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Can drones use autosofts (skillsofts) like Electronics, Computer, and Car B/R?

Egged on by the latest Popular Science and too drunk to read Rigger 3 closely, I was imagining a home with some mini-drones crawling through the walls for maintenance purposes.
by the rules, no. but i don't see a problem in allowing it anyway.
A Clockwork Lime
What rules state "no?"

The rules for autosoft interpretation systems and autosofts themselves state that any Active Skillsoft can be made into an autosoft. I see absolutely no problem with a B/R autosoft. We essentially have "dumb" ones now -- ie, factory robots.

I believe there is a blurb somewhere that states that robots can't deck, but it then goes on to specifically state that one can use a tortoise-mode terminal just fine.
do they? whoops, have to go back and re-read that.
Moonstone Spider
Canon says no, Cars can use datasofts and autosofts but not knowsofts or activesofts. (Rigger 3, page 44, 98, and 142, yes it's annoying that the rules are broken up into 3 places)

Canon also says there are only 5 autosofts, clearsight, sharpshooter, EW, Performance Profile, and Datalink (Rigger 3, page 99)

Naturally, rather than actually make the system internally logical FASA next did the most idiotic thing possible and created a drone (The Toyota MK-Guyver S&R robot) Which has an autosoft (Demolitions) which is not on the list, acts like an activesoft, and as if that wasn't enough, is at a rating 3 times higher than the drone should be capable of using according to the rules above.

So basically the Autosoft situation is so screwed up you can rule absolutely any way you want and have canon to back it up.
Austere Emancipator
What size should a Maintenance Drone be, in your opinion, to do most of the work of an engineering crewman? I was originally thinking about Medium Crawlers, Medium Walkers or Medium Anthroforms, moving around the engine rooms etc just like a human would. The kind of minidrones you suggested might also work, for easier access to places a Walker drone might not reach, but I'm somewhat prejudiced against them and probably wouldn't allow little spidery drones replace a large part of the crew.

Using very large, custom (non-canon) drones to actually encase parts of engines was also considered, but that might be too large a leap away from R3.
Capt. Dave
The GM Mr. Fix-it from SSG (pg. 122) has your choice of B/R skill at 3 as an autosoft, so there's precedent.
Moonstone Spider
I'd say smaller drones would probably be more desirable. They could fit into areas a human couldn't and that would make fixing things easier, assuming their mechanical arms are strong enough. However since two Mechanical arms require 8CF, and a human requires 6, you won't reasonably get drones smaller than a human and equipped with two arms for working.

If you go with walkers you won't need ramps everywhere for the drones to roll on. I think Crawlers are a little cheaper. Mini-blimps could go anywhere but the idea's a little goofy.

Just make sure each drone can have at least two mechanical arms on it, and upgrade their strength to within human-levels. If you're going to go with the smaller chassis with the .25 markups you can probably even afford to lard them with several levels of robotic brain and a hefty task pool, which coupled with a B/R autosoft could easily result in robots better at fixing things than any starting-character human.
Austere Emancipator
There should be room on the chassis for spare parts and tools as well, so it really can't be very small. Looking at the tables, these actually have to be at least Medium Walkers or Crawlers to get anything done. A Small Crawler has a Max CF of 6, Small Walker only 4.

Medium Crawler has max 12 CF and a mark-up of 0.25. Medium Walker has 2 less CF but still has a mark-up of 0.25, and the final price difference will be really small between Crawlers and Walkers. The chassis doesn't cost a damn compared to the arms, RC gear and Autosoft systems, so the final cost will be almost the same for the two. I'll have to see how much room you really need to be able to make a working drone on this principle, but Medium Walkers seem like the chassis of choice at the moment.
don't bother making a walker or crawler; those are for maneuvering in places normal vehicles can't go. instead, make a small wheeled drone that can raise or lower itself on stilts, with extendable, flexible arms and sensors.
Austere Emancipator
I thought about that, but it seems the only way to do a "small wheeled drone" is a Small Wheeled Crawler. Since Crawlers are listed under "Car" in the Drone Chassis Table, I assume they are just like that. And there really isn't a choice, it's either that or a drone-riggable car.
ah. well, that works, then.
A Clockwork Lime
This was originally designed for a character who had too many Resources left over with nothing to blow them on. It was a maintenance drone for his Buick Oldsmobile 442 muscle car. smile.gif Sorry for the formatting problems; it was originally a web page.

