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NHR 6000 Ship Repair Robot

This article originally appeared in the October 2012 issue of Freelance Traveller.


Robot ID: NHR 6000 Ship Repair, TL10, Cr779,720, URP=YFx06x, STR=541, DEX=15, INT=0, EDU=6
Hull: 1/1, Size=6.75 kl, Cfig=0USL, Armor=40E, Unloaded=8.8822 tons, Loaded=9.6058 tons
Power: 1/2, Fusion=4 Mw, Duration=25/75
Loco: 1/2, StdGravThr=10t, MxAcc=1.04G, Agl=1
Commo: Radio=Cont×3(5000 km), I/F=Brain, Program
Sensors: ActEMS=VDist(50 km), PasEMS=VDist(50 km), Magnetic=VDist(50 km), Headlt×4, Touch×8*
Off: Hardpoints=1
Def: DefDM=+3
  Ammo Pen/Attn Dmg Max Range Auto Tgts Dngr Spc Sig RoF
Laser Welder-9 - 9/2 3 Short(5) 1 - M 40
Brain: NHR Low Function 240×3**, CPU=Linear×11, Storage=Standard×60, FundLogic=LowData, FundCmd=LimitedBasic, Software=Shp’s Bt-1, Elec-1, Mech-1, Engrg-1, Gravs-1, NavArch-1
Control: Panel=CompLink×1, SlaveLink×1
Append: HvyArm×4, VLtArm×4
Other: Cargo=0.4716 kl, Fuel=3.6 kl, Elec Tool Kit, Mech Tool Kit, Metalwork Tool Kit, ObjSize=Small, EMLevel=Faint
Comment: Cost in Quantity=Cr 623,776

The NHR 6000 Ship Repair Robot is New Home Robotics’ response to the lack of skilled starship workers at the Ogen shipyards of New Home, where there are currently a number on trial. While relatively expensive, they are able to work 24 hours a day for 24 days at a time, offsetting the need for multiple shift workers and their additional expenses of weekend and holiday working.

The ship repair ’bot has touch sensors on each of its arms* in order to allow fine control of whatever equipment it is working on, and the initial single NHR 240 brain had to be replaced with three** working in unison voting on the correct decisions after a single-brained ’bot mis-ordered its instructions and started to dismantle a launch.

The NHR 6000 has proved to be a highly versatile piece of equipment. The Slave-linked controls allow remote human expert technicians to manually enhance the work of the robot to allow for unexpected complications encountered during a program of work, allowing the work to be quickly completed without halting the whole repair to wait for the expert to suit up and make their way to the yard.

The robot operators, using the program interface and one of the radios, have been able reprogram the bots while on the job to make them specialists in one area of repair work. So far they have found that increasing one of the technical skills to 3 and raising Naval Architecture to 2 (i.e. a 6000’s skills may be Ship’s Boat-1, Electrical-3, and Naval Architecture-2) have proven the most useful combinations.

An unexpected consequence of the excellent sensors installed and an emergent behaviour of the 6000’s programming was that they cleaned up after themselves. Space debris caused in ship repair was effectively hunted down by the ’bots and stored in their small cargo compartment until this became full, after which the bots inquired of their operators where the rubbish was to be deposited. As a consequence of this, there have been disposal areas set up in each of the yards where the bots work to keep them on the repair work and not to get distracted by a full load of rubbish. In addition, space debris has effectively been eliminated in the Ogen shipyards and work related accidents due to space debris have been all but eliminated. NHR specialists are currently studying this emergent behaviour to see if it’s possible to deploy the ’bots in an orbit-cleaning role by increasing their ship’s boat skill, and adding navigation to work out space debris orbits and approach vectors. So far, the skill package of Ship’s Boat-2, Electronic-1, Mechanical-1, Gravatics-1, and Navigation-1 seems to be showing the most promise in this area.