Gear: Robots

Basics

Robots are ubiquitous in the Verge. They make up the mechanical underclass that keeps society going by performing menial and repetative jobs. These mechanical thralls can be found nearly everywhere – delivering packages, fixing streets, cleaning houses, tending lawns and fields, and doing nearly any chore that does not require creativity.

Robots come in all shapes and sizes, from gnat-sized drone swarms to truck-sized construction equipment; from ostrich-legged walkers to flying rotorcraft to wheeled platforms; and all variety of different configurations. Some are versatile utility bots, others are engineered for a specific job. Most are rather limited and clumsy, if strong. A suite of job-related programs allow the robot to do certain tasks very well, but do not provide for flexibility or breadth. Sophisticated hardware and software, however, can make the robot generically more agile and capable, allowing sleek and deadly military war-fighting bots, high performance robot racers or gladiators, or perceptive bodyguards and peace-keepers.

Type Description: Robot Package

This is a package of traits common to most robots. It is included to allow robot descriptions to be written with brevity - just include "Robot Package" in the list of traits rather than listing all the traits individually when economy of space is desired. Some of these traits can be modified with purchased upgrades. If so, note this in the Gifts, Flaws, or Traits section (as appropriate) in the robot's Type description.

The Build Point cost has little meaning for robots. They are equipment, not player characters. Sophisticated robots may be able to fake sapience to some degree, but they are never really aware.

Abilities
  • Ambidexterous
  • Bloodless
  • Breathless
  • Direction Sense
  • Fireproof +2
  • Freezeproof +2
  • Internal Clock
  • Less Sleep +8
  • Low Consumption +7
  • Natural Armor +1 — 2d6, -4 + Size RS
  • Photographic Memory
  • Repairable
  • Resistant (biological effects)
  • Rapid Recovery +13½ — Recover 1 Fatigue every value of [-Vigor] minutes.
  • Temperature Tolerance (cold) +4
  • Temperature Tolerance (heat) +4
  • Unflagging
Limitations
  • Anosmic
  • Conditional Recovery (must be repaired)
  • Susceptible (electric shock, +4 Dose)
  • Susceptible (immersion)
  • Neurological Limitation: Anempathic
  • Neurological Limitation: Non-Self-Aware
Social Standing
  • Non-person

Type Description: Robot Arm

A bare-bones robot arm, fixed in place but able to maneuver to grab and manipulate items within its reach with its single hand. Independent robot arms have the sensory, communications, and computational abilities of a basic robot; those that are part of another robot generally have only tactile perception.

An arm can mount equipment with a mass of up to its Carry value. Also available are mount arms, which do not have hands or grippers (replace the One Hand Flaw with No Grippers). These are used to orient and position mounted equipment.

Although the Type description is for a Size +0 arm, a robot arm the Size of an average Human arm will be Size -2½. Robot arms designed as one component of an entire robot assembly can use the Size of the full robot body for calculating their Strength, or the arm's Size + 3, whichever is lower. These component arms lack the ability to independently speak a language or perform tasks; they are fully controlled by their platform robot.

Starting Attributes
  • Coordination -2
  • Spirit n/a
  • Smarts -4
  • Awareness -2
  • Charisma -4
Sub-Attributes
  • Traction Brawn +4
  • Structure Brawn +2
Abilities
  • Stretchy +2½
Limitations
  • One Hand
  • Immobile
Traits
  • Robot Package
Skills
  • Speak (languages in database) -2

  • Size +0, with hand
    • Price: $300
    • Mass: 70 kg
  • Size +0, mount arm
    • Price (Size +0, mount arm): $150
    • Mass: 70 kg
  • Size -2½, with hand
    • Price: $50
    • Mass: 6 kg
  • Size -2½, mount arm
    • Price: $30
    • Mass: 6 kg
Type Description: Robot Turret

A basic robot turret, capable of polar and azimuthal rotation, allowing it to point in any direction over a full hemisphere. It is usually used to mount equipment such as weapons, sensors, or lights. A turret can mount equipment with a mass of up to five times its Carry value.

A turret taken as one sub-component of a greater robot assembly lacks the ability to independently speak a language or perform tasks and is fully controlled by their platform robot. It generally does not have separate visual or audial sensors unless they are purchased as equipment and installed on the turret.

