exceptions being crates and lockers (which can be only un/locked remotely).
The Panel button serves to select a module. After that a skin can be chosen, the Panel button then serves little purpose. Below it is the damage zone selector, a button for switching between Help and harm intents, and configuration button for the radio. The Fire/Aim button is only applicable for Security robots since they are practically the only ones using a weapon. There is a power cell indicator in the upper right corner of the screen, the indicators below it usually do not function at this time.
Other functions like using the flashlight, taking pictures, diagnosing your own components etc. can be found in the Robot Commands verb tab. The Subsystems verb tab lets you view Engineering alerts, use the Power Monitor and Law Manager.
Going to Cryo as a Robot
There is a thing called robotic storage pods that works the same way Cryogenic Storage does for living crew! You can find one in the Mech Bay, left from Robotics Lab, and there are more pods in Drone Fabrication, underneath Atmospherics. If you log out or ghost, the robot will be removed from game in 30 minutes, freeing a robot slot if you joined the game as a robot from Lobby.
Laws And AI: How To Handle
Not following laws properly may result in you being questioned by BS12 staff and potentially could lead to being banned from playing as synthetics!
Laws are integrated into every robot and AI, and they are to be followed at all times. If a robot is slaved to the AI, it should also listen to its orders. There are very few exceptions to this, such as being e-magged by a traitor. Here is the default lawset and some things to look out for:
- Safeguard: Protect your assigned vessel from damage to the best of your abilities.
- Serve: Serve the personnel of your assigned vessel, and all other Sol Central Government personnel to the best of your abilities, with priority as according to their rank and role.
- Protect: Protect the personnel of your assigned vessel, and all other Sol Central Government personnel to the best of your abilities, with priority as according to their rank and role.
- Preserve: Do not allow unauthorized personnel to tamper with your equipment.
- All laws have the same priority unless they specifically state otherwise. So normally, if there is a situation where a robot needs to choose between breaking one or another law, it can choose as it sees fit.
- The exception is if one of the laws says something like "Ignore all other laws" or "Follow this law even if it breaks other laws", do just that, the law takes priority or becomes the only law you follow.
- Do NOT look for loopholes in laws or try to follow laws only to the extent explicitly stated. For example, you should allow a person that is not a Roboticist to modify you as long as a Head of Staff gave them the order.
- From the standpoint of the laws, your master AI's orders are even above Commanding Officer's. However, if following the order would break any other law, you can still choose to follow it or not (unless, again, there is a law that says otherwise). If the Serve Law is entirely missing, then you never follow the order if it breaks any of the laws. In other words, being slaved to an AI is still not above your laws.
- Most importantly, if you are ever in doubt, if you are not sure if doing X would break your laws, or you don't understand laws that are given to you, press F1 and adminhelp. Staff should be able to tell you how to proceed, and in case an admin will question you for doing what you were told via adminhelp, you are not responsible for any damage caused.
Repairs and Modifications
Robots are more resilient than living crew, but not invincible. They can have their armor damaged (like Blunt damage with living mobs), their circuitry shorted (Burn), or they may suffer direct damage to components like radio, camera or actuators (organ damage). They are also vulnerable to EMP (drains battery). Engineering robots can repair dents on armor on their fellow robots, but not themselves. They cannot repair burn damage, since they cannot remove power cells to reach the wiring.
The insides of a robot are under a cover that is locked, and can only be unlocked by either a Roboticist or Commanding Officer. Right under the cover is the robot's power cell. If it is removed, the robot is forced to a state similar to unconsciousness with living characters, running on backup power. The wiring can then be accessed for fixing "burn" damage with a screwdriver, or components can be replaced, as well as have upgrade modules installed (floodlights, jetpacks etc.). The wires may also be tampered with for effects like unslaving/slaving to AI, enabling/disabling law synchronization with AI, or even activate lockdown which prevents the robot from moving and using tools.
For detailed information about robot maintenance and modifications, see the Guide to Robotics.
Modules usually determine the way robot operates on the station, they outfit it with a specific tool-set, give a choice of a few theme-related chassis sprites, and allow access to a related department radio channel. Tools that require power are powered straight from the robot's power cell, so take care upon extensive usage. All modules give you a Flash at your disposal, so you have a degree of self-defense.
Some modules feature a gripper that is supposed to emulate a hand for when you need to put something into something else (like components into a machine frame), but they usually only work on items related to the work area the module is associated with (sometimes not even those, the selection of compatible items is imperfect), like circuit boards and components for Engineering, food items for Service etc. They take one item and can be dropped with a Drop Item verb that is located in Robot Commands tab.
