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A robot is a machine that is capable of autonomously completing tasks. Depending upon the robot, these tasks may be simple or complex, and may require little human intervention or complete oversight. Robots had been constructed by pre-War society to fill all niches and occupations. From general-purpose utility droids to full-fledged military battle machines, robots could be found in almost any environment and function.
In the Fallout universe, robots had been constructed for many purposes, and many examples survived long enough to be a factor in the Fallout world. Some of the robots in the Fallout universe will attack on first glance (Protectron and Robobrain) but most of the robots will just aid you in battle and come across friendly.
Typically, robots are equipped with a basic programming structure that dictates behavior and priorities. In most cases, these rules are effectively set in stone, and there's little the player can do to influence them. However, robots can also develop personalities, to the point where some robots seem to develop something approximating actual sentience on par with that of a human. These personalities seem to come from two main possible reasons:
- The first is the personalities being pre-installed in the robot's chassis to help the robot's user feel more comfortable when interacting with the robot in question over long periods of time, and then naturally developing over time by interaction with further stimuli.
- The second is the personalities developing from the cumulative result of centuries of poorly-attended operation (forcing the robots to "think outside the box," so to speak).
Some robots, such as the Nuka-Cola shipping foreman appear to have rather harsh personalities present from their first days of activation, while others, such as the Protectron series seem to have little personality at all. At times, this personality seems to operate at odds with the fundamental core programming of the robot.
Notable examples of the above-mentioned discontent include Cerberus, the Mister Gutsy robotic soldier that patrols Underworld. Despite programming to protect the ghouls of the city, Cerberus nevertheless admits quite freely that it detests the ghouls and, were it not for his combat inhibitor, would likely kill them all. Sawbones, resident medic at the Citadel, has an unhealthy interest in pain driven by his personality, while his programming states he is a medic. Many Robobrains, when fighting will say things like "They could have programmed me to love, to forgive; but noooooo...", or "Please believe me when I say I'm not enjoying this." Robots can even exhibit finicky personalities - For example, one such Mister Gutsy RL-3 will exhibit distaste in anyone without neutral karma. ED-E, a unique combat Eyebot, exhibited a fairly complex personality, bordering on sentience. Audio logs it played for the Courier during the events of Lonesome Road indicates that it was capable of experiencing a complex pallet of emotions, from anger to love, as well as a form of pain. When bored, the robot would watch holotape movies of its own volition, which may have had the added effect of shaping its somewhat mischievous and childlike disposition.
Even robotic butlers show contrary streaks, although these aberrations are less likely to cause grievous bodily injury. The butler Wadsworth present in the player's home in Megaton in Fallout 3 is often overheard saying with a cheery voice "How can I serve you master?" before shortly muttering, "Not that I really want to...".
It may also be noted that without proper supervision, robots may handle situations rather extremely. Metro Protectron in Washington, D.C. will kill an unarmed person if they do not have a ticket; on top of this, they do not accept red pass or blue pass cards, meaning someone traveling on these lines may be attacked even with proper authorization. Another example of this "robotic extremism" entails factory Protectrons in Pittsburgh killing all the workers when they refused to leave the mill and forfeit their jobs. Also, Milo the shipping foreman, a Type II Mister Handy robot, had trapped a group of employees in a locked closet to die for very minor infractions (taking a longer lunchbreak, for example). With this in mind it can be safe to say that robots of the Fallout universe do not follow Asimov's three laws of robotics (or if they do, very loosely). It would seem that robots have a naturally adverse attitude towards humans, or animated things in general - living or robotic, as all the robots feature a combat "inhibitor" meaning that the robots all exhibit an uncontrollable urge to kill, without the inhibitor anyway.
Dealing with robots
While some robots in the Fallout universe are peaceful, most are following centuries-old programming — or newer programming — that classifies the player as a threat. To that end, effective anti-robot combat strategies are a must.
