by Tim Wing, Peter Walker, Rob Morgenstern, with Pieter Thomassen
edited by Tim Wing
- Golem reference file
- Golem gallery
Designation: Vickers-Chrysler Robotech Systems Inc. APR-4 Golem Autonomous Police Robot
- Total Height: 4.9 meters
- Total Depth: 1.3 meters
- Total Breadth: 2.3 meters
- Weight: 7 metric tons
II. Origin and type:
- Design: Vickers-Chrysler Robotech Systems Inc./SCAR
- Builder: Vickers-Chrysler Robotech Systems Inc.
- Type: Global Military Police artificial intelligence law enforcement, security, and tactical assault robot.
III. Service Life:
- QPA-4: Remote operated drone robot used by GMP from 2023-2031,
- APR-4: Artificial Intelligence self-mobile version used by the GMP from 2026-2031 to supplement small GMP force.
- Powerplant: 1 SCE-2P miniaturized Protoculture-cell energizer
- Fuel Capacity: 4 standard canisters of Protoculture.
- Running speed: 72 kph
- Protoculture supply: 370 hours operational use.
- SCAR Mk.5 Reflex Artificial Intelligence System utilizing 3 redundant processors with voting to determine appropriate actions.
- 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. Includes recording and playback capabilities.
- Phillips IRS-2 Image recognition system connected via radio to GMP database. This provides the robot full access to personnel records to identify and evaluate suspects.
- Thomson LT-8 multi-frequency laser ranger and designator.
Tactical Electronic Warfare System:
- Selenia GroundWarrior active/passive sensor jammers.
- 1 x S-10 TASER: mounted in the left wrist is capable of sending 50 kV through a suspect to render him unconscious. Range: 10 m.
Common optional pods for used by the hands:
- 1 x AGR-40 Riot Control Grenade Launcher. This gun pod is a recoil operated, semi-automatic grenade launcher designed to deploy special 40mm less-than lethal riot-control grenades. The grenade launcher made use of tear gas, smoke, mobility inhibiting foam, OC (pepper spray), noxious, and fire suppressant rounds. Combat duty rounds included HE, HEAT and Anti-Personnel rounds. Ammunition capacity was limited to ten round magazines.
- or 1 x EU-17 Particle Beam gun pod. This gun pod fired energy pulses of up to 2 MJ per blast. This gun pod could fire up to 50 times/minute. This is the standard gunpod assigned to Golems. The other Battloid gun pods are too large to be effectively wielded by the smaller Golem.
- or 1 x GUP-2 Tactical Police gun pod. This gun pod was a combined 20mm auto cannon and 40mm grenade launcher. The auto cannon could fire low velocity riot control ammunition such as beanbags, rubber coated knee knockers, as well as the standard 20mm Tungsten-coated depleted Uranium Armor Piercing Spin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APSSDS), High Explosive Armor Piercing (HEAP) and tracer rounds of the time. The grenade launcher made use of tear gas, smoke, mobility inhibiting foam, OC (pepper spray), noxious, and fire suppressant rounds. Combat duty rounds included HE, HEAT and Anti-Personnel rounds. Ammunition capacity was 100 rounds of 20mm and 20 grenades.
The armor on the Golem 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 stops all small arms and heavy infantry weapons fire, provides excellent resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round, and fair resistance to medium mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Valkyrie’s 55mm APFSDS round.
Vickers-Chrysler Robotech Systems Inc. developed the QPR-4 Drone Patrol Robot for the Global Military Police (GMP) to augment the field presence of its troops. This robot was operated from a remote-control station, usually close buy in the back of a Police Van, by a qualified operator. Though never meant to go toe-to-toe with full-sized Zentraedi soldiers (that was the job of the Tactical Corps and the Civil Defense Unit), it did give the GMP the flexibility to handle many situations that it could not deal with on its own before. The Golem could act as a riot control unit along with dismounted police. It was helpful in dealing with bomb threats and explosive ordinance disposal. The Golem was also a more effective siege breaker than the more traditional armored cars, such as the M-11, used by military police in the past. This unit could keep up with a full-sized Zentraedi at a run, as well as providing a platform that could mount large enough weapons to subdue them without sacrificing combat agility. The Golem allowed the GMP to operate without being dependent on the other services for heavy support. Also, when using this system, the GMP could keep a much lower profile than would be otherwise possible with a platoon of Salamanders or Unicorns.
As useful and flexible as the QPR-4 was, not many were produced. The GMP sites cost as the prohibiting factor, but that line of reasoning directly conflicts with their decision to develop and produce (in larger numbers no less) the APR-19 Golem.
The Southern Cross Advanced Research Group (SCAR) had a pet project at the time. Flush with an over generous research grant, they experimented with artificial intelligence to provide the perfect GMP soldier: one that would follow orders without question, would objectively enforce the law, and work overtime with-out time-and-a-half pay. More importantly, it could not be turned against the authority of its higher command: the UEG. Working from research conducted on the SDF-1’s E.V.E. computer before it’s destruction at the end of the 1st Robotech War, they attempted to develop an unmanned Battloid that could be used for police operations. To reduce costs and expedite development, they decided to utilize the existing GMP QPR-4 drone as the main body of the robot. The GMP researchers opted against the more limited, animalistic, intelligence capabilities later chosen by the UEEF for its ASAVAN “Shadow Drone” (they needed more than a giant sized German Shepard), and instead developed a robot that was nearly as intelligent as a human and fully possessed of reflexive consciousness. In the end, however, the result was entity that fell well short of being a true general intelligence AI (thankfully).
Simply too much processing power was packed into too small a package, and the Golem came off as both dim and pedantic, capable of quoting regulations and identifying violators, but only barely capable of independent action in police duties. The robot needed explicit instructions and a number of incidents were caused by omissions of detail in commands. A good analogy would be to compare it to the Deep Blue chess computer of the late twentieth century. It was possessed of a high degree of analytical judgment, but the time that it took to come to a final decision could be measured in seconds: far too long in a combat situation. As such, the GMP paired the robots in the field with an operator who would able to provide guidance to the AI, yet still be able to take advantage of the increased capabilities of the Battloid. Predictably, many of their operators became fondly attached to their Golems due to their human like intelligence and the individual personalities that each unit developed over time. The connection was not unlike that between a K9 handler and his dog.
The Golems were also frequently assigned to guard duties that involved little interaction or extremely high security installations where high command would want to minimize exposing lower enlisted soldiers to classified information and could accept any violation of protocol resulting in someone being shot. Due to its small size, the Golem could not effectively wield the larger gun pods developed for other Battloids. Instead it uses the smaller EU-17 particle beam cannon. The Golem was introduced in 2023 and was used extensively in the later parts of the Second Robotech War as the high command became more and more desperate. The Golems were viewed as expendable troops and were pressed into duty to support units in the field. They frequently were given the worst tasks in the field and as such suffered a high mortality rate due to their slow reaction times. Limited numbers of Golems were also acquired by the Tactical Corps for mine clearing operations and other combat engineering duties.
The Golems suffered severe attrition in that war and in the following Invid invasion, so that very few remain.
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
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), The Robotech RPG Book Four: Southern Cross (September 1987)
Content by Rob Morgenstern, Tim Wing and Peter Walker, with Pieter Thomassen, edited by Tim Wing
Copyright © 2002, 2000, 1998, 1997 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2016 Tim Wing