Robot Carrying Capacity

SFAndroid's picture
SFAndroid
August 6, 2016 - 8:47pm
Ok, has anyone seen (or made) a chart that shows the carrying capacity of the various robot types?

Could an anthropomorphic, human-type robot hold and fire a Sonic Devastator?

Could the same robot lift a skimmer off a person that was in a crash?

Enquiring minds want to know!
You can't argue with the invincibly ignorant. - William F. Buckley
Comments:

JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 7, 2016 - 5:54am
I think I had seen references to the fact that robots could carry heavier weapons -- they can be much, much stronger than PCs. But a lot is still left to the referee's discretion depending upon the robot typle.

Kind of like Arnold:

Image result for terminator robot with machinge gun
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 7, 2016 - 12:37pm
I should check my own story before responding.

Can an anthropomorphic, human-type robot hold and fire a Sonic Devastator?

Yes. Machines are much more powerful than organics.

Could the same robot lift a skimmer off a person that was in a crash?

Yes. I'll give Data from Star Trek the Next Generation as an example of an anthropomorphic robot... er, android... that could do that.

I guess the next question would be, if that same robot were damaged, would they still be able to perform these actions?

Maybe, maybe not. It would be up to the ref.

But, if a robot takes damage equal to half or more of its structure points, maybe it should be hobbled like an organic is. This would represent damage to servos, motors and other support components.

It's IM and to-hit modifiers may drop. It's maximum speed might be cut.

Again, all things that a ref could decide.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
August 7, 2016 - 5:10pm
I ruled that a robot's STR score is identical to its STA score, so standard & anthro bots have a STR:100 and as such can carry 50kg as per the AD encumbrance rules. As such the heavy duty bots with their STA:500 can carry 250kg. 
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 7, 2016 - 8:35pm
 #15
Shadow Shack wrote:
I ruled that a robot's STR score is identical to its STA score, so standard & anthro bots have a STR:100 and as such can carry 50kg as per the AD encumbrance rules. As such the heavy duty bots with their STA:500 can carry 250kg. 


That formula may work, but let's look at the optional vehicle rules from Star Frontiersman #15 which has a very interesting article by Shadow Shack followed by a Larry Moore article called "Non-civilian Duty Vehicles." Moore's story gives vehicles strurcture points based on size. A vehicle has a number of structure points equal to its size times 200 (VS x 200 = SP). So, a size 3 vehicle is a mid-size car which would have 600 structure points.

Can a mid-size car carry more than 300 kilograms? (That's by dividing 600 structure points in half.) Most definitely it can plus passengers too.

Of course you can also argue that a mid-size car probably weighs more than an heavy-duty robot, though some of the illustrations, especially in the Mission to Alcazzar module make such mechanicals look huge.

I didn't come up with a specific formula to tackle the exact robot carrying capacity, though with the heavy-duty-plus models, I indicated that they could carry a lot more weight in a tractor-trailer combination, which would approximate real life. It is easier to pull something, such as a wagon of goods, than it is to carry it directly on one's back.

For the microbot example in my Robots Rules of Order story in Frontier Explorer, I looked up real life comparisons where scientists are using much smaller robots to move things such as pickup trucks. Of course, in that case, I think the truck was in neutral, on a flat surface, without the parking brake being on.

Perhaps instead of the carrying capacity being half of the robot's structure points, maybe it's more like equal to their SP. Or you could even reasonably argue that they could carry twice their SP or even more.

But I would welcome other thoughts on this topic.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
August 7, 2016 - 9:18pm
A car is far less intricate/complicated than a robot. Also noteworthy, they have a larger parabattery to run a larger powerplant, so it stands to reason they can haul more weight.

It should also be noted that encumbrance rules state that the character can carry his/her STR in KG, but anything over half that slows them down to half movement. This coralates directly to robots in my ruling as well.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
August 8, 2016 - 3:15am
A car is designed to carry additional cargo/weight while the standard anthropormorphic body type is not. Except for holding out our arms there is not any space on a human body to carry stuff. All carrying is done by adding on additional cargo space such as a fanny pack, purse, backpack, pockets in clothes, etc. A vehicle is designed with cargo carrying space be it living things or freight.