Starting Attributes
  • Coordination -2
  • Spirit n/a
  • Smarts -4
  • Awareness -2
  • Charisma -4
Sub-Attributes
  • Traction Brawn +4
  • Structure Brawn +2
Limitations
  • No Grippers
  • Immobile
Traits
  • Robot Package
Skills
  • Speak (languages in database) -2

  • Size +0
    • Price: $100
    • Mass: 70 kg
  • Size -3
    • Price: $15
    • Mass: 4 kg
Type Description: Basic Robot

This listed Type represents a crude and very basic robot, typical of lower-end models that perform simple, repetative chores that nonetheless require some degree of independent judgement and action that require basic object recognition, goal-directed behavior, navigation, and (possibly) object manipulation; such as picking weeds, washing dishes left in a sink, harvesting fruit, or tidying a house. These listed traits can be extensively modified. Upgrades, better software, and high performance models will all improve a robot's capabilities. Robots that simply perform the same set of repetative movements without sensory input or judgement, such as automated manufacturing equipment, should be treated as non-sentient tools rather than the kind of robots described here.

This basic robot is Size +0. It has legs (although the number of legs varies by model), a pair of Size -2½ robot arms ending in manipulating hands, a Size -3 robot turret containing camera eyes (equivalent to a basic camera) and microphone ears, a surface sensitive to tactile pressure, wireless communication equivalent to a phone, and a standard computer with Compute Score +8.

Starting Attributes
  • Coordination -2
  • Spirit n/a
  • Smarts -4
  • Awareness -2
  • Charisma -4
Sub-Attributes
  • Traction Brawn +4
  • Structure Brawn +2
Limitations
  • Restricted Motion: Stiff Torso
Traits
  • Robot Package
Skills
  • Speak (languages in database) -2
Strength: +0
Mass: 70 kg
Unarmed Penetration: 2d6, -7 RS
Unarmed Wound Score: +2
Unarmed Control: 2d6, +2 RS
Penetration Limit: 2d6, +0 RS
Large Wound Limit: +7Wound Score Limit: +10¼
Injury Susceptibility: -1
Action Score: -1Action Points: 4
Stamina: 10Perseverence: 10
Carry: 40 g-kg
Step: 1 mReach: 1 m
Base Move: 4 m/turnManeuver: 50 m/turn²
Top Ground Speed: 20 m/turn, 17 km/h
Top Swim Speed: 2 m/turn
Top Climb Speed: 4 m/turn
Long Jump: 1.7 m standing, 4 m running
High Jump: 1.4 m cleared, 3.4 m reach
Thresholds
Penalty Fatigue Drain Control Encumbr.
-1331050
-2441570
-35520100
-47730150
-5101040200
-6151550300
-770400

  • Price: $3 k
  • Mass: 70 kg

Trait Notes

Spirit – Robots do not have a Spirit attribute. They have no personal feelings or desires that can get in the way of their programming. A robot will automatically succeed any Spirit roll having to do with overcoming adversity or that would interfere with the robot performing its programming; it will automatically fail any Spirit roll to avoid following its programming. A robot is not subject to Drain, Soul Damage, or Psychological Shock.

Size – Robots can be built to any Size. After computing the robot's price as if it were Size 0 (in $, not Build Points), Row Shift the price by the robot's Size.

Low Consumption – This reflects the fact that robots occasionally need to recharge from an electrical outlet, and will require periodic (if infrequent) maintenance. Robots do not need to actually eat or drink. Robots do not gain Fatigue from running low on energy – instead, the operate normally and then just stop once their energy runs out. they require basic maintenance every 10 megaseconds (4 months) or so; if they skip this, every 10 megaseconds they gain a "Fatigue" point that gives penalties to Vigor instead of Brawn, Coordination, Spirit, Smarts, and Awareness. If the lack-of-maintenance Fatigue reaches "mild shock" level, the robot must pass a DC 7 Vigor check (without Fatigue penalties) or malfunction. At the "moderate shock" level the DC increases to 10. At the "severe shock" level, the robot automatically becomes inoperable.

Anosmic – A basic robot has no sense of smell, taste, or other chemoseonsory ability.

