Robobrains were created before the Great War by General Atomics International both 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. Rarely, some used the robobrain technology as a means of life extension. They underwent the procedure willingly and were not mind wiped. Bert Riggs, a lead developer of the robobrain project, lived hundreds of years beyond the war this way.
A robobrain moves on a tracked chassis (using dual 40 hydro-processor motors), either on a fixed or flexible mount. This is attached to a sizable cylindrical torso with a reinforced 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 their 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 its neural connection to the rest of the body, affecting the robot's performance. Feeding the organic brain information about its 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 for operating in unlighted areas.
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.
Robobrains are a fairly common sight in the Capital Wasteland. They can be found in many abandoned buildings, in use by groups such as the Enclave and the Brotherhood Outcasts, or even simply wandering the wastes.
There are three variants of the robobrain. The first, and most common, is the military variant used by the U.S. Army. It is painted green and bears a serial number. They are more commonly used by various factions. Less common is the gray-colored civilian model, seen wandering the wasteland at random. The Point Lookoutadd-on introduces the final variant, the robobrain sentry, which is identical to the civilian model but with significantly more health.
Robobrains are substantially more durable, accurate, and dangerous than the more commonly encountered protectron. Armed with a pair of integrated lasers each roughly equal in power to a laser pistol, the robobrain is a moderate threat, though easy to damage due to its size and extreme vulnerability to head shots. Every robobrain has a combat inhibitor on its back, and if the inhibitor is crippled, the robobrain will frenzy and attack indiscriminately.
Robobrains also possess a built-in Mesmetron. This attack does not cause much damage, but it may instantly cripple the head of the player character (dealing 1000 damage to the body part) and inflict the concussion status effect, resulting in blurred vision, hindered accuracy, and -4 base Perception. This is used to discourage melee and close-ranged attacks, where the robobrain is weakest.