The Maim-shredder is an example of an instance where the distinction between cybershell and weapon become unclear.
Maim-shredders are deployed as area denial and anti-intruder systems at high security installations.
The robot is a very flattened spheroid with contra-rotating rotors on its equator.
Rotor-span is half a yard, allowing the machine to manoeuvre indoors.
The rotor tips are reinforced and each has short lengths of monowire that are extended as the rotors spin and contract as the system powers down. A small tripod stand that serves as landing gear is on the underside of the machine.
Maim-shredders are psychological weapons.
Their appearance, sound, method of attack and even their name is intended to be intimidating.
Primary method of attack is to fly within a few inches of the target and slash it with the spinning monowire. Most Maim-shredders are programmed to attack the torso and legs rather than the hands and face but they still inflict very nasty wounds.
If programmed to, the Maim-shredder may buzz the intruder several times with close range passes and play recordings calling upon the intruder sit down and await arrest. These recordings are often in English and Mandarin as well as local languages.
The Maim-shredder also has a siren and a high-intensity strobe light it can use to disorientate and intimidate.
Maim-shredders that see intruders aiming guns or similar devices towards them will often trigger their strobes. Not only does this make the Maim-shredder very difficult to shoot down but also disrupts the shooter’s night vision. The strobe and siren also help locate intruders for security patrols and support units.
Maim-shredders are fast moving but will have difficulty hitting prone targets. It will, however, be hard to escape or neutralize the machines from such a position.