Author Topic: Security Drones: I for one welcome our autonomous overlords  (Read 349 times)

Liam's Ghost

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Security Drone
Mass: 0.2 tons

Movement Type: Varies
Power Plant: Battery
Armor: NeoKev SplinterProof
Armament (Typical):
  1 Sonic Stunner
  1 Machine Gun (Portable)
Manufacturer: Star League Defense Research
     Primary Factory: Terra, Nirasaki
Communication System: NCC Comlink Series
Targeting & Tracking System: NCC Defender Series


  The Star League operated countless small bases and outposts not just in the Inner Sphere, but deep into the Periphery as well, and many of their most far flung and isolated outposts were often either unmanned or manned by the barest minimum of personnel. A hyperpulse generator relay, a forward supply cache, or a passive observation station didn't necessarily need a human mind at the controls, but it would still need some form of security. Pirates, thieves, and the curious would always be a problem in the far flung reaches beyond where the SLDF could directly exert its influence, but human security personnel required food, medical care, and social interaction, all of which could be hard to come by when the closest Star League world could be a thousand light years away.
  The obvious solution was therefore unmanned drones, with the most common (by multiple orders of magnitude) being roughly man sized robotic vehicles built in a variety of patterns and motive types. The design parameters for an autonomous infantry scale security drone, such as they were, called for a compact two hundred kilogram unit equipped for both lethal and less lethal force (Most commonly combining a machine gun with a sonic stunner), with an NCC Modular Operation System mounted to a lightly armored chassis. Different features would be dictated by different roles. Sealing against hostile environments was common for most types assigned to the periphery, especially since so many of the outposts and other stations they were designed to operate at tended to lack a breathable atmosphere. Drones intended specifically for internal defense of a given facility tended to be relatively slow moving tracked units, but were also equipped with fine manipulators and a small cargo storage compartment, and received additional programing to assist with tasks and maintenance around the base. Units intended specifically to patrol the perimeter outside of a base would be built as small hovercraft or VTOLs, trading the extra utility of the tracked units for speed, though the need for an atmosphere of some kind to function limited their use in the more unsettled parts of the Periphery. The most common type of drone by a fair margin split the difference between the slow but versatile tracked models and the faster but more limited hover and VTOL models. These used a wheeled motive system and carried the same manipulators, storage space, and "service programming" of the tracked model while also being substantially faster. Though not as agile as a hover or VTOL drone, wheeled drones could at least operate even on an airless moon or asteroid, allowing them to perform the same perimeter patrol duty with acceptable effectiveness.
  It is impossible to know exactly how many of these small security drones may have been produced during the Star League era. Remaining records from such organizations as DoME, the SLDF Logistics Command, the Star League Ministry of Communications, and the Star League Exploration Command reveal orders for security drones that run into the hundreds of thousands of units, and these are only partial records of what would be considered publicly disclosed information, to say nothing of the vast web of secret outposts and installations the Star League had established not just in the Inner Sphere, but deep into the periphery as well, much of which remains undiscovered and unmapped even to this day. Finally, the Great Houses could and did make their own clones of these units (albeit using somewhat less advanced control systems). It is actually fairly easy to imagine that once upon a time, millions of these drones were active in almost every region of space where man had made his mark, and, as continued discoveries in the deeper periphery show, there remain a great many still out there, simply waiting to be found.

Variants:
  As the successors to the Star League Ministry of Communications, Comstar would inherit thousands of security drones. For most of their existence, the organization was content to leave most of these drones in storage, only assigning small contingents of them to protect remote outposts or HPG relays much as they had done during the Star League era. After the Clans invaded and Comstar began concentrating resources on locating the homeworlds of these invaders, Comstar would also begin deploying drones protect the Explore Corps bases and communications nodes that were being rapidly established in the Periphery. This effort included producing the improved J5 series of drones, which uses more advanced construction materials and improved power cells to mount a hellbore assault laser rather than a machine gun and omitting the sonic stunner entirely. Simply being a beam weapon powered by rechargeable energy cells is arguably already a significant improvement over an ammunition based main weapon, and the laser weapon's greater penetration was expected to make it more effective against Elemental armor.
  Deployment of the J5 series was briefly delayed when programing errors and a freak electrical surge caused one of the early prototypes to "go rogue" and wander off the proving grounds and into a nearby city, however these kinks were soon worked out and Comstar would begin shipping hundreds of units to their base at Columbus, and from there to other Explorer Corps outposts deeper in the periphery. J5 units would also be carried by some Explorer Corps vessels, where they would be used to support survey teams on the ground. Comstar's supply of J5 units would be cut off by the Blakist conquest of Terra, though by all accounts the Word of Blake would very quickly adopt the J5 for their own use, even conducting limited tests of using the drones enmass as front line infantry. Though today they would be scarce in the extreme, it is considered entirely possible that isolated pockets or caches of J5 units, either Comstar or Blakist, may still exist at as yet undiscovered outposts in the Inner Sphere or Periphery. It is also rumored that the Republic of the Sphere may have quietly resumed production of the J5 or a similar series of security drones for their own use.

