When combined with mid to high explosives skill, the pulse grenade makes very short work of any sentry bot, protectron, Mister Handy, or any other drones or turrets. The pulse grenade is one of the most effective anti-robot weapons in the game, next to the pulse gun. Visually, when used the pulse grenade will make an electrical sphere, damaging anything inside. It can be enhanced with various perks, such as Demolition Expert, and Splash Damage. It only does light-to-moderate damage to non-robot enemies, but is also very effective against enemies wearing power armor.
Unlike in Fallout 3, pulse weapons in Fallout: New Vegas do have an effect on power armored non-player characters and the player. Use extreme caution when using any pulse weapons near friendly power armored non-player characters, or when wearing power armor yourself.
If ED-E is with you, care must be taken when using pulse grenades, particularly in Hardcore Mode. A single hit is capable of killing him, particularly with the Splash Damage perk. This can be somewhat offset by taking the Spray 'n Pray perk.
Despite the very low damage output, reverse pickpocketing one will still kill the target but will cause very little damage to the courier (provided they aren't wearing power armor) if they can't get out of the blast radius.