Building in Beyond Earth
|Specialist slots||2 Engineers|
|Effect|| +2 Production|
+1 Energy from Int'l and Station Trade Routes
With advent of distributed control systems, robotics, artificial neural networking and advanced servomechanisms, many factories on Old Earth became partially- or fully-automated in the decades following the Great Mistake; colonial engineers have added their advances in cybernetics, process control and systems integration to create the modern “autoplant.” Initially the colonial autoplant robotics were limited to painting and assembly of pre-made parts, but the sophistication of new feedforward control systems implemented over recent years has brought the entire industrial process from materials production to product inspection and testing under automation, allowing for a speed and adaptability in manufacturing never before realized. Although protested by neo-Luddites and radical environmentalists, virtually all consumer goods are now produced in autoplants, which have collectively raised the standard of living to the highest ever known in human history. Most industrial production – military, vehicle, telecommunication, food processing, even medicine – is now taking place in autoplants. Some settlements have specialized in specific autoplant products based on proximate raw materials, generating trade opportunities. Furthermore, plans for orbital autoplants have been made public by aerospace engineers; these would be completely autonomous, with telemetric monitoring only, and devoted to manufacturing that would benefit from weightless or airless conditions or isolation (primarily for safety reasons).