TriWard 88 is notable for having absolutely no means of interaction with the world around him. Although he has a binocular forward viewer, a tri-starport for celestial navigation, and a short wave antenna, TriWard’s output is limited to varying the colors on his status panel, which has 12 character spaces, each with four possible states. So it’s curious that TriWard and others of his class are often used as security robots throughout Robonia. We spoke to “Beeps” Rockefeller, TriWard’s employer, about this unusual situation.
Gliese Times-Navigator: So why does TriWard work security for you, anyway?
“Beeps” Rockefeller: Well, he hovers pretty good.
GTN: But he has no way to warn away intruders. What does he do when he encounters someone caressing your factory, as is common in our fine colony?
BR: Hovers at ’em a spell. Just hovers there, looking. ‘Bout 25, 30 minutes.
GTN: He just… looks at the miscreants, as they shower your factory in sweaty amour?
GTN: Does he… record them doing it, as evidence?
BR: Couldn’t say.
GTN: … so he doesn’t—… Beeps, TriWard’s status panel has almost seventeen million possible states, more than enough to represent the official vocabulary of most languages. Does each panel state correspond to a word, allowing him a form of rapid communication?
BR: Couldn’t say.
GTN: Does he use the short wave radio for anything?
BR: Might do.
It’s unclear whether TriWard and those like him were factory-built, or are a product of the Robonia Intelligent Evolution Mandate. The Historical Record dates the first TriWard-type Robonian to AC 442, but outside sources confirm that a TriWard-esque Robonian was working security at the Record’s museum at least 30 years earlier. The debate about what function they serve continues; for his part, “Beeps” Rockefeller “couldn’t say” where TriWard himself came from, only that he appears to be a hard worker.