B.U.F.F.O.R.D. (Vehicle Maintenance Drone)

B.U.F.F.O.R.D. (Buick's Universal Fixer For Oldsmobile Robotic Drones) is a walker drone designed to repair and maintain Buick Oldsmobiles. They come standard with a pair of retractable mechanical arms complete with a full array of Buick-certified tools and a complimentary alarm system (which sounds not unlike a baying hound) that activates whenever the B.U.F.F.O.R.D. detects an unlawful entry into its designated vehicle.

A modified seat comes as a free accessory with all B.U.F.F.O.R.D. purchases that functions as a recharging and remote control station for the drone, allowing its designated vehicle to command it as an extention of its own virtual mind. Treat this remote connection as having an Encryption of 6 for purposes of interferring and taking command of the B.U.F.F.O.R.D. from its designated vehicle.

Model: B.U.F.F.O.R.D.
Handling: 4/4
Speed: 10
Accel: --
Body: 1
Armor: 0
Signature: 8
Robotic-Pilot: 1
Sensor: 1
Cargo: 1 CF
Load: 50kg

Seating: --
Entry: --
Fuel: EFC (40 PF)
Economy: 0.5 km/PF
S/B: --
L/T: --
Chassis: Small Walker
Street Index: 1
Availability: 2/2 days
Cost: 8,930

Quality Factors: Master Workmanship 2 (-40% Upkeep Cost), Streamlined Layout (-2 TN bonus on B/R Tests with Maybeline), Used Vehicle (1 Permanent Stress Point, came with the Olds).

Key Features: Anti-Theft 6 (Proximity Alert; Baying), Electronics Port, Mechanical Arms (Strength 2 w/ Storage Compartments and Special Machinery [vehicle toolkit]), Remote Control Interface (dedicated to Maybeline's control only), Rigger Adaptation.

Robotic Pilot: Autosoft Interpretation System, Car B/R (Oldsmobile) 2 Autosoft (Customized for Maybeline [+1 die]) (4 Mp), Improved Neural Network Algorithms 1, Personafix: Bloodhound 1, Robotic-Pilot Advanced Programming 1.

Full Design Notes:

May vary slightly from the final product.


Base Model: Walker, Small
Base Body: 1
Base CF: 0 (4 max)
Base Hand: 4/4
Base Armor: 0
Base Pilot: 1
Base Sensor: 1
Base Seating: --
Base Entry: --
Design Points: 165
Base Mark-Up: 0.25

[Power Plant]

Base Engine: Electric Fuel Cell
Base Load: 10 (100 max)
Base Speed: 2 (15 max)
Base Accel: --
Base Sig: 8
Base Fuel: 40 PF
Base Economy: 0.5 km/PF (2 km/PF max)
Design Points: 200

[Quality Factors]

Master Workmanship 2 (+0.20 Mark-Up)
Streamlined Layout (+0.25 Mark-Up)
Used Vehicle (-0.60 Mark-Up)

[Design Notes]

Anti-Theft 6 w/ Proximity Alert (26 DP)
Electronics Port (10 DP)
Increased Cargo 4 (20 DP)
Load Increase 70 (7 DP)
Mechanical Arms, Retractable (Strength 2) (100 DP, -2 CF, -20kg Load)
Storage Compartments
Special Machinery (Toolkit) (-20 ECU, -10kg Load, 1,000)
Remote Control Interface (free, dedicated to Maybeline only)
Rigger Adaptation (free)
Speed Increase 8 (16 DP)

[Drone Pilot]

Autosoft Interpretation System (150 DP, -1 CF)
Car B/R (Maybeline) 2 ActiveSoft (8 Mp) (1,200)
Improved Neural Network Algoriths 1 (25 DP)
Personafix 1 (40)
Robotic-Pilot Advanced Programming 1 (50 DP)

[Final Stats]

Final Model: Walker, Small
Final Body: 1
Final CF: 1
Final Hand: 4/4
Final Armor: 0
Final Pilot: 1(robot)
Final Sensor: 1
Final Seating: --
Final Entry: --

Final Engine: Electric Fuel Cell
Final Load: 50
Final Speed: 10
Final Accel: --
Final Sig: 8
Final Fuel: 40 PF
Final Economy: 0.5 km/PF
Design Points: 769
Final Mark-Up: 0.10
Total Cost: 7,690 + 1,240 in extras; 8,930
Street Index: 1
Availability: 2/2 days (included with Maybeline)
Austere Emancipator
Sweet! That's really promising cost-wise as well.
QUOTE (mfb)
don't bother making a walker or crawler; those are for maneuvering in places normal vehicles can't go.

