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design by Nick Bradbeer
Nebula Award Winner
Vesper Technologies present the Hummingbird; the smart choice in automated defensive systems. The Hummer is a small hunter-killer bot with a great deal of versatility in combat, and an emphasis on smart fighting. If you're willing to pay for the best, you don't want it to wade in with guns blazing and get itself killed. The Hummer fights from cover - locating, stalking and then swooping in for a rapid one-shot kill with minimal risk to self. (It can also serve as an eye-in-the-sky sensor platform, searching out targets with its EMS array, and lasing them for remote missile or LGB attacks.)
Accordingly we've built the Hummer around the acclaimed Hebron Thought Systems 13b Brain, with the Release Three overdrive processor, giving outstanding processing ability in operation. 16% of the dynamic memory comes on easy-to-upgrade socket modules, allowing rapid optimisation of skillset with changing mission parameters - essential in todays fluid battlefield.
The range of sensors feeding this brain is phenomenal, allowing the Hummer to know exactly what's going on before it engages a target. Full surround vision is provided by a quintuplet of visual-spectrum eyes located around the bot's waist, with a sensor cluster on the front containing a Cyberline InTek Wide Spectrum Visual Eye, actually a military-grade bionic implant custom altered to fit the Hummer. The cluster also holds an audio sensor system, radiation and magnetic sensors, and an infra-red motion tracking system. Backing up this whole suite is a space-quality Passive EMS Array, with a 0.5m antenna giving pinhead resolution out to 30km.
For covert observation, the Sensory/Manipulator Arm may be unfolded from the bot's roof, allowing observation over cover with a comprehensive multi-sensing suite, containing IR and ultrasonic motion trackers, an imaging-enhancing eye and an amplifying audio circuit. The Manipulatory Assistant Arm also contains a tactile sensor, laser cutter and chemical projector. In concert with plug-in memory modules or RCV control these allow the robot to pick locks, pick up and fire small arms, access and retrieve valuable items such as computer chips, perform repair work, and a whole host of other specialised tasks.
When the time comes to fight, the Hummer is no weakling. Armed for a graduated series of targets, a number of options are available. Against soft targets, like unarmoured personnel or light vehicles, the robot has a centrally mounted rapid-fire laser rifle. Powered directly from the robot's reactor, this fires one hundred and eight pulses per minute with an effective range of a kilometre.
For tougher targets; battledress, or light armoured vehicles, a 20-shot fusion gun is carried. Slightly shorter ranged than the laser, this will punch a hole through 12mm of Bonded Superdense armour at two hundred metres. The ammunition bin is easily accessible for third-party- or self-reloading, and the bot can carry five more full ammo loads in one of its two cargo bays.
For the most heavily armoured targets, tanks, spacecraft or heavy armoured vehicles, the Hummer engages in the safest possible way. Using an integral laser designator, the bot paints the target for engagement by a missile-armed third party. We recommend the Vesper Technologies Firedrake, carrying Tacoma Flying Fish antiarmour missiles, for best results.
Which brings me on to the final, and most novel feature of the Hummingbird design. The command system features a Slave Control Receiver, allowing external command of the unit. This allows the bot to serve as remote eyes, hands and guns for a human operator, or another bot. In tests a Hummingbird has even performed first aid and CPR on a dummy human, controlled by a field medic from eight kilometres away.
|Sensory/Manipulator Arm||10 liters||4||6||300kg||10||3||-||-|
|Manipulator Assistant Arm||5 liters||9||1||25kg||15||1||-||-|
|Weapon||ROF||DamDice||Pen Val||Magaz||S Range|
|8.1-cm Laser Rifle||Auto-3||8-4-2-1||Nil||-||260m|
|4.7-cm Fusion Gun||SA-1||33||33-33-17-3||20||110m|