One of the most widespread and popular models in RobCo Industries' catalogue. The protectron was designed as an inexpensive work drone, capable of performing a wide variety of tasks from construction, through security, to office duties. Produced from at least 2063, 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. However, the internal temperature of certain Protectrons can reach up to 1000 degrees for cooking foods, giving them extreme internal heat resistance. The head assembly is typically shielded by a semi-transparent or opaque dome from reinforced glass. Although various hardware modifications were introduced before the war to enhance its effectiveness.
Numerous variants of the protectron were available on the market, due to 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 heads. Even factory models could be customized with a variety of software and synthetic personalities to enhance its performance. This ability to customize made 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 harmfully affected 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.
Protectrons advance slowly towards enemies, utilizing long range weapons. Normal protectron hand lasers deal little energy damage, but if equipped with railway rifles that they use as nailguns, such as the utility protectrons in the Appalachian Automated Launch System missile silo reactor chambers, the damage can be staggering, if not fatal. Protectrons can also have their regular energy weapons replaced with melee weapons based on their profession, or even have the energy weapons modified to act as flamethrowers or tasers.
When close enough to be within melee range of their target, protectrons will simply swing their hands and arms at the target, dealing low physical damage against it, but the melee strikes are stronger with higher-level protectrons. Protectrons equipped with robobrain treads instead of normal legs will also be able to ram an enemy by charging at them for heavy damage.
If their arms are destroyed, rendering them unable to use their melee or ranged weaponry, protectrons will attempt a final suicide attack with setting their internal power cores to go critical, with the explosion equal to that of a mini nuke. Once dismantled, protectrons can be looted for aluminum, steel, or lead scrap, along with fusion cells for energy weapons.
A special protectron found manning one of the reception desks at the Whitespring Resort. Its chassis has been decorated with a tuxedo design and a mustache. Despite being a bellman, it is prohibited from assisting with carrying guests' luggage due to union regulations.
A protectron encountered at Gilman lumber mill whose primary directive is to cut down trees. It may dispense wood when the player character interacts with it. It has been programmed to fear losing its job to "cheap human labor."