Allied Repair Drone Edit
|AutoFix "Zakmes" Drone|
|Production Building||Included in various structures|
|Dev. Status||RA3 Original Unit|
|Country of Origin||Netherlands|
|Produced by||Delft University of Technology/AutoFix Repairs, Zoetermeer|
|Key Features|| » Counter-rotating rotors (x4)|
» Mechanical tool arm
» Modular tools
» Updated A.I.
» Stickers (various)
"This was not really what I had in mind. But..."
- - A.I. Professor Hendrik Meyer, upon seeing the "Flying Beer keg" drone.
The Technical University of Delft has a well known reputation for running technical projects with the highest accuracy, and sometimes slightly boring results. The (increased) value of importance of universities in the Netherlands has not only been spurred on by the arrival of FutureTech, but has been life-aidingly crucial in the design of the country as it is today. FutureTech is well known for automatically sending vacatures to graduates of the university, which excels in the subjects of Physics, Maths and Technical Chemistry. Aside from the small stream of people who actually accept these positions (quite possibly being to blame for the recent failures in the megacorporation), most people seek to prove themselves on their subject to teach on other universities or aid in civilian projects.
Recent years have seen a decent upsizing of the Automated Intelligence course the university offers to applicants, having now grown into a 5 year study. One of the required tasks in this course is the practical development of a drone capable of performing a simple yet quite complex manual task. For example: Repairing a metal barrel. Such a task not only requires cooperation with the engineering department of the university, but also confronts the students with the mind-numbing complexity of holding a torchblower the right way, a skill essential to actually manufacturing the drone, and an required insight into programming the drone to hold the torchblower correctly.
Students have faced these tasks in numerous ways, often forming small production groups and development groups, running endless debates on aesthetic design and the way of holding a torchblower correctly. In the end, almost every group manages to produce a robot capable of preforming the required task in some degree. But there's always one group that stands apart from the rest, such as the collaboration between 21 year old Michael Groukens (chosen as project leader), his team of programmers and the engineering division of Linda van der Zeil (aged 22).
Instead of having a go at the conference table, the project leaders decided to have a go at the nearby cáfe, quickly establishing a life-long relationship and a cohesive blueprint for what should and shouldn't be done. Since the task consisted of repairing a broken car, the students decided to take it one step further to make it easier, and produce a drone capable of repairing anything metallic it could recognize, as that would allow them to simply upload the blueprints of the car and have the drone go at it. After a lengthy period of production, during which several designs were modified (4 wheeled, unicycle, walking, 2 armed, 3 armed, one legged), they had a tangible result to show to their supervisor.
The drone was a 4-rotor flying design with a modular tool capable of unfolding various tasks, it included welding equipment, a screwdriver and a nailgun. The team had decided to name their design "Het Vliegende Zwitserse Zakmes" (the flying swiss-army knife) in general lack of original ideas (they had exhausted those in the drone itself). Upon testing, the drone preformed admirably on the car, repairing it into working order after the blueprint had been stored in the drone's memory.
After this, the supervisor suggested the team to upload the blueprint of a bicycle, and try to repair that too. Once blessed with the blueprint, the drone flew towards the bicycle, torched off the steer, and punctured the tires before crash landing on the floor. Amidst the general confusion of the team, the supervisor ordered them to try and find the flaw in the drone, as another practical test.
Upon meeting again in the cáfe, this time in possession of a bunch of roses for each other and the printouts of all the data the drone held, they came to a simple flaw in the design: the drone had nearly no computing ability. Including the computers in the drone left it unable to peform multiple tasks, since its memory capacity was simply too small.
To counteract this, the team designed an external storage and computing system for the drone, linked by wireless connection. Also incorporating a docking bay on the computer, they put the monstrosity onto a cart, wheeled it outside, and had the drone repair various bicycles of various team members. After a few more tests, the supervisor was decently impressed by the results offered by the drone, and began aiding the team to get their drone ready for presentation to other universities and businesses. Suggesting to extend the docking bay to fit several more drones, the end project looked more like a complete garage rolled into a giant box then a small drone.
After the presentation, several companies expressed interest in the drone, including FutureTech. However, the students decided to enter into a contract with AutoFix, a garage chain originating from Zoetermeer. The introduction of these drones launched not only a relatively small legal battle about car blueprints (which culminated in supported car designs and non-supported car designs), bu also sparked the interest of the Allied military, which quickly contracted AutoFix.
Up to today, a drone bay is included in every production structure, with a library of Allied vehicular blueprints (alongside the standard library of cars and bicycles). These drones can repair any Allied vehicle within a certain radius of the production building (their range being limited by the short range of their wireless transmitters), and can even repair non-Allied vehicles with the cooperation of the crews of said vehicles.
After the success of the repair drone, bachelor students in universities all over the country have taken to adapting or improving the original concept of the drone, resulting in a variety of drones for different tasks, from firefighter drones to the more mundane types. In an attempt to encourage innovation in other areas, most universities only allow one team to adapt the existing drone; others have to choose another project.
Confederate Repair Drone Edit
|Hubbard Do It Yourself Fixers|
|Production Building||Included in Service Pad|
|Dev. Status||In game|
|Country of Origin||United States|
|Recovered from||Hubbard Do-It-Yourself Co., Oklahoma City|
|Key Features|| » Treads|
» Assembly arm
» Box (body)
» General engineering manual
» Grease container (ruptured)
"The Hubbard D.I.Y. fixer will fix anything for you, but caution has to be proper procedure: Do not attempt to fix the fixer."
