One of the most widespread and popular models in RobCo Industries' catalog, the Protectron was designed as an inexpensive work drone, capable of performing a wide variety of tasks from construction, through security, to office duties. It's a compact, bipedal work drone with a pair of manipulators and integrated lasers for self-defense. The large dome contains the primary optic sensors (usually three) and the central processing unit that contains the robot's synthetic personality. For ease of maintenance, the Protectron is typically powered by a fission battery. As it was not intended for combat, at least not as a direct combatant, the Protectron only has a thin alloyed shell meant to protect its internal components from the environment and damage that could be sustained in the course of its duties. The head assembly is typically shielded by a semi-transparent or opaque dome from reinforced glass, though various hardware modifications were introduced before the war to enhance its effectiveness.
Numerous variants of the Protectron were available on the market, due to the its reliability and flexibility. Apart from the standard body, RobCo also offered construction drones with a shielded, reinforced head, emergency light, and internal power tools like nailguns, firefighter models with an internal cryo gun for fire suppression and additional protection from fire and debris, medic units with built-in defibrillators, and reinforced police models with tasers, stronger servomotors, and armored head. Even factory models could be customized with a variety of software and synthetic personalities to enhance its performance, making it a popular choice for both the private and public sectors. These included the R04 V9 "Office Helper" personality with integrated office protocols and scheduling software, RS3 V4.1.6 "Utility Helper" with remote maintenance routine download capability and pest extermination programs, and the RX2 V1.16.4 "Vault Helper", with all the necessary Vault protocols. Protectrons usually came with a special pod, for storage, maintenance, and recharging, and the Standard Protectron Control Interface v2.40 installed on terminals connected to the pod and responsible for controlling Protectrons slaved to it.
The introduction of the Protectron had a deleterious effect on the situation of workers in the United States. The efficiency and reliability of the Protectron made it a fantastic, tireless laborer easily displacing blue-collar workers, even in industries not affected by the ongoing war. Although companies would deny that the introduction of robotic workers was meant to replace human workers, the reality was that any company where Protectrons or other robots were introduced would soon see mass layoffs. In one particular instance, a Pittsburgh steel mill decided to lay off all of its workers citing budget cuts and the need to shut the plant down. When the workers started an occupation strike, the company simply allowed the new Protectron fleet to enter the facility and gun down the striking workers down to the last man.
Many protectrons were commissioned by the U.S. Army before the Great War of 2077. They are painted a dark olive drab with a white star on their chest. These mechanized soldiers still wander the wastes, attacking everything from radroaches to Brotherhood Outcasts. Interestingly, the Brotherhood Outcasts use their own protectrons which are painted in rust and black. The Pitt adds a new variety of protectron called the "factory protectron", which lacks a glass dome but possesses a single ocular lens, and a cage around the combat inhibitor. The top of where the dome would be appears to be made to look like a construction hard-hat and the body has a yellow coloration. Broken Steel adds "Enclave protectrons", which appear to be much newer, with red glass domes and a polished steel-gray finish. A special red-painted protectron also appears at the House of Wares in Point Lookout.
Protectrons in various areas have been programmed differently; the protectrons in the Nuka-Cola plant for example, say that they are operating under the authority of the Nuka-Cola Corporation as they attack you, with the words "Nuka-Cola!" being dubbed in from an exterior source. Other protectrons have even been supplied with sophisticated personalities, such as Button Gwinnett and Dean Dewey.
A protectron with the basic personality loaded can execute "sequences", lists of tasks to complete, such as patrolling an area for intruders or scanning passengers for tickets, in the case of the metro station protectrons. Some sequences may have been programmed by RobCo Industries, while others were written by robotics technicians at the locations where they are used. When not in use, a protectron unit is stored in a base pod, which also charges its battery. The protectron is connected to its base pod via radio uplink, and the pod is in turn linked to a control terminal or computer system, which can be hacked to release the protectron from stasis.
Protectrons have a glass dome on top of their heads that acts as an ocular lens that allows the protectron to scan its surroundings and act accordingly. This glass dome also houses a laser emitter that shoots a high-powered laser beam. The same type of laser is mounted in both of the protectron's "hands/claws". Although protectrons are rather slow and ponderous, their upper body can swivel up to about 90 degrees to either side before having to step into a different position, which means that they can easily keep track of their target.
All protectrons come with a combat inhibitor mounted on their back that allows them to selectively target opponents, depending on pre-programmed guidelines. The combat inhibitor is generally left exposed, making it easy to disable when approaching a protectron from behind. When the combat inhibitor is crippled, the robot will fly into a frenzy, automatically targeting the nearest possible target, regardless of any previous affiliation.
