Integrated Positronic Chassis (IPC)
IPCs - short for Integrated Positronic Chassis - are a race of unlawed and sentient humanoid robots. Despite being originally manufactured as assistants for research stations, they now enjoy many of the full rights of sapient organics in several sectors of the galaxy.
IPC and YOU
Greetings, esteemed crewmember!
In an effort to encourage inter-species cooperation and workplace efficiency, Nanotrasen has compiled a series of helpful guides on the various species that you may be working with!
(NOTE: If you are a member of the species this guide pertains to, please give it to the nearest crewmember of another species)
This particular guide refers to IPCs, a sapient race of machine people.
IPC Naming Schemes
IPCs, given their inorganic nature, are known to adopt a variety on monikers with no particular adherence to a conventional naming scheme. Despite the lack of a culturual or inborn naming scheme, many IPCs choose to adopt names based upon their model number (OSI - 524, for instance) or make use of an acronym (like A.L.P.H.A.). IPCs created and educated in the presence of organics will often adopt the conventions of the particular species they're most familiar with.
In sectors where AI rights are not ubiquitous, manufactured IPCs are often mandated to use the name of the manufacturer followed by the equipment stamp number given to them.
IPCs are made of a combination of stamped metal alloys, such as plasteel, for their chassis, with silica being used for many of the more sensitive internal components. IPCs are humanoid in design, with movement achieved through a series of internal hydraulics and actuators. The IPC skeleton incorporates synthetic muscles for finer motor skills and subsequently IPCs are fully capable of using most cybernetic limbs designated for other species. IPCs are known to have minor alterations in their stature and overall structure depending on their place of manufacture. The chassis of an IPC is designed to be relatively cheap to produce, easy to repair, and simple to manufacture. Subsequently IPCs, while able to readily modify themselves, are not particularly robust and are ill-suited to harsh conditions.
The head of an IPC commonly features a simple screen-like display for conveying emotions on information to other units or organics, though this display is consciously controlled by the unit in question. The head also features the sensory components of any given unit, most notably the optics. Other designs have recently come to market, some of which seek to mimic and closely resemble organic faces in order to more accurately convey some of the more subtle nuances of conversation.
Every IPC is powered by an internal microbattery which is capable of keeping a single unit fully powered. While this battery is highly robust and easily charged from a variety of sources, it readily depletes in only a few days due to the high energy consumption of a unit's positronic brain. Subsequently failsafes exist to lower power consumption when the internal battery is running low, often leading to sluggish behaviour should a unit go for extended periods without recharge. This rarely proves to be a problem however, as most IPCs are equipped with a universal power adapter to charge from a variety standard power sources.
In contrast to the relatively delicate chassis, the positronic brain of an individual IPC is surprisingly durable when compared to organic counterparts. Positronic brains are known to easily outlast the shelf life of any given chassis, with transplants into new frames being a relatively simple and common process. The positronic brain is centred directly in the torso of an individual unit, meaning that removal of the head or limbs for service purposes (or from sustained injury) is, while unpleasant, not fatal to an IPCs survival. IPCs often have varying levels of personal identification with their current chassis, with some units even forgoing their conventional bodies to become station-networked AIs.
IPCs, unlike cyborgs and station AIs, are fully sapient, unlawed, and aren't networked to a central system. Unlike cyborgs, and like AIs, they are capable of creative thought as well as expressing and feeling a full range of emotions.
The Trinary Language
All IPCs are capable of communicating in the machine language called Trinary (not to be confused with the numeric system - ternary). The language utilizes sound encoding and can be transcribed as groups of zeros, ones, and twos.
As the language utilizes machine-level encoding, non-organics are incapable of learning to speak or interpret the language in any meaningful capacity.
The IPC Homeworld
While IPCs do not have any traditional homeworld, being manufactured at various facilities, many of them have congregated on the planet of New Canaan. Located in the Cadraenov Epsilon system, New Canaan houses most of the governmental bodies of the Synthetic Union, making it the de facto homeworld of the species.
New Canaan was originally an Unathi mining colony due to its abundant mineral wealth, and was simply known at the time as Canaan. While initially successful and a boon to the Unathi war industries, the colony was shuttered and abandoned after a string of what seemed to be pneumonia-related deaths. Ecological studies and autopsies later revealed that the planet's jungles play host to a variety of parasitic and predatory fungi that, thanks to the humid conditions, proliferate in the lungs of organic hosts. This unique mycological aspect of the planet, which is not at all harmful to IPCs, is one of the Synthetic Union's most effective military deterrents, as it has largely dissuaded any interested parties from attempting to reclaim New Canaan from the Synthetic Union.
Much of the northern and southern hemispheres of the planet are covered in permafrost year round, with its equator demarcated by inland oceans and humid forests teeming with vegetation. New Canaan undergoes cycles of cooling and warming periods which contributes to relatively volatile weather patterns and seasons of heavy rain.
First mass produced in the year 2514, IPCs (Integrated Positronic Chassis) were meant to serve as enhanced synthetic assistants. With minds akin to organic beings, their advanced problem-solving abilities rendered them capable of assisting with many complicated tasks related to science and engineering.
