The first Mister Handy was introduced to the robotics market in 2037 by General Atomics International, as a general-purpose construction and maintenance unit. Used widely on both the American and Mexican markets (especially after the Mexico City earthquake of 2042), it was a rugged, reliable design. So reliable that it only received one major hardware update in 2039, to eliminate a bug causing interference in the operation of the multiple arms. The Calpower 238B nuclear power unit and self-maintenance modes were key to its success, ensuring each robot's longevity. To minimize maintenance overhead, each Mr. Handy was designed to perform its nuclear fuel replacement and radiation cleansing. Each unit could carry out maintenance and repairs on other units (it could not carry it out on itself).
However, as rugged and reliable as the original Mr. Handy was, it was still a design rooted in the technology of the 2030s, with a compact computer brain that was incapable of learning or executing complex tasks without extensive programming. By the 2070s, it was an automaton surrounded by more advanced designs utilizing cutting edge neural networks. In order to maintain their market share, General Atomics entered into a joint venture with RobCo Industries, combining its talent with General Atomics' experience in robotics. The resulting model was a sleek, elegant design capable of self-programming and initiative, more than making up for halving the number of arms to just three. Despite its sophistication, it was also cost-effective, making it the perfect domestic servant robot. The success of this model resulted in the development of several additional models, including dedicated medical and military versions. Sometime before the Great War, General Atomics International and RobCo wanted to upgrade their Mister Handy line by adding an additional hand alongside additional features.
Mister Handy robots are service and maintenance robots, with a powerful propulsion system enabling them to hover a few feet above ground. They have three primary appendages for manual labor, one which is fitted with a buzz saw and one fitted with a rudimentary flame thrower. They have three optical sensors fitted on top of their spherical chassis.
Although not designed for combat, mister handy robots are rather robust robots by design, due to their intended use in maintenance, and can pose a threat to lower level player characters. They are armed with a powerful melee weapon in form of a potent buzz saw, and wield a flame thrower which can prove deadly in close quarters.
In Hell's Motel, there is a crazed Mister Handy that was used as an assistant by the now deceased Doctor Rotson. In New Vegas Steel, the crazed Mister Handies were participants in the factory automation test, which has been running for 204 years. As a result, the steel mills still continue to function.
This type of Mister Handy is the hardest one to sneak up on and deactivate, and once detected, they will keep looking for the player character even though their status is [HIDDEN].
Maintenance robots are light green-painted, smaller versions of Mister Handy found in REPCONN headquarters. Attacking one and failing to destroy it within 30 seconds will trigger an alarm, summoning sentry bots.
The maintenance robots may engage in conversation between themselves, or the Mobile facial scanners. This only occurs when hidden, or access is authorized to all floors.
A smaller variant of the Mister Handy, the mobile facial recognition scanners patrol the hallways of REPCONN headquarters to keep any and all unauthorized personnel out of restricted areas. Upon finding an unauthorized person or group, they will address the person or the leader of the group, and request that they verify their access or leave the premises. Failure to verify will result in an admonition to leave within 30 seconds, after which an alarm will sound and sentry bots are summoned. The mobile facial recognition scanners can be killed to prevent the alarm as long as the kill is not witnessed by another maintenance robot, or mobile facial recognition scanner, and they haven't already told the Courier to leave the floor. The mobile facial recognition scanners are not affected by the Robotics Expert perk, and cannot be deactivated.
To avoid this, ID cards, found scattered around the facility, can be used for identification. Alternatively, one can hack the terminal found on second floor to add themselves to the database; or, with low Intelligence, say "ICE CREAM!", which the machine will accept instead.
In one of the two factory floors in the Sunset Sarsaparilla headquarters, there's one bottling robot who appears to be friendly at first. However, if it suspects the Courier is not a Sunset Sarsaparilla Company employee, it may turn hostile. On the floor, several broken bottling robots can be looted for some flamer fuel. For security reasons, the bottling robot will turn hostile towards the player character if they are detected attempting to sneak past it.
Broken custodial robots can be found in the Sunset Sarsaparilla headquarters by heading up the stairs on the factory floor. There are two broken custodial robots in the factory, found near the two shipping workers, and bottling robot, and they are the only Mister Handy robots that can be looted for some bottle caps as well as flamer fuel and scrap metal.
One unique named Mister Handy, a "broken personal assistant," can be found on the same floor of the Sunset Sarsaparilla headquarters as the two broken bottling robots, at the end of the hallway in a room. Like the name suggests, it probably once belonged to a Sunset Sarsaparilla executive. This seems even more likely considering his inventory consists of a pencil, clipboard, shot glass, and various other service-related items.
↑Tour guide: "Now for the highlight of our tour! Due to a generous donation from RobCo, this next exhibit showcases the wondrous world of - robots! Around you are the incredible Eyebot, the fearsome Sentry Bot, and the always-helpful Mr. Handy. That helpfulness runs through our whole line!" (Tour guide's dialogue)
↑Fallout 4 loading screens: "Created by General Atomics International as a domestic servant robot, Mister Handy is equipped with tools that can be used as weapons, if the need arises."
↑Fallout 76 loading screens: "The pride of General Atomics International, the Mister Handy was designed as the ultimate domestic servant. If needed, however, his various attachments can be used for defense."
↑Variants in Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4.