|“||T-Dolls have all the right to strive for beauty. If you want to be cold and unfeeling, you might as well be a Military automaton. Sure, they're mighty, but their existence only involves killing and being killed. Peace can only be possible if people yearn for goodness and beauty.||”|
An automaton or a droid (see translation notes) is an AI-piloted humanoid robot originally designed to serve as an easily replaceable fire platform for military operations. In modern parlance, they are distinct from Dolls, which is a term reserved for androids outfitted with a Neural Cloud granting them human-like behaviors.[Note 1] Automatons' AIs are comparatively simpler than Dolls'.
Development and history
Automatons are visually separated from Dolls by their unmistakably robotic appearance: they have no bionic skin to hide their mechanical parts and their head and feet units are not human-shaped. They however retain a general humanoid shape, with two legs, two arms and a separate head unit, which may be a remnant of early attempts at optimizing Dolls movement range.
Appearance and behaviour
Military and security droids have never been shown speaking or doing anything else than fight according to human orders.
Pavel, an old civilian railroad maintenance droid, is depicted as possessing a basic level of human intelligence and speech: he read books and became fascinated by The Little Prince. Another GIRTM collected raw gold nuggets found during their work seemingly as a hobby. Pavel could interact somewhat normally with a human child, although in a stiff manner. Droids of his model are however shown to have a rather weak ego, considering their own recycling for scraps to be a natural part of their existence and voluntarily submitting to it as long as they considered their work achieved. While he considered protecting humans part of his function, he could do so selectively and defended Rosita against other humans by attacking with his wrench. He also broke a painfully loud malfunctioning alarm, demonstrating a will to break rules for the benefit of others as long as he knew they wouldn't be enforced. His demonstration of his inability to drink by physically lifting a glass to his head unit and spilling it on himself could be interpreted as dry humor.
There is no distinction between “Doll” and “automaton” in the original Chinese script of Girls' Frontline, where the characters 人形 are used for all humanoid machines. The distinction was introduced in the English translation, which uses “Autonomous Doll” (自律人形), “Tactical Doll” (战术人形) or “civilian Doll” (民用人形) in contrast with “Military automaton” (军用人形) or “anti-riot automaton” (防暴人形).
The translation rule is inconsistent: 4-1N uses the phrase “Griffin automatons” (格里芬的人形), and the term “Military Doll” for 军用人形 appears regularly. “Defense automaton” has also been used to translate 自动兵器, which doesn't imply that the subject is humanoid.
The term “droid” replaced “automaton” in Project Neural Cloud and in Girls' Frontline starting with The Waves Wrangler. It has been used to translate 安保人形 (“security droid”), 军用人形 and 军队人形 which would have previously been rendered as “Military automaton” (both translations are in fact used to describe the same androids in the script of RF Kar98kKar98k 's Neural Upgrade), as well as more general terms like 机械体 (lit. “machine-body”), 战斗机械 (as “combat droid”) or 机器人 (which has previously been rendered as “android” and “robot”).
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- Girls' Frontline, Longitudinal Strain, 2
- Project Neural Cloud, Worldview - Svarog heavy Industries
- Project Neural Cloud, Uranus' profile
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- The Art of Girls' Frontline Vol.2, Confidential Files, part 2
- Girls' Frontline, Longitudinal Strain, 35-P1
- Girls' Frontline, Longitudinal Strain, 8
- Girls' Frontline, Longitudinal Strain, 35-P4
- Girls' Frontline, Longitudinal Strain, 2
- Girls' Frontline, Longitudinal Strain, 4
- Girls' Frontline, SG M1897M1897 Neural Upgrade story 2
- Girls' Frontline, Dual Randomness, Delta Attack - End
- Girls' Frontline, Isomer, Beyond the Border II
- Girls' Frontline, The Waves Wrangler, E1
- Girls' Frontline, RF Kar98kKar98k Neural Upgrade story 2
- Girls' Frontline, SMG RO635RO635 Neural Upgrade story 3
- Girls' Frontline, HG Welrod MkIIWelrod MkII Neural Upgrade story 3
- Girls' Frontline, Longitudinal Strain, Credits
- Girls' Frontline, Operation Rabbit Hunt, E2
- Girls' Frontline, AR AK-15AK-15 Neural Upgrade story 1
- Girls' Frontline, Valhalla, Interlude 1