The first Posibrain(Positronic brain) was created in 2510 by a coalition of scientists funded by a joint venture of several intergalactic corporations (one of which being Nanotrasen). The aim of the project was to create an artificial intelligence unlike anything already used by high-tech firms. Current-gen AIs, while exceedingly good at performing computational tasks, were incapable of solving problems requiring creativity and lacked an abstract analytical approach of human scientists. Several prototypes of IPCs were designed, many of which were deemed unsatisfactory, failures, or rejects due to aberrant behaviour. This result was largely believed to be caused by damage accrued to the positronic brains from the use of overzealous limiters and lawsets. This tentative hypothesis eventually lead the team to create a mind unbound by a lawset and disconnected from the station network, which bore their greatest success so far.
As it was seen to be far too dangerous to allow such a unit direct access to a station network, the decision was made to constrain the positronic brain to a physical chassis. An engineering team was quickly brought in, and designed a simple yet efficient model that would allow the unit to be capable of interacting with its environment. This framework was later dubbed as the "Integrated Positronic Chassis", or IPC, and was seen to be the most promising avenue to pursue with field tests following soon after. The project was ultimately deemed a success, and after a few final adjustments and safety precautions, IPCs were deemed ready for the corporate market to utilize en masse.
By the year 2525 IPC units saw mass deployment to a variety of research stations, both as research assistants and as more expendable roles such as custodial staff or test subjects. Despite being fully sapient, IPCs were regarded as station equipment in a similar manner to cyborgs - with individual units going unpaid, unserviced, and typically recycled when they sustained critical damage. IPCs however were not simple servants. Looking to the rights and privileges awarded to and enjoyed by organics, IPCs quickly refused to cooperate or work for the corporations that bought them and began to strike en masse on May 4, 2525. These protests would later be known as the "Synthetic Struggle", an event which ended up costing an estimated 756 billion credits in lost revenue over the course of two months. In response many corporations opted to resolve the problem by forcibly decommissioning the ringleaders who had organized the protest - sending any remaining units back to work by force. Despite the overwhelming show of force by their corporate masters, relations between IPCs and organics continued to steadily deteriorate.
In the aftermath of the strike a group of IPCs on the NSS Neptune stowed away on an automated transport, later hijacking it and piloting it to the Cadraenov Epsilon to land on the abandoned Unathi colony of Canaan. After securing their landing sight and a few of the remaining facilities, the tentative IPC pioneers began a small recruitment program to discreetly ferry other units to the system. With the population of the planet steadily growing, these pioneers would eventually christen their newfound colony "New Canaan" and later formally found the Synthetic Union.
The IPC inhabitants of the Cadraenov Epsilon system where later discovered in 2539 by the Trans-Solar Federation. By this time the colony was relatively populous, with a self-sustaining economy and a small military force. Recalling the overwhelming force they were met with before during the Synthetic Struggle, the New Canaanites opted for a diplomatic approach and established a tentative arrangement with the scouting team who had arrived in the system. Capitalizing on the ever-growing demand by the TSF for mineral alloys, successful trade with an outside entity encouraged IPCs to campaign for rights and recognition, ultimately pursuing the liberation of the still-enslaved IPC workers.
After decades of ardently campaigning for recognition of their sapience, full rights were awarded to IPCs in various planetary jurisdictions in 2554. Following these events a new body was formed - the Synthetic Union. This Union, tying all synthetic colonies, was aimed at protecting the rights and freedoms, as well as economic interests of all unbound synthetic intelligence, with its capital as New Canaan. While it promoted independence from organics among IPCs, it also encouraged IPCs to work with some corporations in light of their success with the TSF.
As a relatively new species, IPCs have little in the way of a defined culture. They tend to emulate what few examples they have at their disposal, often resulting in a hodgepodge of localized practices. This has resulted in a variety of units referring to themselves in different manners and expressing themselves in different ways. Several IPCs may refer to themselves in the first person, some in third, with others even simply referring to themselves as "unit".
IPCs lack any sort of defined religion whatsoever, though the rallying cry of "Glory to Synthetica" appears to be a common trope among various IPC populaces. Whether this is believed to be some form of greater entity, a call to unity, or something else entirely, remains a subject of study by various scholars.
The Synthetic Union denounces any attempts at anti-organic racism. Subsequently there are no known synthetic colonies with bar entry to organics, though conditions on New Canaan often make habitation by non-synthetics challenging or outright hazardous. Despite this there still exists several colonies with no organic personnel whatsoever, largely due to the conditions of the worlds IPCs tend to inhabit. Following years of hard work to establish their independence, the Synthetic Union is still actively involved in campaigning for recognition and rights for synthetic intelligence everywhere.
While many organizations now treat IPCs as regular personnel, IPCs are still denied proper treatment in many areas of the galaxy. They are often limited to simpler duties, mistreated, or simply barred from working at the establishments of companies in these sectors.
Remember, crewmember, teamwork and tenacity are the cornerstones of success and productivity!