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Diagnostic Drone is a type of autonomous drone which generally assists Transformers in performing administrative or technical tasks. They have some measure of artificial intelligence and are small, roughly ovoid devices with one visual sensor, two clawed arms, and two "wings". They can hover or fly. Diagnostic Drones are explicitly depicted as sparkless. Several have been shown to have the ability to speak and use advanced experimental technology, but only one is known to have had apparent emotions and a sense of humor; that unit was either a true artificial intelligence, or a very good simulation of one.

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Fiction Edit

Beast Wars cartoon continuity Edit

Theft of the Golden Disk Edit

A black and white Diagnostic Drone accompanied Cryotek. Theft of the Golden Disk

Beast Machines cartoon Edit

Voice actor: Christopher Gaze/Paul Dobson (English), Isshin Chiba (Japanese), more»

Diagnostic Drones were used by Megatron during his tenure as ruler of Cybertron.

One drone in particular served as Megatron's right-hand man. Fires of the Past This drone displayed a seemingly full range of emotions, although its ability to make decisions was handicapped in some ways by its programming. Despite this nearly full sentience, it was explicitly stated to have no spark.

After one of Megatron's many attempts to purge his systems from the organic component, the drone informed Megatron that the procedure had been successful. It was proved wrong when Megatron became frustrated with his drones’ inability to take out the Maximals during their latest confrontation. Megatron scorched the Diagnostic Drone out of anger, though this left it relatively unharmed. When Megatron asked why his drones were having so much trouble with the small group of Maximals despite their technological superiority, the Diagnostic Drone suggested that free-will might be a factor. Megatron admitted that the drone might have a point, and created the Vehicon generals Tankor, Thrust and Jetstorm. Fires of the Past

The Diagnostic Drone continue to aid Megatron in his attempts to purge his body from its organic components, despite regularly warning the Vehicon leader that the procedures were still in their experimental stages. In the wake of a power-feedback, Megatron was rendered weak and unable to defend himself. The drone informed him that all planetary systems were down, and his forces would be unable to defend him until power was restored in half a solar-cycle. After the time period had passed, the drone informed Megatron that his strength was returning. Sure enough, all systems came back online immediately after. The Diagnostic Drone was surprised to see Megatron keep his end of a bargain he made with Rattrap, and allow the Maximals walk away from his citadel. Megatron explained that they could always liberate the Maximals’ sparks another day. The Weak Component

On yet another attempt at removing Megatron’s organic half, the Diagnostic Drone reminded Megatron that the process of transplanting his spark into a purely technological body would be infinitely simpler. Megatron disregarded the idea, as it would mean leaving his spark vulnerable, if only for an instant. The drone’s next suggestion was to capture Nightscream, who he believe generated a beast mode on an entirely inorganic planet. By studying whatever process spontaneously generated an organic half within Nightscream, the drone was confident it could rid Megatron of his own organic component. Megatron approved of this plan, and sent his three Vehicon generals to accompany the Diagnostic Drone on its hunt for the Maximal.

The Diagnostic Drone was able to lock onto Nightscream using his echo-location frequency. Tankor managed to acquire the bat, and the Vehicons began to make their way back to home base. En route, the Diagnostic Drone noted that Nightscream wasn’t being repaired by their portable reparation chamber, but was healing due to properties inherent in his technogranic body. Intrigued, he demanded that Nightscream reveal to him the secret behind his healing process. In response, Nightscream blasted the drone, leaving it to be recovered by Tankor.

Away from prying eyes, Tankor reprogrammed the Diagnostic Drone to be loyal to him instead of Megatron. Tankor ordered the Drone to maintain a charade of loyalty toward Megatron, and to track down the Oracle’s energy signature. The Drone was also instructed to sabotage all further attempts Megatron made to purging his body of its beast mode. Survivor

Later, the drone accompanied Tankor to the Oracle’s location. Tankor tasked the drone to enter the Oracle, and retrieve the Key to Vector Sigma. The Diagnostic Drone succeeded and downloaded the key’s code to Tankor.

After “Tankor” paid the Maximals a visit, and “overloaded” due to the Key’s power, the Diagnostic Drone accompanied a group of Tank Drones to retrieve the general’s “body.” In truth, the Tankor the Maximals had witnessed “dying” was a double, part of an elaborate ruse Tankor had set up to fool both Megatron and Optimus. The Key

Tankor fed words to the drone from a distance to get Megatron to go along with the next phase of his plan. The Diagnostic Drone informed Megatron that Tankor had “somehow” stumbled upon the key to Vector Sigma, and showed Megatron doctored footage showing Tankor’s demise. The drone then encouraged Megatron to download the code to the Key to Vector Sigma to his Vehicon drones, and use its power on a planetary level. The drone almost flubbed the whole charade by continuing to parrot Tankor’s words even as the Vehicon general rambled that Megatron would go mad and die due to the key’s influence on his beast mode. Despite the drone quickly covering up his mistake, Megatron began to grow suspicious of the drone's behaviour.

The Diagnostic Drone next accompanied Thrust and Jetstorm on their search for a Maximal to test the key’s power on, as per Megatron’s instructions. Since Tankor’s grand scheme necessitated that the Maximals be left alone for the time being, the drone kept the two Vehicon generals busy by insisting that his superior scanners detected Maximal signatures where there were none. Eventually, Blackarachnia came to them anyways. The Diagnostic Drone was knocked unconscious when Blackarchnia lashed out against Jetstorm. Rather than remain on-site, it returned to Megatron’s inner sanctum to inform him that the Key’s tests were not going smoothly. After the “organics” displayed the extent of their power, the Diagnostic Drone convinced Megatron to only download the Key’s code to his Tank Drones, lest one of his two remaining generals grew ambitious and turned on him. Megatron agreed. The Catalyst

The Diagnostic Drone returned to Tankor’s side to inform him that his plan was going smoothly. Tank Drones were being loaded with the Key program, and all signs pointed towards Megatron intending to go through with unleashing the Key's power soon. Tankor and the drone then found out that Megatron had taken the precaution to disconnect the Tank Drones from Tankor’s control, despite the Vehicon general’s apparent demise. The Diagnostic Drone was tasked with generating a false vision through the Oracle, and goad Optimus Primal into provoking Megatron to use the Key on a planetary scale as soon a possible. It led Optimus to the Plasma Energy Chamber, and then informed Megatron that the Maximals had found the device. But Megatron had puzzled out that the Diagnostic Drone was no longer loyal to him by this point. After it attempted one too many times to goad him into unleashing his doomsday weapon, Megatron shut the drone down. End of the Line

Near the end of Megatron's rule, after his spark was de- and repolarized, his spark became stuck in a Diagnostic Drone. Spark of DarknessDespite being trapped in this puny form, Megatron still proved himself to be a daunting opponent. The Downward Spiral Nonetheless, the frame he was confined within could not suit his needs in his final confrontation against the Maximals. He put a new Diagnostic Drone in charge of constructing him a new body, using the specs of one of Optimus Primal's old bodies. Once the body was constructed, the Diagnostic Drone transferred Megatron's spark into it. When Legends Fall

The Maximals were soon felled by the Vehicon horde, and Diagnostic Drones brought the captured sparks of Optimus’s troops to the spark containment chamber within the Grand Mal. They readied to open the containment chamber and allow Megatron access to the lifeforce of the Cybertronians within, but a stray shot destroyed the control panel. The drones were tasked at repairing the damage panel while Megatron amused himself at chasing Optimus around the city. When their work was finally complete, the drones opened the chamber, allowing Megatron to begin his grand ascension. Their fates after Cybertron's reformatting are unknown.