A DX-4 Technical Drone (Kor’vesa in the Tau Lexicon) is a type of Tau Drone (small, disc-shaped, semi-sentient machine) employed extensively alongside Tau units in a support role during combat. Due to their nature as a Technical Drone, DX-4s are often found carrying repair and sensor equipment to assist Tau Commanders and Fire Warrior squads on the battlefield. In this role, they can operate as an observer, or can operate and maintain infantry wargear systems for Tau squads such as Blacksun Filters, Multi-Trackers or Target Locks. They will also commonly be found assisting Fire Warrior combat engineer teams, especially during dense urban combat. DX-4 Drones will always stay within close proximity to their masters, and can act as a form of robotic bodyguard if necessary by getting in the way of incoming enemy fire or close-combat opponents during the course of a battle. Some Drone perimeter defence detachments also utilise specially outfitted DX-4 Drones to provide maintenance and support to other static Drone-controlled emplacements, such as Remote Sensor Towers and Drone Sentry Turrets.
DX-4 Technical Drones consist of an advanced processor unit, which individually has only a basic intelligence (approximately equal to that of a small animal such as a pterasquirrel), and moves about by way of a compact anti-gravitic generator and a much modified variant of a Tau Jetpack. This allows the DX-4 to hover over the ground and skim over most obstacles. As they hover over landscapes, rotating back and forth, their sensor vane constantly transmits vital information about their surroundings. DX-4 Drones have also been known to communicate at times with each other through a form of audible machine chatter and a flashing of optic signals.
DX-4 Technical Drones that are attached to a Tau squad are commanded through the use of an electronic device known as a Drone Controller. Marker Drones that are attached to a Tau squad can be controlled by a Drone Controller, whether it is in the form of a support system for a Tau Battlesuit, or a hard-wired piece of wargear for Tau infantry. A Drone Controller is an electronic device that can be used by the Tau to further enhance their connections and control over their robotic companions. A Drone Controller acts as a hub of digital communications between the Drone's operator and any Drones that are nearby the user. It acts as an advanced interface between the operator and the artificial intelligence (AI) combat programs of the Drones, and is often used to direct the Drones’ firepower far more efficiently and with a level of accuracy far greater than would otherwise be possible on the battlefield.
So deeply do the Tau believe in the Greater Good, that even their Drones are programmed with self-preservation protocols -- in the face of what the AI deems to be hopeless odds, a Drone will attempt to escape rather than stand and fight. While, at need, Drone Squadrons might be used in high-risk missions or purposefully moved to block enemy paths towards the Fire Warriors, the Tau do not consider Drones to be disposable and the Drone artificial intelligence will analyse every possibility in order to ensure its own survival.
DX-4 Technical Drones attached to a Tau Stealthsuit Team are always upgraded with stealth field generators, which allows them to operate without compromising the Stealthsuit Team's own ability to remain undetected.
Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Technical Specifications
- Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), pp. 31, 35
- Imperial Armour Update 2006, pg. 28
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse, pp. 80, 83
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse (2nd Edition), pg. 86
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pg. 282
- Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos (RPG), pp. 12