Robots. Gotta love them.
Mechanical automatons are the physical hand of Hypatia throughout Sacrosanct and the parts of Asphodel under her control. They range from innocuous devices like cleaner bots to armored anti-threat mechs. They are not individually intelligent and do not possess the on-board hard drive space to develop one, though occasionally they can be possessed by a rogue AI or digital ghost.
Types of automatons include:
- Cleaner bots. Most of these are attached to or stored in wall compartments. They can range from Roomba-sized vacuum bots to street sweepers.
- Emergency response automatons. Including paramedic androids, automated ambulances and fire trucks, mechanical surgeons and repairbots. Some helper automatons float and are dispatched to help injured newcomers out of the Junkyard.
- Enforcement automatons. Occasionally dispatched in response to theft. They hover and have sirens.
- Civilian bodies. Not technically automatons. These android and gynoid bodies come in thousands of mix-and-match templates, available off-the-shelf or to-order with enough credits. These come with on-board pre-formatted brain drives for human digitization, AI download, multiple awarenesses, formatting with personal assistant programs, etc. Think Ghost in the Shell or Chobits. Cute ears optional.
- Toys. Humanoid (stylized to lifelike), animal and fantastical. Many are intended for children, but there are also, ahem, adult models. Some models have enough of an on-board hard drive to facilitate an AI awareness, but most are too limited to hold a complete human mind. As opposed to mechanical bodies meant to house living awarenesses, toy bodies do not register physical sensation and often come with behavioral presets, such as a toy kitten coming pre-loaded to do cute kitten-y things.
- Maintenance automatons. These are usually not seen except in maintenance areas and in Asphodel's carbon plants.
- Attack mechs. These sentinels are stationed in defense of targeted areas of Sacrosanct's support rings and are constantly canvassing the tunnels of Asphodel as well, hunting for the Underworld insurgency and other threats.
Any robot acquired anywhere on Sacrosanct (except the Junkyard) comes pre-loaded with certain invisible snooping software to covertly monitor residents. Hypatia is also able to assume direct control over any automaton at a given time, even those housing a living awareness already, although you'd have to supremely piss the AI off for her to try it.