Polymorphic defences
Image from Steve Bowers
Combat Modubot swarm, using 'Holing' to reduce laser damage

Capable of linking together into a multitude of functional shapes, and of sustaining a basic personality when linked, these wheat-grain sized microbots are among the remarkable products of baseline human technology produced by the Ordinaries of Elsirac Ring and other hi-tech human worlds. While the Elsirac modubot sub-units are not the smallest, and certainly not the largest, of the various modular robotic systems produced by modotech they have become the most popular due to their versatility: They can even be used for foglet duties. This versatility is due to the many features each sub-unit has.

Each of these wheat-grain sized microbots resembles a short snake. Each has three telescoping and rotatable segments linked by universal joints. Each segment has a MITE array brain and four standardised connectors around their circumference, while the first and last segments also have a special connector/gripper/sensor head on their ends.

What defines modubots as a class over other modular robotic systems is their ability to self-assemble starting with a single sub-unit as well as self-reconfiguring as a swarm. To do this they require sensors to locate others in the swarm, and mobility, to link-up with them, built in. Compare this with blockbots, where some assembly is required. (House Stevens' blockbots come close; their sub-units have the mobility but the sensors are a separate accessory.)

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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers and AI Vin
Initially published on 23 June 2003.