All protectrons have three laser weapons: one in each arm and another in their domed head. Due to it being similar to a laser pistol, they are ineffective at long-range attacks. Protectrons also lack any melee attack, and are slow to turn 180 degrees, leaving them vulnerable to attackers staying directly behind them.
These may be found roaming many parts of the wasteland. The player's first encounter with one may be Deputy Weld outside Megaton, but they will be found in many other places. Protectron carcasses are not uncommon, as robots will frequently attack stronger non-player characters, more often than not with fatal consequences to themselves. A Protectron is also found in the Chinese Intelligence bunker in Point Lookout.
Metro protectrons are protectrons found in many metro stations. When approached, they will ask the Lone Wanderer for a metro ticket. If they possess a ticket, then it will be automatically removed from their inventory and the protectron will remain friendly, continuing to walk around the metro station attacking any enemies. If they don't possess a ticket, the protectron will turn hostile.
On the Red and Blue metros in D.C., the associated red and blue pass cards serve this purpose. Metro protectrons have the same stats as the standard Protectrons, despite their mundane functions.
This model of protectron is only found active on the Nuka-Cola plant's factory floor. They are easily identified due to their distinctive color scheme, possessing a red border around their head and hands, with the logo of the Nuka-Cola Corporation emblazoned on their body. They are programmed with a generic guarding routine where they attack all intruders on sight. As part of this program, their speech systems are designed to fill in their owner's name with a recording (in this case, the recording is, "Nuka Cola!").
This model of protectron can be found in the Nuka-Cola plant's storage and mixing vats room, along with a nukalurk. It is located in a holding pod and can be activated by the nearby terminal. If activated, it will then begin to patrol the room, confused but friendly. The factory protectron will request to see the player's office ID, and if the player does not have an ID in their inventory the Protectron will become hostile. If an ID card has been acquired, then the Protectron will remain friendly towards the player, and will attack the Nukalurks.
These heavy duty industrial robots feature a reinforced "head", a cage on their backs to help guard the combat inhibitor and a distinctive yellow coloring. Markings on the left side of the "head" reads CP 1143-85. This model of protectron can be found in the Pitt steelyard, the Pitt underground and in the Supply plant.
This deactivated protectron appears only during the quest Reilly's Rangers. It will be found in a storage room of the Statesman Hotel's restaurant. Once the Lone Wanderer has reached the roof, Butcher will direct you to Donovan who asks you to retrieve the robot's fission battery, so it can be used to repair the broken elevator.
A one of a kind named protectron model, which is locked up in a holding pod in the National Archives' Archival Strongroom. The player may encounter it, but unlike the Thomas Jefferson robot, it cannot be reprogrammed during the last part of the quest Stealing Independence. It has the same appearance as Button Gwinnett. It was always intended to be a standby protection unit ready to be programmed in case any of the historical reenactor protection units broke down.
This protectron model has been reprogrammed by the Brotherhood Outcasts, and is generally found being used as a sentry or to supplement Outcast patrols. One can be found patrolling the overpass bridge near Fort Independence, while others may be randomly encountered with Brotherhood Outcast patrols near Vault 101 or the Scrapyard. Outcast protectrons do not have the blue color of the common protectron, nor the typical Outcast red paint job, but are instead decorated with a rusty, brownish color. They will sometimes refrain from assisting other Outcasts, such as during the Raider attack on Fort Independence.
Although the official trailer depicts all metro protectron units as having a "Taxi" paint-job, only the Old Olney protectron and some deactivated protectrons in the Robot repair center have this color scheme.
When activated, a Metro protectron attempts to contact computers at Metro Central, but doesn't receive any response. Because of this, it is authorized to use "lethal force".
If you have a follower they will not be attacked by a Metro protectron, despite not having a ticket.
In some cases (most notably the Super-Duper Mart protectron), talking to an "Office Protectron" will cause it to say "Hello fellow Office Worker, may I see your ID?" If the protectron does not receive an office employee ID from the player, it will later say "Scan failed. Please show ID or leave the building." After another period of time, it will finish by saying "Intruder alert! Prepare to be forcibly removed!" However, it will turn hostile for a second but it will then return to neutral mode and walk off.
