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Long-distance robots ☸

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:26 am
by Align
I love watching my construction robots build everything for me, but it gets impractical with extending the roboport network to mining outposts, so some way to deliver a roboport and some construction robots (and some form of power generation) would be lovely.

I'm imagining a larger, heavier kind of flying robot, with much better battery distance, but it would have to work a little different from the deconstruct/blueprint mechanic since it has to carry items too. Call it a Transport Drone, and use a Transport Plan to drag a selection box; everything in the box - including buildings and items on the ground - gets picked up and delivered (once you choose the destination). Give it an inventory slot and it can carry a whole stack of things (like robots)!

Would probably require a new type of frame, which could also be appropriate for an Attack Drone, but I'll leave that as automated combat is kind of controversial as things look now.

Re: Long-distance robots

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:55 pm
by piggy2
also the roboport range for those should be 150x150

Re: Long-distance robots

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:28 pm
by Align
Yeah they definitely need way more range than regular bots. I was originally thinking of them as nearly car-sized, needing a landing pad of their very own to recharge, and how this would result in large fields of "parking lots" for them if you want an army of attack drones - cue Ride of the Valkyries - but decided to keep it simple.

Re: Long-distance robots

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:58 am
by ssilk
Hm. There are some ideas going into that direction, the best I found: ... f=6&t=1941
The point here is in my opinion this: ... 053#p14003
This described long-distance bot has only one usage. The second usage could be exploring?

BTW: it has by far a too low range for that. Should be 500 minimum or so.

Re: Long-distance robots

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:47 pm
by Align
Yeah, left range undefined for similar reasons.
As for other uses than moving buildings outside the roboport range, I was thinking they could pick up alien artifacts, but then I realized you wouldn't want them flying in before you wipe out the biters, and then you can just collect them yourself... Mostly I wanted something to work with the RTS direction, especially the "throne" idea where you stop walking around in person and just have robots do everything for you.

Hmm... well, I don't want to make trains redundant, I like the way they work. Hard to allow delivering buildings and items (like construction 'bots) without also allowing transporting chests full of ore or similarly overpowered manoeuvres though.

Isn't the throughput awful for robots at the kinds of distances you'd be using trains? If it's just a convenient but slower alternative that doesn't seem so bad.

Maybe a mobile Roboport would be enough...

Re: Long-distance robots

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:58 pm
by SHiRKiT
Break systems and supply on frontier chests with supply your mining outpost might need and you should be good to go. Although, I still prefer the idea of colored layered logistics systems.

Re: Long-distance robots

Posted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:14 am
by ssilk
I try to put the things together:

- Construction bots, as they are now, work very well, as long as you keep in range of - let's say - 100-150 tiles (a radius of 100 tiles around their source/target).
- To make things easier I assume we have a "center", where the items are and the "target", which is normally at the border, which is the radius around the center.
- if you enlarge the construction area (=expanding the radius), you have two problems:
--- delay: The bots need time to go from a roboport (where they are parked) to the resource and then to the target (or vice versa)
--- concentration: When the bots are finished they go to the nearest port. That's either in the center or at the target area. This increases the delay even more.
- Long delay means, that you cannot built fast. You need to wait for a some items to be placed (especially the roboports and their power-supply)

So, I think the problem is mainly the delay: The time needed from placing a construction to the built.

What can be done to reduce that delay?

- We can bring the source more to the target.
--- The problem is that this spawns like 2r * pi : With expanding radius around the center, the number of resources you need to place at the border expands with 2r*pi. This is too expensive.
--- The storage chests have an ugly behavior when deconstructing: Once filled with an item, everything it placed in there. Bad if you want to cut 1000 trees. You cannot set another storage chest: It isn't used!
And so on.

The logical solution is a somehow "mobile" chest. Something, which can move (more or less slowly, it must not be so fast as the bots), which brings the needed items (or transports the deconstructed items back. Some needed parameters:
- Should be as big as a a logistic chest.
- Can drive (fly?) everywhere.
- No need to micromanage it. It searched itself the best targets.
- There is a need to have something like a "station", some place where the vehicle can be loaded or unloaded.
- Bots can use this vehicle as running roboport.

Well, some things already mentioned above, I think I put the stuff here together.

Re: Long-distance robots

Posted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:07 pm
by Align
Come to think of it, I think I saw a mod where you could construct a Roboport train. That would work perfectly for making outposts, with the bots laying the tracks in front of the train - at least, if the trains' inventory works as a storage chest. But where did I see it? Hm.
SHiRKiT wrote:Break systems and supply on frontier chests with supply your mining outpost might need and you should be good to go. Although, I still prefer the idea of colored layered logistics systems.
I... didn't really understand any of that. Could you rephrase?


Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:24 pm
by ssilk
Epic: This is part of an epic: "Faster construction of distant areas"

Userstory: For faster construction we need some new kind of long-range bots. See details in ... 96#pr44204
Prerequisites: Incomplete.
Game-value: Game changing, the game could go much faster into distant areas.
Developer-costs: High. :)
User-opinions: Not really known.

Re: Long-distance robots ✓

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:43 am
by aRatNamedSammy
i like to build large base, totally covered for repair/replacement by bots... so any upgrade of bots battery capacity, bots size, bots kinds , bigger range of ports, mobile-ports, wagon-ports , ectt... i agree :D