by Tim Wing and Rob Morgenstern, with Pieter Thomassen
edited by Tim Wing
- Dryad reference file
- Dryad gallery
Designation: Haneda Heavy Industries CER-8 Dryad Combat Engineering Robot, Proteus Group CBL-8 Dryad Combat Battloid, Light
- Total Height: 4.8 meters
- Total Depth: 2.2 meters
- Total Breadth: 2.6 meters
- Weight: 8.3 metric tons
- Total Height: 5.4 m
- Total Depth: 2.4 m
- Total Breadth: 2.7 m
- Weight: 14 metric tons
- Total Height: 5.4 m
- Total Depth: 2.4 m
- Total Breadth: 2.7 m
- Weight: 9.9 metric tons
II. Origin and type:
- Design: Cadillac Gage/Haneda Heavy Industries
- Builder: Haneda Heavy Industries, Proteus Group
- CER-8: One person, Combat Forestry/Engineering Robot
- CBL-8: One person, Light Combat/Engineer Robot
III. Service Life:
- CER-8-Mk. I: Unarmed, unarmored combat engineering, construction/logging robot used by the UN Spacy Corps of Engineers from 2012 to 2017 and UEDF Tactical Corps till the end of 2018.
- CBL-8-Mk. II: Armed and armored version of the Dryad improving the armor, weapons, and drive systems. Used by the UEDF Tactical Corps from 2018 until the Invid Invasion.
- CER-8-Mk. III: CER-8-Mk. I refit to CBL-8-Mk. II standard used by the ASC Forest Division from 2022 until the Invid Invasion.
- CBL-8-Mk. IV-J: Air drop-able version of the Dryad with light-weight armor. Used by the UEDF Tactical Corps from 2026 until the Invid Invasion.
- CBL-8-Mk. V: Non-jump capable version of the CBL-8-Mk. IV-J. Used by the UEDF Tactical Corps from 2026 until the Invid Invasion.
- Powerplant: SCE-2P Miniaturized Protoculture-cell energizer
- Fuel Capacity: 6 Standard Canisters of Protoculture.
- 2 x Allison BRT-2 Hybrid Rocket Fuel thrusters (solid propellent, liquid oxidizer) in the back, output 108 kN combined
- 2 x Allison MRT-3 Hybrid Rocket Fuel thrusters (solid propellent, liquid oxidizer) in the calves, output 30 kN combined
- Running speed: 96 kph
- Protoculture supply: 300 hours operational use.
- Phillips AllView II multi-band digital spherical camera system, for medium range all-attitude infra-red imaging, optical and ultra-violet band detection and tracking
(CBL-8-Mk. II onwards)
- Thomson LT-8 multi-frequency laser ranger and designator.
Tactical Electronic Warfare System:
(CBL-8-Mk. II onwards)
- Selenia GroundWarrior active/passive sensor jammers.
- 2 x Multi-purpose hardpoints mounted in the forearms. These hard points can mount a variety of combat engineering tools or weapons, depending on the mission. Examples of common mounts are:
- Punching spikes: Hydrolic ram fitted with a hardened tungsten spike, used for breaching and demolition. Can also be very effective in hand to hand combat.
- Plasma torches/cutters: High energy torches used for excavating crashed ships, welding, etc…
- Arc welders: Conventional welding equipment like a Tig Welder.
- Grappling hooks and winches: Can fire a grapple up to 100 meters. Often used for recovering armored vehicles or scaling cliffs and downed ships.
- Browning M-2 HB 12.7mm machine gun. Anti-personnel, light anti-armor self-defense weapon.
- Mauser E-3 laser. This laser provides 35 kJ of output each at a rate of 65 pulses per minute for anti-personnel, and logging/construction use.
- 1 x Hardpoint on lower torso for heavy winch with 200 meters of heavy grade cable. This hardpoint appears like an inverted ‘U’ shape at the waist of the mecha. This winch is used for construction, armor recovery and (most interestingly) rappelling.
(Mk. II onwards)
- 2 x Mauser LIW-77 Ion Cannons mounted in the head. These cannons provide 35 kJ of output at a rate of 65 pulses per minute for anti-personnel, and logging/construction use.
Common optional pods for used by the hands:
- 1 x Mauser EU-10 Laser Gun Pod. This gun pod fired energy pulses of up to 10 MJ per blast. This gun pod could fire up to 150 times/minute due to the large capacitors mounted on either side of the pod. This is the most common gunpod assigned to battloids in later years due to its decent penetration capabilities and high rate of fire. The weapon incorporated a carrying handle to assist in transportation and could be attached to the back in a carrying position.
- or 1 x General Electric EU-12 pulse ion cannon gun pod, firing 12 MJ pulses at 130 pulses per second. Specially developed for the SC ground Battloids, this cannon used pulse technology to offset the beam attenuation caused by the lower layers of the atmosphere in which it was used. This pod was utilized in cases where more impact than penetration was required, and was introduced around 2029, although primarily with the combat Battloids first.
- or 1 x excavation spade, 3.8 meters long, used as an entrenching tool. Also makes for a formidable hand to hand weapon.
The armor on the original production Mk. I was made up of a light-weight aluminum alloy with some ceramic composite inserts and would only stop small arms fire up to 7.62mm rounds. Anything heavier, such as 12.7mm AP, have no problem penetrating.
The armor on the CBL-8-Mk. II and CER-8-Mk. III Dryad is a new development in low-mass composite-materials Chobham plating that became the standard for all Terran mecha after its application to the VQ-6A Vandal. Aside from the respectable protection provided against projectiles, missiles, and other kinetic weapons, this armor is also resistant to plasma globes (annihilation discs), lasers, and to a lesser extent, particle guns, owing to the fact that the armor can flake off and evaporate in layers under fire from such high-energy weapons, taking much of the weapon’s energy and converting it into the latent heat of sublimation in the armor. The armor on the CBL-8-Mk. II and CER-8-Mk. III stops all small arms and heavy infantry weapons fire, provides good resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round, and poor to fair resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie’s 55mm APFSDS round.