Most robots are highly resistant to damage from conventional weapons. Bullets do not generally affect robots as severely as they do their organic masters, and militarized robots can generally shrug off grenade shrapnel. However, like all electronics, robots are vulnerable to the effects of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), making pulse weapons the ideal choice for disabling a robotic enemy.
Pulse grenades, pulse mines, and other weapons that utilize EMPs are ideal for disabling a robot quickly, and though these munitions are typically expensive, they are much more efficient in a cost-for-effect frame of mind. Explosive weapons like missile launchers or miniature nuclear weapons are still effective, but more costly to use against robots.
Players with sufficient Repair skills, or certain perks can disable inattentive robots, while players with sufficient Science skills can often find control terminals that can shut down or reconfigure patrolling mechanical marauders.
Models of robot
- Alien turrets are equipped with an electric cannon aboard Mothership Zeta. They appear in Mothership Zeta.
- Androids are the most human of all robots and could easily pass as normal humans under all but the most intense examinations. A few appear in Fallout 3, and they reappear in greater numbers in Fallout 4 (see Synth).
- Assaultrons are fast humanoid robots created for front-line combat with deadly melee attacks in addition to a powerful laser for attacking at a distance, and at higher levels they are equipped with stealth technology. They appear in Fallout 4, with more variants introduced in the Automatron and Nuka World DLCs, as well as Fallout 76
- Assistant robots are small, slow, box-like robots with two hands which probably assist Secret vault technicians during their work. They appear in: Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.
- Automated turrets are automatic, unmanned machine guns which are capable of sensing and attacking targets that are hostile to the faction or organization to which they belong. They appear in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.
- Auto-cannons are an autonomous defense turret equipped with twin minigun cannons and are ralatively heavily armored. They appear in Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics.
- Behemoths are the undisputed heavyweight king of the Calculator's army and live up to its name by being able to easily obliterate its foes and survive massive amounts of damage. They appear in Fallout Tactics.
- Cyberdogs are a robot-dog hybrid produced of the Enclave. They appear in Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas.
- Experimental weapons drones are a more advanced variant of the guardian drone and equipped with a drone cannon Ex-B. A few appear in Mothership Zeta
- Eyebots are relatively benign and designed mainly to spread radio broadcast Enclave propaganda. Although armed with an electric stunner, these robots have very negligible combat strength. They appear in Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76.
- Floating eyes are weak security robot that an electric cattle prod to coerce disobedient persons back into submission. Sturdy but unsuited to real combat. They appear in Fallout, Fallout 2 and Van Buren.
- Guardian drones are a more advanced variant of the support drone which carries a drone cannon and do a considerable amount of damage. They appear in Mothership Zeta.
- Gun robots are three-legged orb-like walker and uses chainguns to attack possible threats to well-being of the Secret Vault. They appear in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.
- Gun turrets are a turret equipped with twin plasma cannon and is heavily armored. They appear in Fallout 2.
- Hover robots are only useful only as scouts, and perform reconnaissance missions for the Calculator. Very weak, but considered disposable. They appear in Fallout Tactics.
- Humanoid robots are robotic foot soldiers used by the Calculator. They're neither durable nor powerful, but they were plentiful. They appear in Fallout Tactics.
- Junkbots are robots cobbled together by The Mechanist from the salvaged parts of a variety of robots. They appear in Automatron.
- Kamikaze robots are three-legged orb-like walkers and are "suicide" attackers which creates an electrical explosion on contact with the enemy. They appear in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.
- Laser robots are three-legged, orb-like walker that uses fast-shooting laser canons to destroy its enemies. They appear in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.
- Laser turrets are a turret with a single-barrel laser cannon that has the ability to lower down for additional cover. It cannot fire while in cover. They appear in Fallout Tactics.
- Liberty Prime is a gigantic, heavily armed humanoid robot, designed for the United States military to be used during the liberation of Alaska. It was never fully completed and remained inoperative until being activated by the Brotherhood of Steel in the Capital Wasteland. It appears in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4.