Susceptible – Robots are more strongly affected by electric shock. In addition, they are affected differently. Shocks do not cost them Breath points. They are stunned normally. If the robot fails by 3 or more, they are deactivated (from blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers) until someone spends a minute and makes a DC 4 Build and Repair skill check. If the electric shock Fatigue reaches the mild shock level, the robot's circuits are burnt out and it will require major repairs before the robot can operate again. Robots are also affected by certain electrical attacks that do not affect biological organisms (such as EMP and counter-electronics high-powered microwave devices).

Complete immersion in water will short the robot out, acting like an electric shock with a Dose of +5 and Potency of 10. Mere rain, squirt guns, fire or lawn sprinklers, and the like will not harm a robot.

Modifications

Robots come in many varied forms. The basic robot can be modified to suit the particular needs of a given job.

Size

The basic robot is Size +0. For robots of different Size, calculate the cost normally, then RS the final cost by 2× the robot's Size. Mass is RS-ed by 3× the robot's Size.

Physical Attributes

  • Brawn: Brawn for a robot is bought up separately for each of the four main brawn sub-attributes – Traction Brawn, Striking Brawn, Move Brawn, and Structure Brawn. The overall Brawn can be found as the score shared by the largest number of sub-attributes or (if no two are the same) as the average of the sub-attributes. Look up the cost on the table below:
    Score Brawn sub-attribute
    Traction Striking Move Structure
    -3  -$120  -$20  -$20  -$60
    -2  -$120  -$18  -$18  -$60
    -1  -$120  -$12  -$12  -$50
    +0  -$120  $0  $0  -$35
    +1  -$100  $18  $18  -$18
    +2  -$70  $35  $35  $0
    +3  -$35  $70  $70  $35
    +4  $0  $120  $120  $70
    +5  $35  $150  $150  
    +6  $120  $200  $200  
    +7  $200  $350  $350  
    An immobile robot or sub-component cannot buy Move Brawn up or down.

  • Vigor: Overall Vigor can be bought up according to the table below:
    Score Cost
    +0  $0
    +1  $70
    +2  $150
    +3  $300
    +4  $450
    The Endurance and Toughness sub-attributes can be bought at ¼ cost.

  • Coordination: To buy up the robot's Coordination, use the table below:
    Score Cost
    -4  -$100
    -3  -$50
    -2  $0
    -1  $100
    +0  $250
    +1  $500
    +2  $700
    +3  $1.2 k
    +4  $1.8 k
    The Agility sub-attribute can be bought at 58 cost; Precision is bought at 38 cost; Reaction Time is bought at ¼ the cost.

    This includes all the mechanical and design components and the control circuitry that combine to give this Coordination score. No additional software or computation is needed, although a computer "brain" is usually used to give a robot higher-level control.

    • Aptitude: A robot's overall Coordination can often be rather low. However, it can have special training and adaptations for performing a particular task or group of closely related tasks, grouped into an Aptitude sub-attribute. When performing actions under the aptitude's scope, it can add the aptitude bonus to its Coordination for tasks in which the sub-attribute Precision could also apply. For example, a gardening robot could use its chore score when trimming bushes to the correct shape, or pulling a weed without harming nearby desirable plants. This is mainly intended to keep cheap housecleaning robots from accidentally dropping the dishes all the time. However, the referee may rule there are times when it can combine with a skill in tasks that rely on Coordination, such as a nurse robot attempting to insert an IV using its Heal skills. In particular, aptitude can be used for tasks with the Shoot and Throw skills – it is relatively simple to design mechanical servo-systems and their requisite control software for precise pointing of a gun or beam pointer; and it is not much of a stretch to consider a well-engineered design for accurate throwing. It cannot be used with Evade or Fight, which fall under the Agility sub-attribute.

      Aptitude can be bought up at 110th the cost of Coordination.

    • Controls: In order to be a robot, a machine must pilot itself. However, these rules can also be used to make vehicles which are piloted by another being. A vehicle with controls has a maximum Agility that can be used to operate it. This is purchased at 110th cost of standard Coordination. If the vehicle is also capable of autonomous driving, just pay the difference between the vehicle's Coordination + Agility and the control Agility. If the vehicle is not autonomous and requires a sapient operator in order to function, apply an additional -$400 to the cost.