A robot car is basically a robot designed to carry things and could haul alot of weight while a human shaped robot is not so it carrying ability would be reduced.

Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 8, 2016 - 4:43am
Please see story about robotic mules in the Jerusalem Post:

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Army-mule-goes-robotic

But here are some key points:

"It’s called the REX. It carries 250 kilograms (550 pounds) of supplies and obeys voice commands immediately, which already puts it at an advantage over the average grunt...

"...the REX weighs in at just 150 kilograms and was designed to be lifted by soldiers over extreme obstacles, like walls and stone terraces.  But the light weight comes at the expense of added noise. Instead of a silent engine powered by heavy batteries, it uses a small petrol engine. But it can drive for about 100 kilometers, or 72 hours, without refueling..."

So, if translated into SF terms, is that 150 kg = 150 structure points. So half of 150 should be 75 kg before the robotic mule is hobbled? I suppose it can go faster unloaded, but the point is today's primative robots, as opposed to SF types, can handle the punishment.

Perhaps, instead of just relying on structure points as a guide for how much it can carry, it would depend upon the type of robot.

A service or maintenance robot certainly isn't built to carry a lot of extra weight -- maybe bags, but not heavy weapons.

A warbot is designed to carry its own weapons and armor, but wouldn't be expected to carry a lot else.

But a robotic transport, such as a heavy-duty model, or say a cargo carrier in a standard model form might be able to at least carry the same amount as its structure points without impairment. I'd be more leaning to twice its structure points.

This discussion could help make a good addendum to robot article.

How much can that robot mule in the window carry? (To the tune of how much for that doggie in the window.)
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 8, 2016 - 4:45am
Of course the range of today's primative robots are only 100 km versus 1,000 km on a parabattery.

And I chose that number because it matches the range of vehicles on parabatteries.

I figured it was a Pan Galactic thing to standardize ranges before refueling.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 8, 2016 - 5:09am
I thought of looking at the exoskeleton in the AD rules as a guide, but it is a bit ill-defined.

It weighs 5 kg, but the description only tells you:

"It follows the body's movements and increases the strength of its wearer..." It doesn't say by how much, but goes on to add: "A character in an exoskeleton can move twice as fast as normal, can jump 5 meters straight up (in 1 g), gains a bonus of +20 to hit in melee..." Perhaps it increases strength by 40 points? "...and does + points of damage in melee..." That's quite a punching score increase!

This might argue for allowing robots to carry A LOT before they are hobbled.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 8, 2016 - 6:21am
Could we do this idea of how much can a robot carry as a poll instead of having the ancient Gorlians post up?
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
August 8, 2016 - 6:34am
JCab747 wrote:
Could we do this idea of how much can a robot carry as a poll instead of having the ancient Gorlians post up?

Depending on which definition you opted for in the Gorlian poll, I don't know if I should be offended or honored by that post. 

Wink
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 8, 2016 - 6:41am
Shadow Shack wrote:
JCab747 wrote:
Could we do this idea of how much can a robot carry as a poll instead of having the ancient Gorlians post up?

Depending on which definition you opted for in the Gorlian poll, I don't know if I should be offended or honored by that post. 

Wink


No offense meant. Sealed
Joe Cabadas

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
August 8, 2016 - 6:45am
I can set up the poll.  What options do you want to include?
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JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 8, 2016 - 7:19am
TerlObar wrote:
I can set up the poll.  What options do you want to include?


Something maybe like this:

How much can a robot carry before being encumbered?

Should its carrying capacity in kilograms be based on half of its structure points? (i.e. a standard robot can carry 50 kg before it is encumbered.)

Should it be based on its total structure points? (That same standard robot could instead carry 100 kg before being encumbered.)

Or should it be double or more before being encumbered?

Or should a robot encumberance chart be based off of the type of robot? For example, a service and maintenance robot might be able to lift half of its structure points but a purpose-made cargo lifter could carry much more.

To TerlObar: would this work? You can alter the wording to fit.
Joe Cabadas

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
August 8, 2016 - 10:19am
Should be based on type going by a passenger car, a tractor trailer and a tank all have very different carrying capacities.

