What happens when my robot runs out of power?
A unit with a dead battery (0% charge) is inert until either the battery is replaced or the unit is given power from an external source. Common external power sources include:

  • A pulse charger or pulse beacon. These use zero-point energy systems to build up a tremendous amount of power (1–20 TJ) in a capacitor, which is then broadcast in a radius around the machine. Pulse technology is extremely dangerous as it may overheat standard induction coils and cause serious damage to nearby robots and humans.

  • A standard wireless charging node. These provide a constant electric field, similar to the wireless charging pads used for mobile phones and other handheld devices. However, as they are meant to be used to maintain a unit's battery level, recharging from them is very slow.

  • A zap issued from a nearby robot, similar to jumpstarting a car battery. This is performed with the zap command, e.g. a robot can type @zap 123-45-6789 888 to send 888 kJ to a robot with the serial number 123-45-6789.

  • Note that if the unit has auxiliary power enabled (see manual) then there may be a power surge when the unit starts up, as it will prioritize refilling the auxiliary power capacitor above all else. By default, this is 5 kW and lasts for a little under half a minute. You should always add an additional 120 kJ when zapping, to account for this. It may take multiple zaps to avoid overheating the power donor.

    Tips to avoid getting stranded

  • Pay attention to all warnings. The robot's controller will notify you at 50%, 20%, 10%, and 5%. When the battery level reaches 10% or 20%, some subsystems will be disabled to prolong battery life, although you can turn these back on immediately from the subsystems menu or with the power command. At 5%, the unit will automatically schedule a shutdown to occur after 30 seconds.

  • Know where the nearest charger is at all times. Especially with smaller batteries, having to teleport to a charging pad can be fatal if there is not enough power in the cell left to commit to the teleport.

  • Don't ignore the 5% safety cut-off. If you do find your unit has idled itself out of power, the 5% auto-shutdown is intended to prevent total battery exhaustion. Once the unit is reactivated, re-enable the FTL drive and relocate it to a charging pad as soon as possible.

  • Know about self-booting. Normally robots are turned on by tapping gently on the controller casing. This is possible for units operating on auxiliary power, but if auxiliary power is disabled or depleted, motor function is impossible. As long as the unit's primary battery still has a charge, however, the commands @on or @boot can be used to restore power.

  • Enable and familiarize yourself with your unit's distress beacon. This will cause the unit to contact its owner(s) in the event that it goes into auxiliary power. This makes it much easier to locate and recover a downed robot, as the default settings will additionally send GPS coordinates. The distress beacon can be found in the manage › EPS menu, alongside the auxiliary power controls.