They are employed by technologically advanced organizations, such as the Enclave, or the Brotherhood of Steel, and historic sites for security detail, such as the Museum of History, though in the latter case their former operators had been long since dead. In one case, a raider gang near the Arlington Library has reprogrammed turrets to protect their camp and chem lab.
Automated turrets can be mounted on the floor or the ceiling. The ceiling turrets use 5.56mm machine guns whereas the ground turrets are equipped with lasers, although some ground mounted 5.56mm machine gun turrets were built. Both variants have unlimited ammunition.
Automated turrets are often found in military installations or areas of historical value. Although not too damaging at lower levels, they can be quite deadly if they surprise you. Both types of turrets can be frenzied by shooting either the targeting chip (on ground units) or the lens (on ceiling units). Then, similar to frenzied insects or robots, the turrets will fire on everything they see.
During the unmarked quest Democracy Inaction, the player character can choose to enter the Sacrificial Chamber. After watching the projected presentation, two hidden rooms will open and eight ceiling-mounted turrets will open fire on the player character.
In Camp Searchlight, ten floor-mounted Mark III turrets are spread throughout the town on street corners. Nearby terminals can be hacked and used to activate the closest turrets, which aid the player character in defeating the hostile feral trooper ghouls.
“Hall Monitors will also be vigilant. Step outside during class, and they'll make sure you make a speedy jump back to your desk. Hold your urine and wait for the PROPER bathroom breaktime.”— Doctor Borous
A Hall monitor is a unique type of automated ground turret. A fairly weak turret that is part of the "security measures" inside the X-8 testing Institutional Test Facility during X-8 Data Retrieval Test, one of them is set on top of a force field and will fall and explode if an upgraded sonic emitter disables the field, while the other is set up in a hallway on the bottom floor.
One floor mounted overclocked turret can be found inside the Big MT north tunnel, in the eastern part of the Big MT. It is unique in that it will not attack the Courier even when detected, unless attacked first or if the courier gets too close.
One floor-mounted turret is right next to the Courier when entering the Forbidden Zone, on his way to Dr. Mobius. The nearby terminal can be hacked and used to activate the turret to aid the player in defeating the X-42 giant robo-scorpion.
Turrets are generally controlled from a nearby terminal. Using your Science skill to hack the terminal will allow you to override the targeting parameters, which will make the turret target any character (not just the player) or shut it down completely. After being turned off the turret can be turned back on at the same terminal if so desired.
The ceiling-based turrets have a blind spot directly below them.
With the Robotics Expert perk, it is possible to sneak up on turrets and disable them. You don't necessarily need to be [HIDDEN]; simply being momentarily out of sight is enough to deactivate them.