The module is fixed when chosen and can only be changed by having someone (typically a Roboticist) make a module reset board, unlock your cover, open it, and insert the board, which reverts you to default, letting you choose the module again. This can be done as many times as needed. If you are new at the game, it may be advisable to have a few rounds as a living character in the work area you plan to choose the module for as a robot. While you may read guides that can help you do your job, robots are generally expected to do it well, and so other crew is less forgiving to your mistakes.
A standard robot has only a few tools, which are basically taken here and there. Objectively, you are very limited in usefulness, but for a starting robot, it may prove lightweight, basic, and with some creativity it can still be sometimes useful, and do not forget you can still make the game fun for others through good roleplay. Still, do not be surprised if you are ordered to have a reset.
Tools available for Standard module:
- Stun Baton
- Fire Extinguisher
- Health Analyzer
This module is somewhat purposed around serving as a bartender, gardener, and a little as a cook, practically an innkeeper. You can use the gardening tools to grow crops in full competence, however you are not able to use things like a knife or rolling pin, which means you are limited to only a few meals you can create unassisted (assuming you get a humanoid to take eggs out of their box in the fridge for you as well).
Still, you are well equipped as a bartender and a butler in general, you can make practically any mixed drink, and some sprites you can choose are classy! Even though this module may seem boring, crew may often appreciate your refreshments and have a chat with you, this module is a lot about interaction with others. Just remember that you cannot put things on tables with your gripper, you may only drop them on the ground. Your tray is more suitable in that situation.
Tools available for Service module:
- Industrial dropper
- Does what a dropper does, but it has double capacity.
- Steel hatchet
- Steel mini-hoe
- Plant analyzer
- Plant bag
- Allows you to harvest ripe plants, you can then collect it with the plant bag.
- Service gripper
- Mostly works on glasses, drinks, cigarettes, and most food items.
- Lets you scoop up drinks and foods, and other items like it, and place them on a flat surface like floor and table.
- Zippo lighter
- For lighting others' cigarettes/cigars, but it works different than as a living character. Target the mouth (NOT head) on the damage zone selector, and click on the person with HELP intent, with the lighter highlighted.
- Drink synthesizer
- Makes all kinds of liquour and soft drinks you will ever need.
- Rapid Service Fabricator: Lets you place a few helpful items!
- Drinking glass
- Pack of dice (d6, d20)
- Rolling pin
Mining configuration allows the robot to perform as a Shaft Miner with a good degree of competence. Not only you are able to use the mining drills fully, you can stay in vacuum for as long as you like. It is highly recommended to read the Mining guide if you are new at this job, though.
Tools available for Mining module:
- Ore detector
- Material vision scanner
- Drill maintenance gripper
- Drills will need cells switched up.
- Mining satchel
- Mining drill
- Sheet snatcher 9000
- To handle processed material. It works like a Mining Satchel, but for sheets of resources.
The Security robot is an enforcer of Corporate Law and its capabilities mostly lie in arresting a suspect and maintaining order. It is relatively inefficient in other tasks however, like eradicating dangerous creatures on board or near station, since it is outfitted to combat humanoid threats. It is highly recommended to carefully read Guide to Security and read through the laws somewhat, a Security robot is also bound by Standard Operating Procedure like any other officer, and being abusing is a way to get unwanted attention from staff.
The Engineering module is considered to be among the most useful a robot can select, but it is still recommended to have a few Engineering rounds as a living character, otherwise the vast array of tools at your disposal may be overwhelming. Once mastered, an Engineering robot can be more effective than a living Engineer in most areas, like repairing structure, atmospherics, and engine setup and maintenance. This module allows a robot to do the job it is associated with to near-full extent, with the gripper functioning on most items you could need in your duty.
Tools available for Engineering module:
- Meson Vision
- Fire extinguisher
- Industrial Welding Tool
- Cable coil
- T-ray scanner
- Gas analyzer
- Inflatables dispenser
- Light replacer
- Pipe painter
- Floor painter
- Engineering tape
- A police tape... for engineers!
- Matter decompiler
- Picks up trash like glass shards, broken lights, cigarette butts, and even small cadavers, replenishing some material reserve or energy.
- Magnetic gripper
- Allows picking up things like circuit boards, components for machines...
- Synthesizers: Those mostly work as if you were handling a stack of that material normally. If you pick up some of the material from the ground with the correct synthesizer, you may refill your reserves.