Code: [Select]

Type: Security Drone
Chassis Type: Hover (Small)
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Mass: 200 kg
Battle Value: 13

Equipment                                         Mass (kg)
Chassis/Controls                                   67.0
Engine/Trans.                                      40.0
    Cruise MP:7
Flank MP:11
Heat Sinks                    0                     0.0
Fuel                                                4.0
Armor Factor (BAR 3)          4                    76.0

                          Internal   Armor   
                          Structure  Value   
     Front                   1         1     
     R/L Side               1/1       1/1   
     Rear                    1         1     


Weapons
and Ammo                        Location    Tonnage   
Machine Gun                      Front        11.5   
Machine Gun Ammo (375 shots)     Front        15.0     
Sonic Stunner                    Front        0.6     
Sonic Stunner Ammo (30 shots)    Front        1.0     

Notes:
Features Ultra-Light, Environmental Sealing Chassis and Controls Modifications
Advanced Fire Control(2 kg)
Smart Robotic Control System
   
Code: [Select]

Type: Security Drone
Chassis Type: Tracked (Small)
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Mass: 200 kg
Battle Value: 9

Equipment                                         Mass (kg)
Chassis/Controls                                   53.0
Engine/Trans.                                       8.0
    Cruise MP:1
Flank MP:2
Heat Sinks                    0                     0.0
Fuel                                                3.0
Armor Factor (BAR 3)          4                    76.0

                          Internal   Armor   
                          Structure  Value   
     Front                   1         1     
     R/L Side               1/1       1/1   
     Rear                    1         1     


Weapons
and Ammo                        Location    Tonnage   
Machine Gun                      Front        11.5   
Machine Gun Ammo (375 shots)     Front        15.0     
Sonic Stunner                    Front        0.6     
Sonic Stunner Ammo (30 shots)    Front        1.0     

Cargo
    Bay 1:  Cargo (0.015 tons)      1 Door   

Notes:
Features Ultra-Light, Environmental Sealing Chassis and Controls Modifications
Advanced Fire Control(2 kg)
Manipulator(2; 10 kg each)
Smart Robotic Control System
   
Code: [Select]
 
Type: Security Drone
Chassis Type: VTOL (Small)
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Mass: 200 kg
Battle Value: 16

Equipment                                         Mass (kg)
Chassis/Controls                                   47.0
Engine/Trans.                                      41.0
    Cruise MP:9
Flank MP:14
Heat Sinks                    0                     0.0
Fuel                                               11.0
Armor Factor (BAR 3)          4                    76.0

                          Internal   Armor   
                          Structure  Value   
     Front                   1         1     
     R/L Side               1/1       1/1   
     Rear                    1         0     
     Rotor                   1         1     


Weapons
and Ammo                        Location    Tonnage   
Machine Gun                      Front        11.5   
Machine Gun Ammo (375 shots)     Front        15.0     
Sonic Stunner                    Front        0.6     
Sonic Stunner Ammo (30 shots)    Front        1.0     

Cargo
    None

Notes:
Features Ultra-Light Chassis and Controls Modification
Advanced Fire Control(2 kg)
Smart Robotic Control System
   
Code: [Select]
Type: Security Drone
Chassis Type: Wheeled (Small)
Technology Base: Inner Sphere (Advanced)
Mass: 200 kg
Battle Value: 11

Equipment                                         Mass (kg)
Chassis/Controls                                   51.0
Engine/Trans.                                      12.0
    Cruise MP:4
Flank MP:6
Heat Sinks                    0                     0.0
Fuel                                                2.0
Armor Factor (BAR 3)          4                    76.0

                          Internal   Armor   
                          Structure  Value   
     Front                   1         1     
     R/L Side               1/1       1/1   
     Rear                    1         1     


Weapons
and Ammo                        Location    Tonnage   
Machine Gun                      Front        11.5   
Machine Gun Ammo (375 shots)     Front        15.0     
Sonic Stunner                    Front        0.6     
Sonic Stunner Ammo (30 shots)    Front        1.0     

Cargo
    Bay 1:  Cargo (0.014 tons)      1 Door   

Notes:
Features Ultra-Light, Environmental Sealing Chassis and Controls Modifications
Advanced Fire Control(2 kg)
Manipulator(2; 10 kg each)
Smart Robotic Control System
   

Download Record Sheets: Beyond the Frontier to get (currently) 199 pages worth of units, including all the security drones discussed above by following the link at the start of this thread:https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=84454.0
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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Security Drones: I for one welcome our autonomous overlords
« Reply #1 on: 09 April 2024, 11:45:30 »
No disassemble Johnny Five!

