Players want to make robots during the game


Banded Mongoose
I have a player that wants to make robots.
One of the sticky points I am running in, is relating Complexity and Cost of the robot, to how long it would take to Design it and than to built it.
Open to suggestions how to go about it.
Thank you in advance.
Are they having someone else build them or are they tinkering in their own robotics lab?
If they are not using an existing design that they have access to, with all parts readily available, then I do the following:
Size number
Number of limbs
Total of levels of all skills
Number of slots filled
Number of other options selected
Total of Damage Dice from all attached weapons

Every week that they spend eight hours a day on the robot, roll a Robotics check. When the total effect equals the above, you have a working prototype of your new design. Assumes TL appropriate tools and facility. Apply negative DMs when those are absent. (For those not jumping or not constantly working on it, 40 hour increments are fine. It isn't the same as learning a skill.)
Every negative check destroys effect*1d6% of the parts, requiring additional outlay.
Once a working prototype is successful, additional units may be constructed as per the rules for assemblers in a robotics lab.
Similar answer as above.
The Robot Handbook has a couple of items that would make this very simple.
First, you would need a Robotics Laboratory with a fabrication chamber and controllers. Granted, a standard starship workshop can
accommodate up to 100 chamber litres of fabrication chambers (Thanks, CSC Update), but those extra goodies help the robot tasks a bit better.
The Lab Control Robot, Advanced is a TL-12 advanced brain with Science (robotics) 2 that can help design the robot. Fab Creator software is needed to create the novel design.
Each design step (and I would follow the process as outlined in the Robot Handbook), should take 1D x 4 Hours (example: researching a problem).
Unfortunately, building it could be very inexpensive (and then you could sell it on the open market)- per the CSC Update (the Referee can impose a 2D x 10% materials cost for computers, robots and complicated electronic machinery).
Build time is easy (Again, from the CSC Update): ...meaning a highly complex electronics-laden item like a robot may require as much as eight times the listed time period to be ready for extraction...

I have run, and played in, several campaigns where the players became small-scale manufacturers or aftermarket craftsmen. Not only does it add to the fun, it creates a lot of opportunity for corporate espionage related adventure hooks.