- - The Hubbard Do It Yourself Fixer Manual.
Hubbard is a well known name in the States. It's the supplier of every Do-It-Yourself man in the entire country, which are a lot, admittedly. As an ever thinking brand with a quality name, Hubbard sells pipes, tools, quality metal and basically anything an inventor could ever need. People have made worm-tubs with their material, using fuel to cool their drinks in the hot summers. People have made race-cars with what is available in the shop, flooding nearby tracks with surprisingly safe contraptions capable of doing a rally. People have often been hosted on the local news, sporting various inventions and ideas, all made thanks to the easy access to materials.
But people often complain, and when they do, it's about the things that break down.
Hubbard sells not only loose equipment, but also assembly kits, which, with manual montage, can be assembled into a cheap washing machine, a pump, or any other doodads one might care to think of. But when assembled incorrectly, they tend to break down. and then people complain. After an ever intensifying stream of complaints about the complexity of the construction manuals, Hubbard redesigned the manuals and then came up with an idea. Why not sell something that would assist peoples in their constructions?
After a month of design, the company came with a small tracked vehicle not unlike a toy car, about the size of a dog. It contained nearly no A.I., which made it about as heavy as a small car. The required controller of the thing could be picked up in the average American pick-up truck, and the price was pretty modest. It cost the same as a good car, and about the same amount of money a year (mostly because the transistors blew often.)
At the introduction of these helpful robotic engineers, fathers all around America went crazy, spawning a stream of constant inventions never seen since Dogward E. Jones invented the water-powered dryer. A year after its introduction, car drivers in the United States were often helped by local people when their car broke, as these drones could easily assist in fixing the malfunctions of anything adhering to basic principles.
Recently, these drones have been seen in Confederate bases. Being cheap and easy to acquire, especially when one considers the fact that a large proportion of people in the States own one of these drones, it is easily assumed the Confederates are using them in lieu of the repair drones used in other militaries around the world. That this idea actually works is more thanks to the experience of the crews of said vehicles than the drones themselves, since the more complex components are beyond the capability of simple drones to repair. However, that said, the drones do help with quickly welding and applying materials, and no one has complained.
Soviet Repair Drone Edit
|Garroch Repair Drone|
|Production Building||Included in Sputniks, heroic Zhukovs and Crusher Cranes|
|Dev. Status||RA3 Original Unit|
"They just hang there, don't they?"
- - Conscripts commenting on the aura of uselessness projected by idle repair drones.
Born from the mindset of recycling everything, the Soviet repair drones originate from an attempt to make the Crusher Crane more productive. As the Union needed every spare scrap of material they could get, the order was quickly given to produce a device, any device, that could salvage the expensive systems out of scrapped vehicles before they got driven into the Crusher Crane. Multiple facilities inside the Union got to work on the task, and several prototypes were submitted and tested, including a port-like contraption and several modified Terror Drones.
In the end, the L-W convertible drone was presented to clear the task. Initial tests proved the design to be futile. Though it flew nicely, it was ramshackle at disassembling anything, leaving a befuddled crew looking in confusion as their test Anvil acquired several additional plates of metal on its stern, while the engine was reconnected to the gas tank, which itself was fixed by the insertion of a gallon of molten scrap metal. One of the drones had tried to mount a Drakon Cannon on the thing too, though it promptly fell off when the crew tried to fire it.
The drones had failed to salvage anything out of the useless Anvil, yet had managed to get it back into working condition. After the drones were sent back to their manufacturers, they tried to work out what happened and came upon the initial programming of the drone. The drone was programmed to recognize Soviet vehicles and then disassemble them accordingly, yet the schematics the drone contained in its magnetic tape memory were that of fully functional, undamaged equipment.
As a result, the drones first attempted to convert the shape they saw into the shape they memorized before trying to disassemble it, accidentally doing something which could potentially be classified as "repairs" to the vehicle. After they were able to recognize the vehicle, the drones would try and disassemble it according to their flawed, bugged programming. Since this program was insanely complex and riddled with errors, the drones had no actual understanding what disassembly actually meant, other then a vague instinct to take things off. As a result, the drones just messed around with their tools at this stage, putting a torch onto a plate with no other reason then to make a small black spot, or trying to screw out the middle of a sheet of armour.
After the drones were assessed by the officers in charge, they deemed it worthy to reuse these drones for the complete opposite of their faulty programming. Wiping the "disassembly" program from the drones, they now patched up vehicles to a decent shape before hanging idly in the air as their programming directed them to do nothing. The drones were commissioned and put into service by the Union, being installed initially onto Crusher Cranes.
After a while, vehicle drivers began to complain about the drones. They patched up their vehicles, but removed any addons, like coffee machines or kettles. Reviews of the design suggested the drones saw these objects as faults, since they were not included in the blueprints, therefore removing them from the vehicle.
The Union has never corrected this flaw since they have never approved of such unauthorized modifications, although they have since modified the programming to include authorized modifications. A popular rumour among vehicle drivers is that this is a excuse to bar the real truth from the troops: that the drones are sadistic creatures who want to make everyone's lives as boring as theirs.
Recently, tests have been done to get the repair drones to automatically paint patriotic slogans on repaired vehicles. The results have been sent to the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, after it appeared troops could neither understand or appreciate the finesse and depth of the artistic interpretation of the pillars supporting the Union (commonly dismissed as "lines and squares").