Maybe look at carrying capacity of the Core Four also. The rule is based on humans but does it really apply to the other three?
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 8, 2016 - 2:39pm
rattraveller wrote:
Should be based on type going by a passenger car, a tractor trailer and a tank all have very different carrying capacities.

Maybe look at carrying capacity of the Core Four also. The rule is based on humans but does it really apply to the other three?


I think the encumberance rule applies to all Core Four since the ability scores are supposed to represent universal attributes. Otherwise, why have them if you couldn't compare one race to another.

Yes, I'm more inclined to base robotic encumberance on type rather than just structure points... but we'll have a poll so hopefully others will express their votes that way and I'll try to figure some kind of formula from there.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
August 9, 2016 - 6:32am
JCab747 wrote:
Shadow Shack wrote:
JCab747 wrote:
Could we do this idea of how much can a robot carry as a poll instead of having the ancient Gorlians post up?

Depending on which definition you opted for in the Gorlian poll, I don't know if I should be offended or honored by that post. 

Wink


No offense meant. Sealed

None taken, it was a joke about polls. As if there aren't already enough jokes about polls. 

Here's one more: if you lock the poll so that nobody can participate you have a poll-lock. 
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 9, 2016 - 6:39am
Shadow Shack wrote:

None taken, it was a joke about polls. As if there aren't already enough jokes about polls. 

Here's one more: if you lock the poll so that nobody can participate you have a poll-lock. 


How did you know part of my ethnic background? Of course I'm from the Detroit area which has a big Polish -- at least historically -- population.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
August 9, 2016 - 7:33pm
Perhaps you're confusing this tangent discussion of polls with my country of heritage initiating WW2 over a bunch of telegraph poles...
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 14, 2016 - 8:50pm
Well, I've been pondering this topic while working on other projects, but here's some preliminary ideas to base the carrying capacity off of a combination of the robot's structure points (STA), it's type and method of locomotion.

Base carrying capacity, based on having legs. Robots with wheels and tracks can carry more, but rotor, hover and aircar-like robots have about the same carrying capacity as one with legs.

So what is the carrying capacity? You many ask.

Android: 1/2 STA in kilograms before encumbered
Brains: 1/2 STA in kilograms before encumbered
Courier: 1/2 STA in kilograms before encumbered
Cybernetic: 1/2 STA in kilograms before encumbered
Maintenance: 1/2 STA in kilograms before encumbered
Service: 1/2 STA in kilograms before encumbered

Combat: full STA in kilograms before encumbered
Security: full STA in kilograms before encumbered
Medical: full STA in kilograms before encumbered
Recon: full STA in kilograms before encumbered
Repair/Engineering: full STA in kilograms before encumbered

Warbot: two-times STA in kilograms before encumbered

Heavy-Duty with legs, hover, rotor, aircar rockets: two times STA in kilograms before encumbered
Heavy-Duty with wheels: five times STA...
Heavy-Duty with treads: ten times STA...

Then we'll add a new category: the Robotic Cargo Transport.
Equipped with a Standard Body and legs, hover, rotor or aircar rockets: two times STA...
Equipped with a Standard Body and wheels: five times STA...
Equipped with a Standard Body and treads: ten times STA...

Robotic Cargo Transports with a Heavy Duty body and legs, hover, rotor, aircar rockets: five times STA...
...with wheels: 15 times STA...
...with treads: 25 times STA...

Robotic Cargo Transports can even tow trailers, increasing their cargo carrying capacity.

Another thought is that the Alpha Dawn rules omit robots in vehicle combat. What happens when a warbot trys bumping a ground car? And, robots with arms might be able to grapple a vehicle too.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 14, 2016 - 11:04pm
The above examples would not necessarily mean that a service robot could handle a machine gun and ammo belts, but rather carry them. Another thought is that carrying too much weight -- say a maintenance robot loaded down with luggage -- might reduce its total operational range.
Joe Cabadas

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
November 15, 2016 - 8:03am
An easy way to implement that might be that if it is carrying over it's operational weight, SEU usage doubles.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
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JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 15, 2016 - 10:00am
I also received this interesting feedback on the Star Frontiers facebook site:

"Dave Brown: Perhaps you'd be better thinking of specialist load lifters as vehicles with a robot pilot. Robots aren't going to suffer fatigue so maybe a multiplier for wheels etc? X8 perhaps? Think of the loads a single Vietnamese porter could manage with just a bicycle!"

