A DX-11 Exploratory Drone is a type of Tau Drone (small, disc-shaped, semi-sentient machine) employed extensively alongside Tau Space Hulk exploratory expedition teams. Exploratory Drones consist of an advanced processor unit, which individually has only a basic intelligence (approximately equal to that of a small animal such as a pterasquirrel), and moves about by way of a compact anti-gravitic generator and much modified variant of Tau Jetpack. This allows the DX-11 to hover over the ground and skim over most obstacles.
The DX-11 Exploratory Drone is a derivative of the DX-4 Technical Drone, and was very recently developed in response to the first encounter with the Space Hulk Mortis Thule in the Canis Salient of the Jericho Reach. It was developed alongside the XV46 Vanguard Void Battlesuit, and is designed to aid those Battlesuits in Tau exploration expeditions into Space Hulks. The DX-11 is fitted with the limited armament of a single Pulse Carbine for basic self-defence, and also contains an array of sensory and high-powered communications equipment to aid their explorations. DX-11 Exploratory Drones are typically sent off to roam an unexplored area of a Space Hulk autonomously, searching for anything of interest while an operator views their findings and makes command decisions. Their potent sensors and communications, along with their powerful anti-gravitic motors, allow them to identify, report, and respond quickly to developing situations when properly directed.
A DX-11's primary seeker protocol is to locate targets, threats and obstacles and observe them until instructed otherwise. If threatened, an Exploratory Drone will swiftly act to conceal itself by clamping down onto a suitable surface, transmit an alert to its operator, and await instructions. it will power down its engines to avoid detection and reserve its limited firepower only for moments of absolute necessity. A DX-11 will remain in this state until it is discovered or commanded otherwise. Exploratory Drones typically operate as individual units, regrouping into small squadrons only when instructed, typically during search-and-destroy operations. If an Exploratory Drone is within close proximity to its master, it can act as a form of robotic bodyguard if necessary by getting in the way of incoming enemy fire or close-combat opponents during the course of a battle. An Exploratory Drone will also utilise its Pulse Carbine in direct support or defence of its operator.
All Exploratory Drones that are attached to a Tau exploratory unit are controlled by a device known as a Drone Controller which is usually integrated into a support system for a Tau Battlesuit. A Drone Controller is an electronic device which acts as a hub of digital communications between the Drone's operator and up to two Drones that accompany the user. It allows a user to communicate his will to any Drone directly under his control. Most of the time, the controller operates at a default level that simply keeps the Drone obeying its basic programming, but the owner can also use it to issue simple orders beyond the Drone’s normal parameters.
Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical SpecificationsEdit
- Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), pp. 25, 31, 35
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pg. 282
- Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos (RPG), pp. 12
- Deathwatch Ark of Lost Souls (RPG) pg. 123