  • Load: the Load sub-attribute can be bought up according to the table below:
    Score Cost
    +0  $0
    +1  $100
    +2  $200
    +3  $400
    +4  $600
    Sturdiness comes at the expense of agility. The maximum possible Coordination for the robot is 4 - Load. This applies to the Agility and Reaction Time sub-attributes, but not to Precision or Aptitudes which can be bought up to the +4 maximum.

Physical Skills

A robots body is coordinated using neuromorphic control circuitry designed to work similary to the low-level neural feedback loops and basal brain of animals. Trained actions can be incorporated into these control circuits, allowing the robot to perform skilled tasks. These are treated as skills. All innate robot skills incorporated into their neuromorphic circuitry in this fashion must be inherently physical, and can only add to Coordination during tasks. Mental or perceptual skills for robots are handled by installing a computer for a robot brain and running that software on the computer.

The following skills are available for neuromorphic imprinting:

  • Climb
  • Escape and Restrain
  • Evade
  • Fight
  • Grapple
  • Ride (the physical component of the Wrangle skill)
  • Shoot
  • Sport
  • Swim
  • Throw
  • Tumble

Skill Level Price
-2 $3
-1 $7
0 $15
1 $40
2 $150

The Sneak skill is a special case. So much of Sneak is the mental task of choosing screened avenues of approach, discerning lines of sight, and use of terrain, and thus it is included in the mental and perceptual skills (see Info-Tech). This also means it scales with robot size in the same way as Awareness and the Spot skill, avoiding the problem where very small robots can always hide from each other and gigantic robots never can. However, a robot can have a physical skill in Stalking. These are in-built instincts and reflexes similar to those of animals like cats and jumping spiders, allowing them to slink low, keep very still while remaining on high alert, and using very simple behavioral stalking behaviors such as remaining behind local cover and not moving when a target is looking towards the robot (cats will also have additional skill in Sneak; jumping spiders lack the neural capacity). Stalking gives the robot a flat +1 to any Sneak attempt, including those made from default.
Skill Bonus Price
+1 $15

Physical skills can be upgraded much like software. If the skill package has previously been developed for that particular robot model, a user can simply purchase, download, and install it in the robot. However, these skills are model-specific. Robots can also learn skills – the neuromorphic architecture used for robotic coordination can adapt and be trained and conditioned, allowing a robot to improve its capabilities.

Miscelaneous Mods

  • Armored: The robot has a carboplast shell that protects it from damage. The listed price is for an Armor Score of +4, each additional +1 to Armor Score gives a +1 RS to the price and mass of the armor. The armor mass has an additional RS of 2× the robot's Size. Armor mass counts as encumbrance for the robot.
    DescriptionProtectsArmor ScoreInjury
    Susc.
    BluntPadMassPriceActivation
    MechBurnArc
    Carboplast Armor Shell1-10+4+4-1 -3½ +704150

  • Cargo and Passengers: A robot can have internal space for carrying people or stuff. This will increase the robot's Size to accomodate the extra space, but also decrease its density. All the stuff that makes up the robot – motors, coolant pumps, wires, circuit boards, radiators, energy storage, actuators, cleaning fluid reservoirs, and so on – has a volume of value of [3 × (base robot Size) - 8] cubic meters. You can add as much as you want to this to represent the space for carrying carbo and people. For people in relatively comfy seats (like the bucket seats or bench seats in automobiles), each seat position for a Size +0 occupant will take up 0.5 cubic meters. When you are done adding space, the final Size is (score of [volume in cubic meters] - 8)/3. The Density sub-attribute of the robot is (base robot Size - final Size), note that this will be negative if you added enough volume to change the robot's Size.

    Robots can also have places for external passengers or cargo, such as pickup beds, saddle seats, or tie downs. The maximum area of a cargo bed is value of [robot's Size - 2] square meters.

    Price: Usually not significant.

  • Electromagnetic Hardening: Electromagnetic hardening removes the robot's susceptibility to electric shock, by using robust electronics, surge protectors, and shielding. Additional levels can be bought, each giving +1 to Vigor rolls to avoid the effects of electric shock.

