Robot Tasks

Robots, the lovable subjects as well as diligent workforce of a Robot colony, will need to perform many different tasks to keep the colony afloat. But what exactly are they doing all the time? It may be:

  • Transporting stuff. This is likely to be the most often occuring task.
  • Operating machinery. Some buildings require robots to work.
  • Harvesting resources. Some resources can be harvested without special machinery.
  • Building. This happens after transporting resources to a building site.
  • Going somewhere. If the presence of a Robot at a certain place is requested.
  • Consuming strawberries. The highlight of the day for a little worker drone.
  • Entertaining Humans. Before they do anything unwise.
  • Pausing or defective states:
    • Recuperating and Resting. After a strawberry binge or human overload.
    • Standby. If there is nothing left to do for a Robot.

Future tasks, past the things capable for a first release, may include:

  • Herding animals. (Specific kind of operating machinery.)
  • Create art. (Specific kind of building.)
  • Defective state: Out of energy/fuel. Usually, Robots do take care to not run out; but in exceptional circumstances it might happen.
  • Equip item.
  • Malfunction. Some robots might turn defective, for a time or permanently.

Some tasks might carry multiple names (e.g. harvesting might also be called mining), but can employ the same Robot programming, which in turn keeps robots simple. Other tasks, for example entertainment of humans, might involve other tasks as subtasks, depending on the kind of entertainment to be provided.

The list of basic tasks that other tasks build upon are:

  • Move to place. Special case: Move to a unit, e.g. a human, robot, animal (Parameters: Target).
  • Take or give resource. (Parameters: Resource type, amount, required time, direction).
  • Interact with building, to e.g. operate, build, use (Parameters: Target, required time, animation).
  • Set a building or unit state, e.g. as built, entertained, harvested.
  • Wait an amount of time (Parameters: Required time).
  • Perform a stationary activity, like entertaining or consumption (Parameters: Animation, required time).

Furthermore, all (composite) tasks have a description and, computed from the basic tasks, a starting location and duration.

 

Furthermore, some tasks can preempt others: A Robot that runs out of fuel will halt its task to search for a supply. More intelligent robots will try to estimate the amount of fuel required for an upcoming task, and, if critical, decide to refill prior to starting the job.

There are thus two task sources: Global tasks, as generated by the Robot colony, for example to carry stuff around, and a Robot’s individual tasks, to satisfy Strawberry desire or to move back home. Individual tasks may either preempt global tasks or not, or may switch from non-preemptive to preemptive if the urgency rises.

Global Storage Display

Just a short notice: Red Robot now shows the global inventory in all storages, buildings and carried by robots, as over there to the right. In that test, only one Oxygen Filter exists, so its local storage equals the global inventory shown in the upper left.

This global knowledge about available resources paves the way for the next bit of functionality: Logistics! With this info, the game can automatically generate transportation tasks to, e.g., carry the Oxygen from the Oxygen Filter to the Strawberry Pergola — which will use the Oxygen to raise the savoury morsels every Robot desires!

 

Buildings.

Red Robot now has buildings! The first type to see the light of day, and the nurture of loving, caring robots, is the Oxygen Filter. Please gently swivel your eyes down to see for yourselves:

As is to be expected, this is only the first in a longer list of buildings to be expected. The first set of buildings focusses on factories, buildings that convert one kind of resource into another. These are the ones to be expected:

  • Oxygen Filters: They extract the precious oxygen from the air. Beware, however, that they can deplete the air of oxygen, which in turn might anger the oh-so-oxygen-dependent humans.
  • Iron Smelters: With the power of Oxygen, these create pure, beautiful iron out of old human transporters, harvested from omnipresent roads.
  • Silicon Furnaces: A silicon furnace splits sand into its elemental parts and sieves out the silicon atoms.
  • Aluminium Crushers: From a big hunk of rock, this factory will squeeze all aluminium atoms within. As a side product, this factory outputs large chunks of rock waste, which needs to be stored somewhere. Also, as its iron crushing claws tear down rather fast, it needs a steady supply of iron.
  • Strawberry Pergolas: In these havens of beauty, the most prized possessions of all, the sweet, succulent Strawberry, is nurtured and fostered into full growth, until ready to be feasted upon.

Additionally, further buildings will be required that do not produce per se, but fulfil a different need:

  • Storage: These buildings, well, store stuff. Anything, really.
  • Robot Assemblies: Here new robots will first see the light of day. These differ from regular factories, as they require varying resources depending on the robot to be produced, and need manual operation by other robots.
  • Robot Recuperation and Resting Resort: Sometimes, robots feasting on Strawberries do not know or forget their own limits and over-indulge. To cool down, others drag them to these resorts, where they can convalesce and re-learn to treat themselves properly.

Well, now that factories are a thing in the world of Red Robot, the next bit of work is cut out: Having robots carry resources to and fro, as well as designating their construction. On we go!