PCPlaystation 3Xbox 360 Protectrons are known to have physics glitches when laying dead in ragdoll mode, specifically when transiting from a cell via doorway into one with a dead protectron in it, or when loading a saved game with a dead protectron in the vicinity. When this happens, they get flung high into the air, or will jiggle as if being electrocuted. [verified]
PCXbox 360 Sometimes protectrons are rendered as allies, but will attack on sight. Sometimes the compass will still render the protectron "allies", until you kill or knock them down. [verified]
PC Sometimes a protectron will literally fall out of the sky to be crippled on impact. [verified]
PCXbox 360 If you later return to the Statesman Hotel, the maintenance protectron there might be alive and hostile. [verified]
↑The Courier: "The display case is empty. The gun's missing." Primm Slim: "Have you gone loco, pardner? I can see the gun with my own three photo sensors from where I'm standing right now. [You hear strange sounds coming from Primm Slim. He may be trying to read a corrupted file, but it would take more science knowledge to be sure.]" (Primm Slim's dialogue)
↑The Lone Wanderer: "Any clue where I can find a Fission Battery?" Butcher: "When we passed the maintenance room, I spied a deactivated Protectron inside. Just wrench open its access panel and you'll find it." (Butcher's dialogue)
↑Supply plant terminals; Terminal, Private Entry #2: "I've managed to delay a rather large shipment of Protectrons today. I told management that we've been having problems with the previous batch of robots and are not prepared for another batch anytime soon. This is complete bullshit of course, the robots work perfectly. They outperform our best worker by a factor of five. The men continue to lose morale day after day. Some blame me, but they don't understand that this is completely out of my hands. I am doing everything I can to help these men keep their jobs. Tom McMullin Supply Plant Supervisor"
↑Supply plant terminals; Terminal, Regarding New Protectrons: "There have been several complaints in the past couple of weeks regarding the new Factory Protectrons installed throughout the plant. Some of you feel this is the first step in the long process of phasing out the human aspect of the plant. Please be assured that this is not our intention. The new Protectrons are here only to protect you, the workers. Also, please remember to carry your ID with you at all times. The Protectrons are programmed to make sure those present in the plant are valid employees. - Management"
↑Supply plant terminals; Terminal, Private Entry #1: "I brought it up with Management today that the men down at the plant aren't taking the new shipment of robots lightly. They fear losing their jobs and I don't blame them. It's my job to make sure morale stays high no matter what happens. It's hard to look each man in the eye and tell him that he has nothing to worry about even though I very well know he'll be unemployed in less than a month. I don't know how long I can continue to lie to these men. Tom McMullin Supply Plant Supervisor"
↑Supply plant terminals; Terminal, Private Entry #3: "Management made a surprise visit to the plant today. I guess they stopped believing what I've been telling them about the robots not performing to standards. They saw first hand the speed and efficiency of the robots. Unfortunately, they also caught two employees in the act of tearing apart a Protectron and smashing it with a sledgehammer. I was to blame of course. The men are starting to believe I'm working closely with the managers and helping them in every way possible to save my own skin. Tom McMullin Supply Plant Supervisor"
↑Supply plant terminals; Terminal, Private Entry #4: "News broke out today over the loud speakers that everyone needs to vacate the plant by 1 PM. "Due to budget cuts, this plant is shutting down." The men knew at once there was no budget cut. They ultimately decided I was to blame, having seniority in this section of the plant. As soon as I heard the news, I grabbed my pistol and made for the exit. It was quickly barricaded. I turned around and ran into this utility closet and locked the door behind me. I'll stay in here until the men go home. Tom McMullin Supply Plant Supervisor"
↑Supply plant terminals; Terminal, Private Entry #5: "The men won't leave. They're determined to wait until I come out. Probably going to give me one hell of a beating, that I'm sure of. I wish they understood how hard I worked for them, how I used every opportunity to delay the inevitable. They better get going though, it's almost 1 PM. The robots will be here in a half hour, sooner if management hears of what's happening. Tom McMullin Supply Plant Supervisor"
↑Supply plant terminals; Terminal, Private Entry #6: "I begged them to leave before the robots got here. They laughed and said they'd take care of the robots, it's me they wanted. Then came the familiar rattle of a Protectron. That got their attention. I soon heard laughter, cursing, and screaming down the hall. I opened the door and stepped outside. A couple of the workers burst around the corner screaming for help. A red laser lashed out from down the hall and severed Tim's right arm in two. I panicked and ran back into the closet and shut the door. The men slammed into the door and begged me to open it. I didn't say a word, just sat stunned, listening to their screams of agony as the robot finished them off one by one. Then silence. I put my ear to the door and listened. I heard the clanking of Protectron feet down the hall. I grabbed my pistol and backed away from the door. No way am I opening this door for anyone or anything! Whoever reads this, let it be known that I did everything in my power to keep everyone's job at the plant. And let this be an example of how not to replace humans with machines. Tom McMullin Supply Plant Supervisor"