The Thaetauri rely on these robotic servants in every aspect of their lives. It was long ago decided that a Thaetauri’s time was better spent in the pursuit of research and discovery and so these machines came into being.

Automatons do the drudge work—preparing meals, cleaning, doing fetch and carry duties, that sort of thing. There are a few classes of automaton, though, that are designed specifically for combat. The juggernaut is the most formidable of these. With massive cannons mounted on its left and right, this automaton is sent in when all diplomatic options have been exhausted.

Automatons are not sentient. It was decided early on in their development that no one would pursue artificial intelligence. The Thaetauri realized that doing so would essentially be creating a new race, and they didn’t feel that they had the right to do that. So the automatons can emulate life, but they do not have the hardware to develop consciousness.