Robobrains were created before the Great War by General Atomics International for the U.S. military and for the civilian sector. Official government records list only chimpanzee brains as being used in the robots, but at least some human brains were taken from the bodies of executed criminals. Many of these criminals were insane, so the resulting robobrains also tended to be unstable, despite complete reprogramming via the CODE technology. Some of these human-robobrains hybrids would try to kill themselves, apparently resenting being made into cyborgs.
A robobrain moves on a tracked chassis (using dual 40 hydro-processor motors), either on a fixed or flexible mount. This is conjoined to a sizable cylindrical torso with a hardened glass dome on top, housing the central processing unit with the organic brain suspended inside. In addition, to use consoles, operate levers, or engage targets with weapons, they have two flexible manipulators, ending in three point claws, on the sides of their torsos.
Robobrains were going to be the next generation of robotic soldier in the war against China, but their production costs made it difficult to implement that introduction into the American military.
The robobrain's organic brain is suspended in pressurized bio med gel (which is the primary reason the brains can continue to function for several centuries). Any damage to the casing or the brain itself can disrupt the robot's brainwaves and damage it's neural connection to the rest of the body, affecting the robot's performance. Feeding the organic brain information about it's surroundings are special sensors (typically with software written in 2076 installed), called Sensors '76. Apart from providing a real-time high resolution feed of the robot's surroundings, they are also capable of switching to infrared mode, in case the main sensors, for one reason or another, become useless.
The manipulators in some robobrain models are designed to operate regular human weaponry (such as AK-112 assault rifles), while some others have integrated laser guns (wattage equivalent to AEP7 laser pistols), supported by integrated mesmetrons. In addition, all robobrains have a built-in voice synthesizer.
This robobrain variant was created by gene splicing a lobotomite and Mister Orderly, an experiment run on a terminal in the X-8 research center. Its purpose was to see the effects of gene splicing humans and robots, which subsequently gave the original brain of the robot a state of awareness. After the splice it will wander around the platform it was created on, asking questions about its own existence and explode shortly after.
"I wish there was some other way we could have worked this out."
"I hope we can still be friends when this is all over."
"I'm a much better tactician then you. It's all in the brain, you see."
"Please believe me when I say , I'm not enjoying this."
"What..? I feel like this has happened before. I feel awake for the first time, what is going on? What is this strange new world around me? What does it hold in store for a dreamer such as myself?" (X-8 robobrain)
Just like the sentry bot, protectron and Mister Handy, despite having a Melee Damage implemented in them, they will not use their attacks on the player, no matter how close they are. This is either because the Melee action hasn't been scripted in, or because it simply relies on the laser attacks and mesmetron attacks more than its weaker melee attack.
The questions and dialogue prior to the X-8 robobrain's demise are a lot like the conversations made by Johnny 5, another self-aware robot, from the film Short Circuit.
It is also possible that it relates to the sperm whale from Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, in which, upon its random creation, the whale begins to question the world and its role in it, before dying shortly afterwards.
The robobrains in Fallout: New Vegas are voiced by Wil Wheaton.