Manipulators (also known as hands or grippers) are a unique tool found attached to numerous robots across the Solar System. These permit them to interface with human objects and environments: coffee makers, keyboards, door knobs, power tools, clothing, the list goes on!

Devices similar to manipulators have existed throughout history since even long before the neuromorph was invented, but ultimately they found their home on interfacers, a style of robot designed to co-exist within the human world. Interfacers are the ideal size to fit through doors and use physical devices, such knobs and buttons.

Manipulators can also be found in nearly any other robot class, but much less consistently.

title:Robots without manipulators: Do robots without manipulators feel like they’re missing something?

For the most part, the answer is no! They do not.

Rather than seeking to modify their own chassis, robots during the Era of No Input have a tendency to team up with others with complementary abilities. Where interfacers with manipulators can touch the human world, other classes have their own strengths. For instance…

  • A teledexer may not have the ability to move in the physical realm, but they live half-way within the world of the digital. Their knowledge tends to be encyclopedic and extensive, as they were designed to excel at researching.

  • A drone will often be light and nimble, meaning they can navigate tight spaces where no other machine can fit. Drones often come with highly-specialized equipment found on no other system.

  • A behemoth’s raw size and power means they can typically rely on their brute force to solve a situation, such as crushing a pest or busting through a wall. Being able to carry heavy things also comes in handy more often than one would expect.

This is not always the case. Sometimes, morphs add or remove components from their physical chassis, or construct new bodies entirely. Usually this occurs when their mission requires it, and there are no other machines who can perform that task. On rarer occasions, neuromorphs change their chassis as they develop a sense of self-awareness and desire a body that can handle a re-interpreted core directive.

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