    Price: $18 + $4/level

  • Flexible: Each level adds one level of the Flexible Gift. Adding this to the arms only can be used to give the robot tentacle arms. Flexible is incompatable with Stiff; basic robots (which already have a Stiff Torso) will need to buy off the stiff torso in order to become flexible (this does not apply to sub-assemblies like arms, which can be Flexible even if the torso is Stiff).

    Price: $70 per level ($15 per level for Size -2½ arms).

  • Long: The robot is elongated or extendable, giving it extra reach. This is equivalent to the Stretchy Gift. It is often only applied to the robot's arms.

    Price: $40 per level of Stretchy ($7 per level for Size -2½ arms).

  • Loudspeaker: The robot can produce high volume sounds. This gives it the equivalent of the Loud Voice Gift.

    Price: $1

  • N-oid: The robot is built with a body plan copying some other organism, and sculpted to resemble or evoke the appearance of that organism. At a distance, the robot might be mistaken for an actual organism, but up close it is obviously synthetic. This is mostly artistic, but it has the side-effect that the robot can more easily move through environments built for that organism (like houses) and more easily use tools designed for that organism. It also helps others to relate to the robot more easily. In game terms, the robot does not interact with the target species as an alien, nor does it treat the target species' equipment as alien.

    If Human, the robot is called an android; Pannova shaped robots are simoids, dog-shaped robots are canoids, horse-shapes are equoids, and bird-shapes are ornithoids. This list is by no means exclusive; robots can be built to emulate must kinds of organisms.

    The N-oid modifier can be applied to sub-assemblies only, such as arms or turrets. For example, a boxy robot on tracks that looked nothing like a human might have android arms. This would allow it to use hand tools as if it were a human. A rifle or shotgun made for a human, however, would have the alien modifier because that requires interaction with not just the hand and arm but also the shoulder.

    Price: $15

  • Sculpted: The robot is artistically designed, giving in an attractive appearance. Each level gives the effect of one level of the Attractive Gift.

    Price: $15 per level

  • Sealed: A robot with a sealed body will not be harmed by immersion in water. It also gains the Waterproof Gift. In addition, other substances cannot get into the robot's body, which might provide additional protection at the referee's discretion.

    If the sealing protects against caustics, double the price.

    Price: $4

  • Simulant: A simulant is an N-oid disguised to seem like the actual organism it is modeled after. Give the robot an effective passive Disguise skill. This is not actually a skill of the robot, but rather the skill of the design team that made the robot. Detecting that the robot is not actually real is a contest of the simulant's Disguise skill against the Awareness of an observer. On a tie, the deception is not immediately obvious but something seems off about the robot. Ties or failures drop the robot into the uncanny valley, making it seem weirdly creepy and off-putting – give at extra -2 to any Charisma based tasks.

    Price: $70 × the build point cost of the effective skill.

  • Stealth: A number of options are available for reducing the chance of a robot being spotted.
    • Chameleon Surface: The robot's paint job can change colors. When combined with a dynamic camouflage program, it will give a penalty of between -1 and -3 (depending on the program sophistication) to notice the robot visually or with lidar or thermographic sensors.

      Price: $5

    • Holo Surface: The robot's surface is a holographic display. It allows 3-dimensional camouflage patterns and pseudo-transparency. The computational requirements are included in the hardware. It gives a penalty of -4 to notice the robot visually or with lidar and thermographic sensors. Against vision and thermographics, there is no penalty for trying to hide in plain sight. Holo surfaces cannot be used with chameleon or invisibility surfaces, although the holo surface can be set to act like a chameleon surface (reducing the detection penalty to -3).

      Holo surfaces can also actively project light, ruining their stealth capability while the light is on but giving the effect of a searchlight (add Size to Signature and RS visibility range by Size), a lantern (add 2 + Size to signature and RS visibility range by 2 + Size).

      Price: $300

    • Invisibility Surface: Electromagnetic wave fronts at optical to radar frequencies are detected and reproduced as if they had propagated through empty air (or whatever medium the robot is in, such as water if underwater). The computer hardware needed to process this information is already included with the equipment (this is a dedicated computer that cannot run other software). It gives a penalty of -6 to detect the robot using vision, thermographic sensors, lidar, or radar, and emilinates any penalty for trying to hide in plain sight. It has no effect against quantum radar or lidar. Invisibility surfaces cannot be used with chameleon, holo, or RAM surfaces, although the invisibility surface can be set to act like a holo or chameleon and RAM surface, giving the lower detection penalty but bypassing the vulnerability to active quantum detection.

