Name: Industrial Automaton / Kuat Systems Engineering Q7-series Astromech Droid
Manufacturer: Industrial Automaton / Kuat Systems Engineering
Product line: Astromech droid
Class: Second-degree droid
Starfighter Piloting 3D
Computer Programming/Repair 3D, Starfighter Repair 4D, Space Transports Repair 4D
Repulsorlift Motivation System
Retractable heavy grasper arm (lifting skill at 2D)
Retractable fine worker arm
Small electric welder (1D to 5D damage, 0.3 metre range)
Small circular saw (4D damage, 0.3 metre range)
Size: 1 metre in diameter
Cost: 6,500 credits
Description: The Q7-series astromech droid was an experimental astromech droid, designed specifically for use in the Galactic Republic's V-wing starfighter during the Clone Wars.
Unlike the R-series, the Q7-series droids were spherical. The upper hemisphere contained the regular dome, while the lower hemisphere housed repulsorlift engines which allowed the Q7 to get itself in and out of a V-wing fighter, as well as taking up less space while jacked into the fighter itself.
Industrial Automaton designed several prototypes, labeled Q1 through Q6, before finally producing the Q7. They based the upper dome on the R2-series, both to save money on production and due to the success of the largely popular R2-series. This was where the similarities ended, as the lower part of the droid was another dome making the droid under 1 meter in diameter.
Problems arose with the Q7s, due to the frequency in which their repulsorlifts broke down, more often than the treads of their larger cousins in the R-series line. It was also more expensive to repair a repulsorlift engine than the more simple treads. The Q7 also lacked any kind of back-up option for locomotion, rendering them useless if their repulsorlifts did fail.
As the Galactic Republic was transformed into the Galactic Empire, and the V-wing was replaced by the TIE Series starfighter in the Imperial military, Q7 astromechs were phased out and production ceased on the line. In the decades before the Battle of Yavin many Q7s found their way into the hands of smugglers and merchants in the Outer Rim Territories. Due to the higher cost of repairing the repulsorlifts, many owners abandoned their droids for easier-to-maintain models. Other Q7s were converted to R2 models or R4 models, and still others had their programming and personality transferred into completely different droid models.
By the time of the Galactic Civil War, it was rare to see a Q7 in its original form.