- Loadlifter robots are essentially a robotic forklift, with its strength laying in its size and weight. They appear in Fallout Tactics.
- Maintenance robots are armless, slow, box-like moving things that do some sort of maintenance work for the Vault and was also power generators with legs. They appear in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.
- Miss Nannies are the female-programmed counterpart to the Mister Handy, intended for household utilities with the same armaments as the Mister Handies. They appear in Fallout 4 and Fallout 76.
- Mister Gutsies are a militarized version of the Mister Handy, designed for use by the United States Army. They appear in Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76.
- Mister Handies are general-purpose robots built mainly for housekeeping and maintenance. Although not a combat robot, a Mister Handy can still pose a threat as a combatant. They appear in Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76.
- Pacification robots are the second-heaviest military robot in the Calculator's ranks and are able to launch devastating ranged attacks and required a great deal of punishment to put down. They appear in Fallout Tactics.
- Protectrons are vaguely reminiscent of Robbie the Robot, and are common robots in and around the Capital Wasteland. While many were tasked with building or Metro security, some military versions can be found roaming the wasteland. They appear in Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4 and Fallout 76.
- Robobrains are cyborg robot that uses an organic brain as its main CPU; the brain can be human or animal. They appear in Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Fallout Tactics, Van Buren, Fallout: New Vegas, Automatron, and Fallout 76.
- Scurry robots are among the smallest of the Calculator's forces, and patrol the tight confines of the vault and occasionally lay in ambush in difficult terrain. They appear in Fallout Tactics.
- Security robots are large, humanoid robots, that weaker than their larger cousins, but when it came to exerting power in the tight confines of a building, few robots could equal its abilities. They appear in Fallout Tactics.
- Securitrons comprise Robert House's personal robot army. They are dangerous, but become evem ore so once upgraded. They appear in Fallout: New Vegas.
- Sentry bot are bruisers, no matter what form they take. Capable of both dishing out and taking tremendous punishment, sentry bots represent the pinnacle of military robotics. They appear in Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76.
- Service robots are small box or vacuum cleaner-like robots, that wash the floor in the Vault and perform small repairing tasks. They appear in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.
- Support drones are basic drones which are not equipped with weapons and instead they rely on melee attacks. It's likely that their primary function is maintenance aboard the alien vessels. They appear in Mothership Zeta.
- Swarmbots are junkbots built from an amalgamation of Robobrain, Assaultron, and Mr. Handy parts with a wide variety of weaponry. They are usually encountered in groups. They appear in Automatron.
- Synths (previously called Androids) are sentient beings created by The Institute to imitate human life. The first two generations are robotic and unintelligent, while the third generation are virtually indistinguishable from humans. They appear in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4.
- Tankbots are heavy junkbots built on a Sentry bot body. They appear in Automatron.
- Tank track robots are armed with a massive flail that made this robot a killing machine in close combat, but are nevertheless large and ungainly. Coupled with the inability to launch a ranged attack, they were easily countered by a prepared force. They appear in Fallout Tactics.
- Tesla robots are three-legged orb-like walkers that use powerful electric blasts generated by a special Tesla device mounted on it, to attack possible threats to well-being of the Secret Vault. They appear in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.
- Think tanks are more or less a robobrain that hovers in the air. Biomed gel preserves the original brain while three screen monitors display emotion - one acts as the mouth and the other two as eyes. They appear in Old World Blues were to appear in Van Buren.
- Turret robots are hidden underground turrets that quickly pop-up if they see an enemy and shoot them with two powerful submachine cannon. They appear in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.
- Agricola robots were designed primarily to handle the movement of radioactive waste, and are heavily armored and durable. They were to appear in Van Buren.
- CRB-S's were massive, dog-like sentries, that could be programmed to perform at varying levels of force to uphold law and order. They were to appear in Van Buren.
- Gasbots were a morphing gas pump equipped with a flamethrower. They were to appear in Van Buren.
- Automatron dialogue lines, Fallout 4: Automatron.