      Price: $10 k

    • Noise Reduction: This can range from engineering to prevent sound from being produced in the first place, to sound absorbing properties of the robot, to black noise generators that actively produce a sonic wave-form that cancels the robot's sound.

      Price: $100 for -1 to detect, +2 RS to price for every additional -1 to detect.

    • Radar Stealth, Basic: A simple design option to make the robot's surface out of flat angular sheets, to reflect most radar pulses away from the radar detector. Gives a -3 to detect with radar. Can be combined with a RAM surface but not with superior radar stealth.

      Price: $100

    • Radar Stealth, Superior: Careful engineering of the robot's shape minimizes its radar cross section. The robot will have a smooth, simply curved shape without protruding parts. Limbs and gear must be stowed away or retracted inside to body for the stealth to work – if extended, the stealth effect is ruined. Turrets can be designed to work with superior radar stealth (although they need to be smooth and rounded). Gives a -7 penalty to detect the robot with radar. Improved radar stealth cannot be combined with basic radar stealth, but can be combined with a RAM surface.

      Price: $4 k

    • RAM Surface: A coating of radar absorbing materials keeps radar, microwave, and terahertz waves from reflecting back. It gives a -4 to detect the robot with radar and suppresses internal Doppler radar signals (similar to a living things life signs signature). Radar can get its normal Doppler bonus against the robot if the robot is moving, but the -4 for the RAM surface also still applies.

      Price: $30

    • Thermal Cloak Surface: A coating of low-emissivity material means the robot does not emit infrared heat signatures. If the robot has parts that produce high heat, these are concealed with baffles. This negates the bonus to detect the robot using thermographic sensors from the heat the robot generates.

      Price: $30

  • Stiff: The robot has the Stiff Torso Flaw. This is already included in the basic robot build; you can buy it back to remove this flaw from the basic robot design.

    Price: $70

  • Tool, sensor, or Weapon: A tool, sensor, or weapon can be incorporated into the robot's body. This includes the mounting and control circuits so that the robot can use the tool. If the tool requires actuation or positioning in order to work properly, it must be installed on a mount arm or turret.

    The price of tools, sensors, and weapons are considered to be separate from the price of the robot, and are added in after adjusting for the robot's Size. The tool's, sensor's or weapon's mass counts towards the robot's encumbrance.

    Price: The tool's price, + 10%
    Mass: The tool's mass

sub-assemblies

The basic robot has two arms, each with a hand and with a Size of the robot's Size - 2½, and a head turret with a Size of the robot's Size - 3. If the Brawn of the robot is increased, the Brawn of these included subassemblies is increased as well.

A properly engineered sub-assembly is fully anchored to the main robot body and can use the structure, support, and strength of the main body for its actions. In game terms, for the purpose of determining Strength the sub-assembly can be treated as up to +3 to Size, or the main robot body's Size, whichever is smaller.

  • Arm: A complete extra arm, with a manipulatory hand. Buy this as if it were an independent robot arm. Removing an arm from the robot design reduces the price by the cost of a normal arm for the robot's Brawn with a Size of 2½ less than the robot's Size.

  • Turret: An extra turret can be attached to a robot. Buy the turret as if it were an independent turret. If the head turret is removed, reduce the price by the amount of a turret appropriate for the robot's Brawn with a Size of 3 less than the robot's Size.

  • Clumsy Hands: Discount arms may have cheap grippers or low manual coordination. This only applies to arms with grippers, not mount arms or turrets.

    Price: -$12 per level of Thick Fingered or Clumsy Grip at Size +0 (-$2.5 per level for Size -2½ arms).

  • Short Arms: Arms (including mount arms) can be shorter than normal, reducing Reach by the effect of -1 Size per level. Up to 2 levels can be applied, and half-levels are possible.

    Price: -$15 per level at Size +0 (-$3 per level for Size -2½ arms).

