The Scavenger Bot is a robot that can be deployed or operated by Isaac to collect small out of the way items for use as resources. Small robots still perform many tasks where human technicians and larger robots cannot go (such as ventilation ducts and waste tunnels). Various military groups are suspected to have carried out surveillance and assassination missions using similar machines.
When picked up, the bot appears in the center/top "weapon" slot. When equipped, Isaac will hold the robot like a gun. If aiming, a screen will pop up to display radar showing hidden resource caches; pressing the alt fire button will cause Isaac to place the scavenger bot on the ground. The bot will then roam around slowly for a certain amount of time (10 minutes for a default bot) "scavenging" for resources. After the given time has passed, a notification will appear telling Isaac that the robot is waiting for Isaac at a Bench. When accessing Bench interface, a message will appear to display the collected resources being added to into storage. The bot will return to the center weapon slot in order to be redeployed.
Following the direction of the arrows on the scavenger bot's "aiming" screen will lead to extra resource caches, indicated by a green circle and beeping sound. The beeping sound can also be heard when passing one of these caches, even when not using the scavenger bot. Bots can also be deployed nearly anywhere to collect basic resources and ration seals.
Resource caches will sometimes drop extra weapon parts or upgrades, but the differences in the resource collection rates for things like tungsten and scrap metal are unclear.
Deployed scavenger bots will recover Ration Seals, which serve as an alternate currency in the Bench microtransaction system.
Isaac can be in possession of multiple scavenger bots. They have a RIG interface page devoted to them, and upgrades such as speed are available as downloadable content. The voice pack DLC for the bot gives it a sarcastic British accent and a list of stock phrases it will use to communicate with you, though many of them seem to lack context. The practical advantage of the voice pack is that the bot has specific phrases it speaks when returning to a Bench. These can be heard through walls and from a fairly long distance when on the planet's surface and serve as a clear way of telling when a Bench is nearby.
- Scavenger Bot #1 — Chapter 5: “Expect Delays”: Revealed at the bottom of a ladder, given to you though story progression.
- Scavenger Bot #2 — Chapter 8: “Off the Grid”: Inside a camp area where you fight necromorphs, in a safehouse left of an audio log. Last building before Chapter 9, second safehouse with an audiolog.
- Scavenger Bot #3 — Chapter 13: “Reach for the Sky”: Off the beaten path, last cave before the lift. Keep left at exit.
- Interestingly, if the player deploys the bot on a ship in space, Isaac can retrieve the bot from any bench, even if it is on another ship or on the planet. This supports the theory that stores, benches, and suit kiosks assemble items on command instead of having a ready made supply. Though contrary to this theory, a returning bot can be seen driving into the bottom of whatever bench that Issac goes to retrieve it from.
- The Scavenger bot's screen is poorly anchored to the model within the game's coding, and is prone to phasing out of its frame in certain situations, such as when riding an elevator or a cargo lift. In addition to that, the screen's model is unaffected in areas such as snowstorms, and appears as if it does not exist within the same visual plane.
- Scavenger bots cannot be deployed in certain areas such as the inside of a elevator. Interestingly enough, Isaac can deploy the bot right on the platform during the final fight with the moon itself, despite the bot's sensor detects no resource cache spot nearby.
- A scavenger bot can be purchased as an avatar prop for 240 Microsoft points.
If you save and quit while a scavenger bot is active, or before you have retrieved it from a bench, it may permanently disappear from your inventory, without any way of getting it back. It is therefore advised that you retrieve any and all scavenger bots before quitting.