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Hummingbird Hunter-Killer

design by Nick Bradbeer

Super Nova Remnant from SN1987a

Nebula Award Winner

There should be a picture at the top of the advertisement, but since this is ASCII; the Hummingbird is a flattened sphere, with a series of ducted fans around the base, sensor ports around the waist and a cluster of ports at the front holding weapons, sensors and designation equipment. A recess in the top surface, slightly offset to left of centreline, contains a folded manipulator arm with a sensor cluster in the wrist. Another, smaller manipulator lies in a second recess to its right.

Vesper Technologies present the Hummingbird; the smart choice in automated defensive systems. The Hummer is a small hunter-killer bot with a great deal of versatility in combat, and an emphasis on smart fighting. If you're willing to pay for the best, you don't want it to wade in with guns blazing and get itself killed. The Hummer fights from cover - locating, stalking and then swooping in for a rapid one-shot kill with minimal risk to self. (It can also serve as an eye-in-the-sky sensor platform, searching out targets with its EMS array, and lasing them for remote missile or LGB attacks.)

Accordingly we've built the Hummer around the acclaimed Hebron Thought Systems 13b Brain, with the Release Three overdrive processor, giving outstanding processing ability in operation. 16% of the dynamic memory comes on easy-to-upgrade socket modules, allowing rapid optimisation of skillset with changing mission parameters - essential in todays fluid battlefield.

The range of sensors feeding this brain is phenomenal, allowing the Hummer to know exactly what's going on before it engages a target. Full surround vision is provided by a quintuplet of visual-spectrum eyes located around the bot's waist, with a sensor cluster on the front containing a Cyberline InTek Wide Spectrum Visual Eye, actually a military-grade bionic implant custom altered to fit the Hummer. The cluster also holds an audio sensor system, radiation and magnetic sensors, and an infra-red motion tracking system. Backing up this whole suite is a space-quality Passive EMS Array, with a 0.5m antenna giving pinhead resolution out to 30km.

For covert observation, the Sensory/Manipulator Arm may be unfolded from the bot's roof, allowing observation over cover with a comprehensive multi-sensing suite, containing IR and ultrasonic motion trackers, an imaging-enhancing eye and an amplifying audio circuit. The Manipulatory Assistant Arm also contains a tactile sensor, laser cutter and chemical projector. In concert with plug-in memory modules or RCV control these allow the robot to pick locks, pick up and fire small arms, access and retrieve valuable items such as computer chips, perform repair work, and a whole host of other specialised tasks.

When the time comes to fight, the Hummer is no weakling. Armed for a graduated series of targets, a number of options are available. Against soft targets, like unarmoured personnel or light vehicles, the robot has a centrally mounted rapid-fire laser rifle. Powered directly from the robot's reactor, this fires one hundred and eight pulses per minute with an effective range of a kilometre.

For tougher targets; battledress, or light armoured vehicles, a 20-shot fusion gun is carried. Slightly shorter ranged than the laser, this will punch a hole through 12mm of Bonded Superdense armour at two hundred metres. The ammunition bin is easily accessible for third-party- or self-reloading, and the bot can carry five more full ammo loads in one of its two cargo bays.

For the most heavily armoured targets, tanks, spacecraft or heavy armoured vehicles, the Hummer engages in the safest possible way. Using an integral laser designator, the bot paints the target for engagement by a missile-armed third party. We recommend the Vesper Technologies Firedrake, carrying Tacoma Flying Fish antiarmour missiles, for best results.

Which brings me on to the final, and most novel feature of the Hummingbird design. The command system features a Slave Control Receiver, allowing external command of the unit. This allows the bot to serve as remote eyes, hands and guns for a human operator, or another bot. In tests a Hummingbird has even performed first aid and CPR on a dummy human, controlled by a field medic from eight kilometres away.

Hummingbird Hunter-Killer

General Data

Tech Level: 14
Price: 2.835 MCr
Size: 1 m3
Mass: 2.58 tonnes

Engineering Data

Power Plant: 0.9 MW Fusion Power Plant. (360 days LHyd Fuel = 89 litres)
Transmission: Hi-Efficiency Contra-Grav; 0.675 tonne Ducted Fans.
Suspension: Ducted Fan / Contra-Grav
Maint: 1


Brain: TL-13b
Logic: High Autonomous
Command: Full
Intelligence: 6
Computer: None other than Robot Brain.
Avionics: TL-14 Nav Aids (Integrated IGS Positioning), TL-14 Terrain Following (180 kmh NOE speed)
Commo: 30km maser command link, 3km radio, 3km laser designator (on sensor arm)
Sensors: 1 x 30km Passive EMS Array, 1 x WSV Eye, 5 x Visible Spectrum Eye, 1 x Audio Sensor, 1 x IR Motion Detector, 1 x Magnetic Sensor, 1 x Radiation Sensor, 1 x Imaging Enhancing Eye (on sensor arm), 1 x IR Motion Detector (on sensor arm), 1 x Ultrasonic Motion detector (on sensor arm), 1 x Amplifying Ear (on sensor arm), 1 x Limited Tactile Sensor (on sensor arm).
ECM/ECCM: EM Masking
Cargo: 2 x 25 litre cargo bays
Peripherals: Video Display, Voder/Speaker, Laser Cutter (on sensor arm), Chemical Projector (on sensor arm), Slave Controller System, Laser Cutter (on sensor arm), Chemical Projector (on sensor arm), 1xSensor/Manipulator Arm, 1xManipulator Assistant Arm.

ArmVolumeAGLSTRLiftHitUMDWeapon AMD
Sensory/Manipulator Arm 10 liters46300kg103--
Manipulator Assistant Arm 5 liters9125kg151--


Offensive 1 x 8.1cm TL-14 DEI Laser Rifle, 1 x 4.7cm TL-14 Fusion Gun
Defensive: None
Stablization: Both weapons have Advanced Stabilisation (Fire at any speed)

WeaponROF DamDice Pen Val Magaz S Range
8.1-cm Laser RifleAuto-3 8-4-2-1Nil - 260m
4.7-cm Fusion Gun SA-13333-33-17-320110m


Travel Move: 3500/1080 kph
Combat Move: 250
Endurance: 360 days


Front: 40
Side: 40
Rear: 40
Deck: 40
Belly: 40

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