The armor on the CBL-8-Mk. IV-J and CBL-8-Mk. V Dryad is composed of super lightweight ‘space-metal’ alloy with low-mass composite-materials Chobham plating in strategic areas. This general down-grade in armor was done to save weight on the jump capable CBL-8-Mk. IV-J. The minor decrease in armor was made up for by over four tons in weight savings. The armor on the CBL-8-Mk. IV-J and CBL-8-Mk. V stops all small arms and heavy infantry weapons fire, provides good resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round, and poor resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie’s 55mm APFSDS round.
The Dryad provides full protection from nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards, using a fully-sealed cockpit module activated by radiation and hazardous chemical sensors, or manually when biological warfare conditions are anticipated. The cockpit module is also armored and gives the Dryad the option of operating off-planet on the moon and on Mars. The internal consumables supplies can provide atmosphere purification for one week maximum on Earth and 48 hours in a hostile environment such as the moon or Mars.
Originally developed as a joint venture between the defense contractor Cadillac Gage and the commercial construction equipment producer Haneda Heavy Industries, the Dryad was first known as the HCCER 2012 (Heavy Construction/Civil Engineering Robot). The design intent was to create a civilian market labor robot to assist in the rebuilding of human civilization after the Zentraedi Holocaust. Its smaller size and lack of sophisticated sub-systems meant it was relatively cheap to produce, only one-tenth the price of a Spartan main battle/engineering robot. However, two things conspired against it to keep it from being a commercial success. First, it was protoculture-powered, so only government construction agencies were allowed by law to own and operate it. Second, with all the full sized Zentaedi then on Earth it was hard to justify investing millions in a new machine when you could hire the Zentraedi to do the same work for a fraction of the price. It was not till much later, after most Zentraedi had been micronised and the laws relaxed, that Haneda sold any on the civilian market.
The CER-8-Mk. I was nothing more than a HCCER 2012 with an upgraded sensor suite and sealable cockpit module. It was adopted pretty much as is by the UN Spacy Corps of Engineers in 2013 as a combat engineering robot. The biggest shortcoming of the Mk. I was that it had no armor, being built of conventional aluminum alloy to save costs. A 12.7mm AP round had little problem piercing its thin skin. This is to say nothing of the effect of an RPG round. As such, many of these early Dryads were brought down by lightly armed bandits and rogue humans. It was also highly vulnerable to mines. The first real ‘combat’ engineering robot was the CBL-8-Mk. II, which added real armor, improved sensors and integral head lasers. The Mark II also received new leg units, and an additional half meter in height. The Mark II had the ability to use the new gun pods then being developed.
The small size of the CBL-8 set the trend for all future Destroids and Battloids to come. The lighter weight meant it was cheaper, easier to transport, and could go places the old Destroids could not. It was also found that the Destroids rarely encountered situations where they went into actual hand to hand combat, so this too was of little concern. The Dryad has several features unique to its role as a combat engineering robot. Carabiner points are located on the shoulders, torso and legs. These can be used for anything from clearing logs and obstacles, to climbing downed Zentraedi warships. The forearms were designed with multi-use attachment points. Plasma cutters or conventional torches; grappling hooks which could be launched to climb shear faces or recover damaged armored vehicles from soft ground areas, mine fields or other danger zones; or 12.7mm M2 machine guns could be mounted. The Dryad also has over-sized feet for dealing with soft and/or marshy terrain.
The majority of the Dryads built between 2013 and 2022 found themselves in the UEDF TC Forest Division, serving in the Zentraedi Control Zone and other uncontrolled jungle areas. Limited numbers were also assigned to other UEDF Tactical Corps units. Originally, it served only as a combat engineering Battloid, but due to lack of armored units in the South American theatre, it was soon pressed into service as an infantry support robot and the addition of the GU-13 gunpod. In this capacity it was found to be woefully inadequate. The CBL-8-Mk. II (the designation was changed to CBL for ‘Combat Battloid, Lightweight’ in recognition to its more combat oriented role) improved this and with the introduction of integrated weapons systems, real armor and the ability to carry the new generation of energy weapon gunpods, brought the Dryad into its own.
In the mid-twenties, Proteus Group (Cadillac Gage, Bofors and Northrop Mecha Systems having mergered in 2025 to form this Swedish registered corporation) rolled out an airborne “jump” capable version of the Dryad known as the CBL-8-Mk. IV-J. The Dryad-J, as it was commonly referred to, made extensive use of advance light-weight ‘space-metal’ alloys and was configured for air-borne operations. Most of the Dryads survived the Second Robotech War, having not been assigned to front line units. Later on, during the Invid occupation, a few lasted on to serve well with resistance fighters. By the end of the Third Robotech War, all but a very few Dryads had been used up and worn out.
Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross (R) is the property of Big West Advertising, Tatsunoko Studio and Ammonite studio. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.
Original artwork by: Kogawa Tomonori, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Miyo Sonoda, Hiroshi Ogawa, Hirotoshi Ohkura and Takashi Ono; Tim Wing; ‘MAJESTIC vulne pro’
Acknowledgement is extended to Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide. Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern are given credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide that has been utilized in this publication.
Images from – This is Animation #10 The Southern Cross, Unspecified Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross OSM, Robotech Masters Saga Sourcebook (March 2009)
Content by Tim Wing and Rob Morgenstern, with Pieter Thomassen, edited by Tim Wing
Copyright © 2000, 1998, 1997 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2016 Tim Wing