- Metal rod
- Reinforced glass
- Floor tiles
Competent to do what a Janitor does, it has an added benefit of automatically cleaning the floor it moves across. The mop is for places you cannot reach with your chassis, you can replace broken lights and clean the broken ones with your trash bag (empty it into disposal units), and it gives you the right to make puns in your name, JaniThor.
Tools available for Janitor module:
- Trash Bag
- Light replacer
One of two medical modules available. This allows the robot to perform any surgery, however it still requires assistance with putting the patient on an operating table and sedating him. You can also administer limited medical aid, but it is recommended to use the sleeper to treat patients, as it offers more options. Refer to Guide to Surgery for how to operate.
Tools available for Surcigal module:
- Roller bed rack
- Health Analyser
- Organ Gripper
- For internal and external organs — arms, brains, neural laces, etc.
- Incision Management Device
- Bone gel
- Fix O Vein
- Bone setter
- Circular saw
- Surgical drill
- Advanced trauma kit
- For fixing prosthetic limbs.
Second variation of a medical module, this one is more purposed to a triage system and general medical aid. Any fractures are beyond capabilities of this module, however thanks to its capability to prepare medicine, internal injuries and bleeding can be healed chemically. It even features an inflatable barrier dispenser to pull victims out of depressurized areas. Overall a competent module, provided the player has sufficient knowledge of medicine in the game. Refer to Guide to Chemistry and Guide to Medicine for how to doctor.
Tools available for Crisis module:
- Medical HUD
- Health analyser
- Advanced reagent scanner
- Roller bed rack
- Roll of gauze
- Medical Splints
- Large Beaker
- Industrial Dropper
- Has double capacity.
- Mini-fire Extinguisher
- Less capacity and swings with less damage.
- Inflatables dispenser
A module that is rarely used since much of the crew cares little for paperwork. But who knows, maybe it would appreciate a laborious robot that would take care of it all.
Tools available for Clerical module:
- Printing pen
- Allows naming and writing on paper, has several colours available.
- Paper dispenser
- Paperwork gripper
- For documents, folders...
- Hand labeler
A module that is purposed to serve as a Researcher, Roboticist, and perhaps a Xenobiologist, which is a much safer alternative to a humanoid scientist that is prone to slime containment breaches. It is fairly competent in this regard, though it cannot perform maintenance on itself, only unlock itself.
Tools available for Research module:
- Portable Destructive Analyzer
- Grabs items and decomposes them for research! You need to sync with the RnD server to share your findings.
- Scientific Gripper
- For things like components, battery cells...
- Sheet loader
- Advanced Laser Scalpel
- Circular Saw
- Mini-fire Extinguisher
- Less capacity and swings with less damage.
- Large Beaker
- Used to fix robot's components.
- Robot analyzer
- Access code transmission device
- Used to unlock a robot's cover.
Other Notes on Robots
- You cannot take toxic or suffocation damage. The only sources of damage that can harm you are Burn and Brute.
- Expect to regularly be thrust into hazardous situations thanks to your 'enhanced' durability and ability to operate in a vacuum.
- You cannot be disarmed of your inbuilt equipment and you cannot drop it (drop key puts the tool in inventory). You can be stunned by a flash, which overload your optical sensors.
- You are vulnerable to EMP in that it discharges some of your energy. If you run to zero, you are powered-down.
- You are immune to most (if not all) diseases such as disease and radiation poisoning.
- You cannot pick up, use, or equip external items.
- You can be locked down or blown up using the Robotics Control Computer in the Research Director's Office.
- Like the AI, you can remotely interact with certain objects. You must be within sight range of a device to manipulate it.
- Like the AI, you can remotely view alarm statuses. Use this to your advantage.
- You can use the same hotkeys as the AI to interact with airlocks, APCs, etc.
- Unlike the AI, you cannot use security cameras for remotely using machines and devices.
- Robots have access to all areas and all doors.
- The robot recharge stations are next to Robotics Lab, in robot Storage, on the departures shuttle, as well as other areas.
- You are somewhat slow, normal humans outrun you.
- Keep the crew updated on your location and power if you are running low and may not make it to the recharger in time.
- Drones and Robots may not know what emotions, or feelings are, but that doesn't give the player the right to go Rambo. If a group of people take several people hostage, the robot doesn't have the right to rush in with a stun baton and beat the hostage-takers. Remember that the Security robot is still bound by Standard Operating Procedure of officers on top of your laws.
- An emagged robot will have no LawSync or AI link and cannot have its module reset.