Seriously, though, these are great.  Given their small size, though, I’m wondering if we could organize them like battle armor or infantry for record keeping purposes.
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Liam's Ghost

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Re: Security Drones: I for one welcome our autonomous overlords
« Reply #2 on: 09 April 2024, 14:42:35 »
No disassemble Johnny Five!

Seriously, though, these are great.  Given their small size, though, I’m wondering if we could organize them like battle armor or infantry for record keeping purposes.

Grouping them into squads of pseudo-battle armor probably would be the easiest way to use them on tabletop.
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

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Maingunnery

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Re: Security Drones: I for one welcome our autonomous overlords
« Reply #3 on: 09 April 2024, 16:11:51 »
Grouping them into squads of pseudo-battle armor probably would be the easiest way to use them on tabletop.

What would be the right way to convert the armor?
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Liam's Ghost

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Re: Security Drones: I for one welcome our autonomous overlords
« Reply #4 on: 09 April 2024, 16:23:13 »
What would be the right way to convert the armor?

I would probably divide their total armor and internal structure values by for and using that as their battle armor equivalent armor rating. So each unit would have two points.

The way I figure it, there are only a few niche cases were a unit this small is going to survive more than two points of damage.
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Security Drones: I for one welcome our autonomous overlords
« Reply #5 on: 09 April 2024, 17:20:25 »
I would probably divide their total armor and internal structure values by for and using that as their battle armor equivalent armor rating. So each unit would have two points.

The way I figure it, there are only a few niche cases were a unit this small is going to survive more than two points of damage.

I can't remember off the top of my head, but do quad battlearmors get access to any of the smart robotics control systems?  Might be neat to build one that way as a contrast.
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Red Pins

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Re: Security Drones: I for one welcome our autonomous overlords
« Reply #6 on: 09 April 2024, 17:39:35 »
Tagged.
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Daryk

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Re: Security Drones: I for one welcome our autonomous overlords
« Reply #7 on: 09 April 2024, 17:40:32 »
I find it hilarious that both weapons have more ammo than weapon... ;D

Red Pins

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Re: Security Drones: I for one welcome our autonomous overlords
« Reply #8 on: 09 April 2024, 20:20:07 »
Hmm.  You know, I've decided to put drones on hold for my project, but these are good.  Have you tried to do 10 kg or under?  And aren't you the guy that did the Cobra drone, the one from GI Joe?
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Work-in-progress; The Blake Threat File
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
TRO: 3176 Hegemony Refits - the 30-day wonder

Lagrange

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Re: Security Drones: I for one welcome our autonomous overlords
« Reply #9 on: 09 April 2024, 21:33:58 »
Yeah, these little guys are quite a bit of fun.  A few thoughts:
  • Why use BAR 3 instead of BAR 2 here?
  • Advanced Fire Control only applies to support and heavy weapons, so it probably doesn't work on the Sonic Stunner.
  • SRCS doesn't seem to remove the need for a pilot's seat (75kg) although a drone OS should.

Liam's Ghost

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Re: Security Drones: I for one welcome our autonomous overlords
« Reply #10 on: 09 April 2024, 22:15:16 »
Yeah, these little guys are quite a bit of fun.  A few thoughts:
  • Why use BAR 3 instead of BAR 2 here?
  • Advanced Fire Control only applies to support and heavy weapons, so it probably doesn't work on the Sonic Stunner.
  • SRCS doesn't seem to remove the need for a pilot's seat (75kg) although a drone OS should.

In reverse order:
*They are using a 25 kg pillion seat for the pilot system.
*Honestly, I don't expect it to change much if the fire control doesn't work with the sonic stunner. That's only ever going to come in play in the RPG, and even then the drone's still more likely to get things done by just shooting their target with the machine gun.
*I'm using BAR 3 armor because it is slightly more resistant to damage at the RPG scale. I would have gone even higher than that, but I couldn't quite find the weight.

Hmm.  You know, I've decided to put drones on hold for my project, but these are good.  Have you tried to do 10 kg or under?  And aren't you the guy that did the Cobra drone, the one from GI Joe?

The cobra drone was somebody else. The smallest drones I've done have been 100 kilograms.

By the way, I did have to talk myself out of making 100 kilogram light versions and ~500 kilogram heavy versions of these drones, at least for this particular project. Going that deep in the weeds feels like something that should be reserved for a project dedicated to unmanned units.
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!

Lagrange

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Re: Security Drones: I for one welcome our autonomous overlords
« Reply #11 on: 10 April 2024, 10:24:50 »
*They are using a 25 kg pillion seat for the pilot system.
Neat trick---I hadn't quite realized that.

 

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