  • Stiff Arms: Arms or turrets can have a restricted range of motion. This can apply to turrets that can only point in azimuth and not elevation, for example. It gives arms the equivalent of the Stiff Limbs Flaw.

    Price: -$15 at Size +0 (-$3 for Size -2½ sub-assemblies, -$2 for Size -3 sub-assemblies).

Mobility

The basic robot comes with legs – the exact number doesn't affect the price or other game stats – that give roughly equivalent mobility as a Human with the same attributes. Robots can be made to many different designs, however. Below are some additional options:
  • No Legs: The robot has no legs. It requires another means of locomotion to get around. If it does not have another means of locomotion, it cannot move – it may even come with mounting brackets to affix it to one spot with bolts, screws, or pegs. Even if it has alternate means of locomotion, it still has the Flaw Physical Handicap: Cannot Jump. If the robot has neither legs nor arms, it has the Flaw Physical Handicap: Cannot Climb.

    Price: -$150

  • Slow Legs: If you don't need a robot to run fast, you can get away with investing less in the legs. Each level gives one level of the Physical Handicap: Slow Flaw.

    Price: -$8 per level

  • Manipulator Legs: You can get cost and material savings by putting manipulatory hands on one of the robot's legs, allowing the limb to double as an arm. However, it can't be used as an arm and a leg simultaneously, slowing the robot down if it is using the limb to hold or manipulate things. Each level of this option gives the robot one level of the Walks with Hands flaw, to a maximum of 7 levels.

    Price: -$3 per level

  • Climbing Limbs: A robot with limbs (arms and/or legs) can have enhanced climbing abilities. Every level of this mobility upgrade gives one level of the Environmental Movement: Climber Gift. If the robot takes Geck Grips as equipment, it also gets the Environmental Movement: Sticky Gift.

    Price: $15 per level

  • Rotary Motors: Rotary motors are basic electric motors that impart rotary motion to a shaft. They are used to drive wheels, rotors, or propellers. The listed rotor provides Move Brawn of +2 to its attachments (either Ground Move Brawn for wheels, Flight Move Brawn for rotors, or Swim Move Brawn for propellers). Move Brawn for the motor can be bought up or down at the price of Move Brawn for the robot, but at a score of 2 less than the motor's Move Brawn (Move Brawn of -2 is -$170, Move Brawn of -3 is -$180). For rotors, the Flight Traction Brawn (used to find static thrust) is equal to the Flight Move Brawn, modified for rotor size.

    Price: $30

  • Simple Wheels: The robot has small wheels without a suspension that can move over smooth surfaces, but have trouble with even fairly flat lawns and any sort of rough terrain, including stairs, will be impassible to it. This robot will have the Physical Handicap: Lame Flaw and Physical Handicap: Roadbound 7 Flaw while relying on simple wheels for locomotion.

    Price: $15

  • Basic Wheels: The robot has a wheeled chassis, like a car or motorcycle. It moves best over smooth surfaces, like roads and floors. While relying on its wheels for locomotion, stairs are impassible to it, as is very rough terrain. This robot will have the Physical Handicap: Roadbound 7 Flaw, and will have the equivalent of the Lame flaw when not on smooth surfaces. When on a hard, smooth surface, it has the Gift Increased Speed (Ground) +5.

    Price: $50

  • Off-Road Wheels: This gives a robot with basic wheels extra ground clearance, a beefed-up off-road suspension, and reduced ground pressure for greater off-road performance. This removes the effective Lame Flaw for basic wheels that are not on smooth surfaces, and each level removes one level of the Physical Handicap: Roadbound flaw of basic wheels. At level four and above, the robot has wheels on an articulated suspension that acts something like legs. At this level, the robot can climb stairs.

    Price: $18/level

  • Faster Wheels: Streamlining, better gearing, and other engineering advances can let a robot go even faster. For each level, the robot gains a level of Increased Speed (Ground) and Physical Handicap: Roadbound.

    Price: $10/level, up to 3 levels.

