R2 Unit Edit
|Like its forerunners, the R2 was designed to work in and around space vessels as a diagnostic and repair unit. But unlike the clunky R1-series, this rounded, waist-high droid was made specifically to fit in military starfighter astromech slots. This was a radical departure, as previously all such droids had been dedicated government models. The droid's popularity was equal with Galactic Republic fighter jocks as with the general public. When plugged into a T-65 X-wing starfighter, Eta-2 Actis-class interceptor, or similar starfighter, the R2 monitored flight performance, pinpointed and corrected technical problems, and performed power management, optimizing shipboard systems. The unit could store up to ten sets of hyperspace vector coordinates in active memory, and many had the intelligence and experience to perform engine startup and pre-flight taxiing. The R2 operated flawlessly in the vacuum of interstellar space.|
R3 Unit Edit
Flushed with the success of their landmark R2 launch, Industrial Automaton rushed to capitalize on their new dominance of the astromech droid market. The R3-series astromech droid was designed specifically for use by high-tech government agencies. The R3 was launched almost simultaneously with another niche product, the R4-series agromech droid. Outwardly, the R3 copied its popular predecessor right down to the bright, contrasting color trim on its metal chassis. The obvious difference in the factory unit was its head, a clear dome of durable plastex. The transparent hemisphere gave the droid's internally mounted sensor package greater range and showcased the R3's other major distinction, its newly updated Intellex V computer brain. Over time, however, some unit's original domes were replaced with opaque ones, or painted over carelessly. The Intellex V housed an impressive database with detailed specifications on every vessel in the Republic Navy, and could be readily programmed with additional ship specifications easily. Armed with this information, the R3 worked in cooperation with gunnery crews, security troopers, and naval chiefs of operation aboard capital-scale warships. Though its primary function was as a capital ship astromech, it could still operate as a plug-in droid for starfighters, and could hold up to five hyperspace jump coordinates in active memory. Due to the sensitive nature of the R3's programming, the rather expensive model was sold only to recognized government militaries. The Galactic Republic purchased 125 million of the droids during IA's initial production run, and later the Empire would use R3s aboard Star Destroyers and the Death Star battle stations. Following the fall of the Empire, in an effort to maintain friendly relations with the New Republic, Industrial Automaton's policy restricted it from knowingly selling to the Imperial Remnant or known Imperial factions.
R4 Unit Edit
The R4 had the same outward appearance of an R2 or R3 droid below the neck, but to save money on production, items such as the video display screen and miniature fire extinguisher were omitted. The holographic projector/recorder unit was retained, but relocated to the top of the head dome to allow for use of a cheaper, less miniaturized unit with a smaller rotational axis. The droid's Intellex VI computer was advanced, but geared toward common repulsorcraft designs and specs for commercially available space transports. The computer brain was designed with more space between the components, lowering production costs, but requiring a larger head dome, and likewise eliminated many of the function indicators and gadgetry found on other R-series head domes. The R4 was unsuited to the task of starfighter astromech; it could only hold the coordinates for a single hyperspace jump in its active memory, a one way trip for any fighter jock. Jedi Temple R4 units, like R4-P17, were notable exceptions, despite their R2-style dome. The droids were rugged; able to shrug off the nicks and dents common to a working garage environment as well or better than other R-droids. IA was pleased to discover that, with regular maintenance checks, the R4 outlasted its design parameters for operational life, weather endurance, personality matrix stability, and time elapsed between recharge sessions. Mass-market buyers liked the R4, as did the freedom fighters of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. They reasoned that no one would be suspicious of a mass purchase of agromech droids, the way they would be of starfighter ready copilots like the R2. The model's low cost and knowledge of general-purpose vehicles were also greatly appreciated by the resource-strapped Rebels, and soon the droids' conical heads were familiar sights in Alliance bases and Mon Calamari hangar bays. A few R4s,equipped with non-standard magnetic fault sensors, were used by the Galactic Empire to detect flaws and weaknesses in the atmospheric containment fields in hangar bays on board both Death Stars and on Star Destroyers.
R5 Unit Edit
|The R5-series astromech droid was a line of low cost astromech droids built by Industrial Automaton. Based upon the success of prior astromech models, such as the wildly popular R2-series, Industrial Automaton intended the R5-series to cater to budget buyers at the cost of some functionality. An Imperial medic receives a report from a R5 unit aboard Devastator. Because of their inexpensive construction, however, droids of this series were plagued by a number of design flaws—most obviously, a sullen demeanor and sharp attitude resulting from deficiencies in the machine's personality matrix. Media outlets soon picked up on these errors: Mechtech Illustrated called the R5 model "a meter-tall stack of the worst business decisions you could possibly want." During the Clone Wars, members of the R5-series were used by the Republic for a variety of roles, including use aboard starfighters like the ARC-170 and capital ships like the Acclamator-class assault ship. They weren't quite as commonly used by Rebel pilots because the extra height of the R5 made them a more prominent target in an X-wing's droid socket, although the Alliance would use them in maintenance jobs extensively due to their low cost. Despite this, Wedge Antilles would use an R5 model. After a particularly poor sales year, Industrial Automaton discontinued the R5 series in 22 BBY. To cover losses, the droid manufacturing firm repackaged R2-AG-series and R4-series droids in excess R5 shells. Aboard Imperial warships, R5 units were used to monitor medical equipment such as life support capsules. A number of R5 units were part of the population of owner less, unwanted, and otherwise abandoned droids inhabiting Kligson's Moon.|