Heh. That's exactly what I was thinking of: drones that could get into walls between wall panels.

Between the Popular Science magazine and RATS [1] in my walls, the idea seemed pretty cool. Next question is, how would a micro-walker perform pest control duty? Can they fit tool lasers or hobby knives?

And that Bufford is awesome. Thanks for posting it.

[1] At first, I gave the noises the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was a tree outside my apartment building scraping on the roof with the sound oddly conducted to the base boards of the bedroom walls. But last night, the rats started holding either town council meetings or battles to the death. They sure were squeaking a lot and sounded just like every rat ever to grace a Hollywood screen. So, it ain't tree branches.
Niallan Zheng
I have absolutely nothing useful to add to this thread.

That being said, I feel for you, Cray. I have squirrels in my attic. They're advancing at about a foot per week from somewhere above the living room to the other side of my closet's ceiling. I assume that their goal is to reach my room and gnaw out my eyes and throat in my sleep. Beware the squirrels!
You might take a look in the Renraku Archology Shutdown book, actually. I belive it listed a small (as opposed to micro) version of the renraku arachnid drone, that was used for maintanence work. Carried tools and other stuff. Looks a lot like the giant drone on the cover, only much smaller. (the cover one has no stats in the book actually).
Moonstone Spider
A mechanical arm can mount any cyberware a cyberarm does (And at half the cost!) so you could put spurs or a built-in pistol into one for pest control. Or a floating cybereye with tool laser but I think Shadowrun seriously needs to be able to have a tool laser without eye.
Hmm, if you played slightly with the rules and allowed cybermods to mechanical legs as well you could hook the drone up with a set of magnets and let it walk on walls and ceiling, which might make repairs easier in some situations.
Standard skillsofts wouldn't work. They are based around meta-human body mechanics, thus the requirement for the skillwires to control body movements. That said to my knowledge there is nothing in canon that would absolutely preclude an autosoft that understands and pilots a robot with utilitarian functions. They don't have a list price for it, so the GM would have to compare functionality to the combat softs and such that are in R3 to come up with a Mp size & cost.

The GM could also rule that if the fuction was intergral enough to the reason for the drone's existance that performing that function was part of the core piloting. But i think that is a bit of a stretch for all but the simplest of task senarios.
Jason Farlander
QUOTE (Cray74)
Next question is, how would a micro-walker perform pest control duty? Can they fit tool lasers or hobby knives?

Well, considering that you can fit a tool laser in a cybereye, I imagine it wouldnt be too hard to fit one on even the smallest drone (which would be bigger than your eye).
A Clockwork Lime
Actually a standard tool laser won't fit in a cybereye. It requires at least 0.65 Essence, which is more than a cybereye can handle on its own. You'd have to get it at least Beta grade for it to fit.

But that's just semantics.
Umm, it doesn't come out and say it but yes any skill that can be a skillsoft or knowsoft can be an autosoft. there are drones that come with B/R autosofts, and with Electronics Warfare Autosoft. I doubt there will be any singing drones anytime soon, but it's not impossible.
QUOTE (A Clockwork Lime)
Actually a standard tool laser won't fit in a cybereye. It requires at least 0.65 Essence, which is more than a cybereye can handle on its own. You'd have to get it at least Beta grade for it to fit.

Wait, why can't you get a standard eye with a tool laser? It may not fit in the free-essense slot, but it still goes in your eye!
Kanada Ten
I think he's implying that part of the laser, such as the powersupply or resonator, is located in another part of the head and "pipped" into the weapon's output coupler located in the eye. Shrug. Makes some sense.
Yeah, but the extra essense might represent something else entirely. We have no way to tell, so saying that it can't possibly fit is presumptuous.
Kanada Ten
Next question is, how would a micro-walker perform pest control duty? Can they fit tool lasers or hobby knives?

Sounds like a job for a biological solution. However, I'd think the best weapon would be cyberfangs and a venom sack.
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