Diagnostic Drone (Beast Machines Transformers)

Beast Machines Transformers Diagnostic Drone

Vehicon faction symbol
Name: Diagnostic Drone
Allegiance: Vehicons
Function: Maintenance drone
Timeline: Generation 1 (Beast Era)

Analyse. Diagnose. Rectify... *sigh* Repeat.


Beast Machines Diagnostic Drone
Like most of his fellow units, the Diagnostic Drone was created with the purpose of carrying out an assortment of specific, assigned tasks, ranging from administrative and clerical tasks to routine maintenance of larger Cybertronians. While possessing no spark and therefore being classed as a non-sentient by post-war Cybertronian standards, the Diagnostic Drone has a sophisticated AI that allows it to assess data relating to its task and respond accordingly. But this particular Diagnostic Drone unit is far more advanced than his brethren. In need of a unit to help purge him of his beast mode, Megatron upgraded all the Diagnostic Drone's specifications, granting it a significantly more advanced AI than any of its brethren, and granting it full access to every medical datatrax within Cybertron's vast archives. As a result, the Diagnostic Drone has a fully developed personality; it can think and reason for itself, within the boundaries of its programming. If assessed against the Ambus test, it would easily be classified as sentient. The Diagnostic Drone has a sarcastic, cynical attitude and a sense of humour, which sometimes earns it the ire of Megatron. Megatron allows the Diagnostic Drone some freedom in carrying out its assigned objectives, and entertains its tactical suggestions when offered. Nonetheless, the Diagnostic Drone is less than nothing to Megatron. If he destroys it out of frustration, so be it. He can easily build a replacement unit.

Author notes:

The Diagnostic Drone is an interesting character in Beast Machines because it is like a droid from Star Wars. A non-sentient kind of machine that is used by his master to do menial tasks, and who is fully disposeable. I did like the Diagnostic Drone's banter with Megatron - my notes when I came to write this profile included "Alfred Pennyworth to Megatron's Batman". Of course, unlike Batman, Megatron really mistreats his robo-butler and pays very little regard to it. The last line of the bio is a call forward to that disregard, and was written on the basis of Tankor / Rhinox's eventual uprising against Megatron and his reprogramming of the Diagnostic Drone. That's also why I mentioned that the Diagnostic Drone can reason for itself "within the boundaries of its programming".

Another idea that came to my mind writing this was the possibility that somewhere, deep into Cybertron's future, there might actually end up being a drone uprising where more advanced models of Diagnostic Drones achieve full sentience and decide to make a play for emancipation. I've seeded a little of that idea in the bio. There's a nice parallel in there with how the Transformers themselves rose up against the Quintessons in the distant past, as well as the Beast Wars Uprising series of text stories published by the Transformers Collectors Club.

Toys of Beast Machines Transformers Diagnostic Drone

Unreleased Botcon Exclusive Diagnostic Drone

The Diagnostic Drone has never had a toy, but we did come fairly close to getting one. An unmade mock-up of a Botcon concept showcased how the Titans Return Crashbash mold could easily be retooled to make a suitable toy version of the Drone. It's a pity that one never came to pass, but if I were to get an extra Crashbash perhaps I'd take a shot at making my own custom.