  • Wings: Wings are used to apply lift. These basic wings have a Wing Area score of +7 and Lift Aid of +5. The wing area can be changed, which Row Shifts the price by the same amount. Any Glide Score can be chosen between +0 and +11, but the higher the Glide Score the greater the clearance needed to accommodate the robot's wingspan:
    wingspan = value of [Glide Score + Wing Area/2 + Size - 5.5] meters,

    If attached directly to the robot chassis, wings allow the robot to glide. If the robot has rotors, it can use powered flight like a fixed wing aircraft.

    Alternately, the wings can be attached to mount arms to allow the robot to fly like a bird or bat; or to turrets to allow the robot to fly like an insect. The arms or turrets should have the full Strength of the robot body. To keep things simple, only buy two arms or turrets regardless of the actual number of wings. With wings articulated in this fashion, the robot is called an ornithopter. Ornithopter wings can be used to thrust in any direction. If using mount arms with a normal range of motion, the wings can be folded to reduce wing area freely while flying or restore wing area back to any amount up to its listed maximum for the wings. Turrets with a normal range of motion can't reduce wing area for flight, but can fold the wings to store them out of the way when not in use. Restricted motion for either the arms or turrets prevents the wings from being folded away.

    Price: $30

  • Rotors: Rotors can be attached to a rotary motor to provide thrust for flight. Large rotors can also act like a rotary wing, allowing flight like a gyrocopter or safe autorotation descent even when the rotor itself is unpowered.

    Without modification, rotors are mainly useful for forward thrust. The ability to vector thrust in different directions, or take off and land vertically, requires extra equipment for tilt-rotor actuators, or the hinging and swashplate and counter-torque rotors of a helicopter, or the ducts and rotating nozzles of a jump jet. An external rotor, such as that of a helicopter, can be used as a wing to provide lift. The basic rotor installation listed here has a Wing Area score of -3, a Glide Score of +4, and a Lift Aid of +2 if used directly for lift. The Wing Area can be increased, with +1 Wing Area increasing the cost of the rotor blades by +1 RS. Every full +3 by which Wing Area is increased from the base value also gives a +1 to Flight Traction Brawn and increases the Static Thrust by +1 RS.

    Price: $5, +1 RS for every +1 to Wing Area, +$100 for VTOL capability.

Robot Computers

A robot body is almost always controlled by a computer. This computer acts as the robot's brain, giving high-level directives to the in-built neuromorphic circuitry used to coordinate the actuated limbs, joints, and tools. The computer can be upgraded if necessary – without the need for input and output devices, a robot computer can be smaller and cheaper than one designed for a sapient's use. Use the table below to determine what computer is appropriate for the robot, and pay the difference between the default computer's price and that of the upgrade.

Compute
Score
Ultra-miniaturized Miniaturized Compact Standard
Mass Price Mass Price Mass Price Mass Price
+00.004$150.007$40.015$30.03$2
+10.005$200.01$50.02$40.04$3
+20.007$300.015$70.03$50.05$4
+30.01$400.02$100.04$70.07$5
+40.015$500.03$150.05$100.1$7
+50.02$700.04$200.07$150.15$10
+60.03$1000.05$300.1$200.2$15
+70.04$1500.07$400.15$300.3$20
+80.05$2000.1$500.2$400.4$30
+90.07$3000.15$700.3$500.5$40
+100.1$4000.2$1000.4$700.7$50
+110.15$5000.3$1500.5$1001$70
+120.2$7000.4$2000.7$1501.5$100
+130.3$10000.5$3001$2002$150
+140.4$15000.7$4001.5$3003$200
+150.5$20001$5002$4004$300
+160.7$30001.5$7003$5005$400
+171$40002$10004$7007$500
+181.5$50003$15005$100010$700
+192$70004$20007$150015$1000
+203$100005$300010$200020$1500

The computer can also run programs that give the robot additional capabilities. A perception program can be used to increase the robot's Awareness. Personality simulators can be used to increase the robot's Charisma, and also to at least fake empathy, removing much of the limitation of Neurological Limitation: Anempathic. Skill programs let the robot perform mental and perceptual skills. Translator programs allow the robot to use natural language to talk to sapients. And so on.

Robots usually have a task program, which their computer must have the capacity to handle. It is assumed that all robots come with one task program at +0 Score included in the cost.

Note that a robot's computer does not need to be located in the robot itself. The computer cat take telemetry from the robot and issue high-level control directives wirelessly or over a wormhole com.

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