The quest is started as soon as the player downloads the Automatron add-on and is level 15. The Sole Survivor is notified to listen to the new caravan distress call that has appeared on their radio. Upon listening to it, they are notified to head over to an area near Wattz Consumer Electronics. Once there, they will find a multitude of robots battling it out beneath a highway. Once all enemy robots have been defeated, the player speaks with Ada and the quest ends.
My Pip-Boy is picking up a distress call signal. I should listen to it to see what it says.
Find the Caravan
The distress signal told me the caravan was just east of Wattz Consumer Electronics. If I want to help them, I need to get there fast.
Eliminate the Hostile Robots
When I arrived at the caravan site, the travelers were already dead. I saw a robot being attacked by several other robots that I've never seen before. If I help this lone robot, perhaps I can learn more about what's going on.
Speak to Ada
Now that I've rescued the robot, I should speak to it and find out what's going on.
pcxboxoneps4 After reaching Wattz Consumer Electronics, and following the quest marker, you won't find any caravan or Ada. Walking to the quest marker will remove the caravan distress call, and complete the objective, but no hostile robots will spawn leaving the Automatron unplayable.[verified]
A possible solution is to load an older save outside of the Cambridge area before starting the quest.
If you delete your saves so you don't have any outside of Cambridge you can uninstall Automatron, make a save outside of Cambridge, then install Automatron again.
pcxboxone After eliminating the robots, Ada may be sporadically and quickly moving around in all directions, making it impossible for the Sole Survivor to interact with her. [verified]
For PC open the console select Ada and disable her, then enable her and she will behave properly.
Throwing a grenade at her seems to fix this.
pcps4xboxone If the distress call is not listened to immediately after the quest spawns, that station may fail to play, preventing the quest from moving to the next step and the quest marker at Wattz Consumer Electronics from spawning. It will still be possible to travel to the caravan's location and engage in the battle. It is unclear whether this bug is triggered by fast travel or loading of an environment in general. [verified]
pc The next stage of the quest can be activated with the console command setstage DLC01MQ01 2200.
pcps4xboxone After killing all the robots, you are prompted to speak with Ada. Some players have experienced the inability to activate any kind of dialogue with Ada rendering the quest unable to complete. [verified]
pc You can skip this quest with the console command setstage DLC01MQ01 3000, and since talking to Ada is the last part of this quest you won't miss much.
Sometimes this is caused by Ada attempting to continually enter combat with targets in the area, due to this area's high spawn rate. If this is the case, enter the nearby Wattz Electronics, and use xx00ff12.moveto player.
xboxoneThis may happen if the player "Deactivates" the robots instead of killing them. Killing them will fix this issue.
ps4 Sometimes right after downloading the DLC and starting it on US copies of the game, the character associated to the DLC will speak a different language but the subtitles will come up in English. [verification overdue]
pc Dismissing a companion to take Ada and then quickly asking them to follow you again (and thereby dismissing Ada) will cause the quest to instantly complete.[verification overdue]
pc If you are having script lag issues the quest will not update if you take Ada with you immediately when talking to her, you need to say you will do it later, sending her to a settlement; that will allow Mechanical Menace to finish, although you may have to wait quite a while until the next stage starts.[verification overdue]