Of course, the porter, in that case, is probably pulling a cart rather than carrying all that weight on his shoulders while bicycling. It's been a known fact that you can pull more weight than carrying it directly, hence the prevelance of tractor-trailers for hauling freight... something known from the horse and wagon days.

Anyway, I think the more robust a robot is, the more it can carry, but that may not translate well into using certain weapons. A combat robot may be able to use, say, a heavy laser and 100 SEU powerpack, but it's still limited by the number of limbs it has and built-in weapons limits.

It might be able to tote around a 40 kg small cannon (a vehicle weapon) and some rounds of ammo, but it wouldn't be able to hold it and fire it, especially since it doesn't have any hardpoints to mount vehicle weapons.

A spiny, fragile looking robot -- say the flying waiter robots shown on the Alpha Dawn referee's screen -- might be modified to hold a pistol, but handling large weapons would be out of the question.

A lot depends on a referee being able to make good judgments and counteract any player arguments for ridiculous scenarios.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 15, 2016 - 10:00am
TerlObar wrote:
An easy way to implement that might be that if it is carrying over it's operational weight, SEU usage doubles.


That's a good idea.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 20, 2016 - 7:39pm
TerlObar wrote:
An easy way to implement that might be that if it is carrying over it's operational weight, SEU usage doubles.

...and, as per encumbrance rules, movement is halved up to 2X capacity, after that the robot can no longer move until the load is reduced.
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 20, 2016 - 9:10pm
Shadow Shack wrote:
TerlObar wrote:
An easy way to implement that might be that if it is carrying over it's operational weight, SEU usage doubles.

...and, as per encumbrance rules, movement is halved up to 2X capacity, after that the robot can no longer move until the load is reduced.


That is a better solution.
Joe Cabadas

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 21, 2016 - 7:46am
I like keeping things simple. Wink

One could argue Dralasites should carry more than Yazirians in the same vein that more "sturdy" bots do in this thread (not HD vs Standard, since we're going by STA that goes hand in hand), but I just like a simple rule that is easy to remember without pausing the game to crunch some numbers. That said, this is a good write up for those that prefer AD&D over the basic boxed sets. I'm just a boxed set kind of guy.

 Cool
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 26, 2016 - 7:46am
OK, this is not one of the threads I followed closely ie actually posting in it but I did follow it some. I like the concensus on movement halved at capacity and halts at 2x capacity. simple and easy to remember.

Allow me to ask the ignorant question if you please, what is the capacity of a robot?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 26, 2016 - 11:39am
I personally base it at ½STA in kilograms at no penalty, full STA in kg at half movement, and no movement above full STA in kg...just like for the core four. JCab took that premise and defined it differently for the various robot types.

My ruling is the equivilent to Moldvay Basic and JCab's is 1e AD&D, either is best depending on how expanded you like your rule sets. Cool
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 29, 2016 - 7:07am
Shadow Shack wrote:
I personally base it at ½STA in kilograms at no penalty, full STA in kg at half movement, and no movement above full STA in kg...just like for the core four. JCab took that premise and defined it differently for the various robot types.

My ruling is the equivilent to Moldvay Basic and JCab's is 1e AD&D, either is best depending on how expanded you like your rule sets. Cool


I'm all for KISS -- Keep it simple S... (no I'm not name calling, one woman told me to substitute the word sweetie, but I don't think that fits this context... Sir? Keep it simple, sir... ah, that's better) -- but you have to admit there would be differences in the robustness of different robots. A service robot is not going to be like a combat robot even if a roboticist hacks into it.

And then the different movement types have to be factored in.

The 1/2 STA idea is good for some, but not all robots. But, I am not the robot guru here. I'll compose a supplemental story for Frontier Explorer as a potential guide.

I'll post another new topic shortly.
Joe Cabadas