from Clone Wars seasons
Cam droids, also known as hovercams, were repulsorlift droids, used as self-motivated recording devices. They were essentially artificially intelligent, self-directing holocameras. They were often used to record the events
of the Galactic Senate. But as the droid could be used as observers, or bug devices, or patrol/guard units, they were frequently applied as moving
multifunction security droids. Such droids patrolling the skylines of Coruscant, sometimes peak inside an
apartment of any skyscraper. We could see similar act as a droid checked Amidala's room if everything was okay with her, after that assassination on the landing pad.
The first appearance of these camera droids was in Star Wars:
Episode I The Phantom Menace. Cam droids were used to capture sporting events like Podraces, and their recordings could be transmitted to the public HoloNet or portable viewscreens, such small mini screens that could be seen in the hands of Padme’s action figure, and Shmi Skywalker in the movie. Cam droids could be programmed to record footage of a Podracer, assigned a racer to follow his maneuvers during the race, or
giving close ups from him. Or
occasionally cam droid recordings could be transmitted to the HoloNet, for
example when they recorded a speech of Palpatine, or
when they send data and picture of a runaway criminal. If they were used for
criminality purposes, we can talk about police cam droids. So we can differentiate the basic yellow hovercams,
which worked on podrace tracks, in the senate, or in the skylanes, and the
silvery police cam droids with sirens on top. These units were patrolling in
the markets, watching for thieves and public safety, or looking for wanted
criminals, scanning everybody with the central data and
Their siren sound was loud, everybody noticed it, and whoever did something
wrong those got cold feet as they hear it, or saw it quickly flying on the
droid could follow the criminal, sending online pictures about him as he flee,
the policemen's (or rather police droids') work. So many criminal destroyed
the cam droid to get rid of it, preventing it following him, but that was a
crime, it was prohibited, yet many criminals chose to do it while running
However the cam droids were highly intelligent, self-directing self motivating units, some were lacked all but minimal cognitive circuitry. They had to be fair, and without
partiality, providing equal law for everyone, but there were exceptions. Units such as the
Senate cam droid could be programmed to favor certain political factions during recording and editing. Palpatine for example got more face time, or the representatives of the CIS, having more opportunity to can be seen, getting more time, or close ups.
Cam droids during Palpatine's tenure were known for giving Loyalist senators more face time. If somehow a do not needed or inconvenient recording recording was recorded, senate recordings began to suddenly disappear from the archives of the droids, and some that were still intact had glaring gaps in them. It happened the cam droid had a „serious malfunction, or was detonated, or destroyed itself somehow”, and the recording disappeared. So this Star wars world is very similar to our real world.
cam droids were normally equipped with multiple visual and audio transmitters. A wide angle lens and a zoom function was normally given to senate cameras. This allowed them to capture panoramic views and the expressions of individual senators. These recordings could be sent live to public HoloNet, or to private onlooker boxes. Each one carried a central databank that could access and view any former recording. The biggest downside to senate cams was that they were only as reliable as their programmers.
An interesting brother of this studied camera droids can be found in the Kotor games, mainly on Manaan. Planet Manaan had a strategic importance.
Not only because of its location, but also because of its very valuable natural resource, since Manaan was the only naturally occurring source of kolto. Kolto is very similar to bacta. Kolto was a liquid that contained unique healing properties, it was a rare, and valuable raw material, which couldn't been artificially
synthesized, or copied. Both great
Empires (the Sith and the Republic) are racing to be the only "friend" of Manaan, but every diplomatic efforts, and every will or act is just about to grab the kolto sources. Manaan does not want to involve the politics, they held tightly to their neutrality, but they can maintain this state harder and harder every other day. Due to the intergalactic race of the
Sith Empire and the Old Republic harsh sanctions were imposed
by the Selkaths, just to protect themselves, their world, and the kolto.
Manaan refused to condone violence of any sort,
whoever violated the rules would be punished. The streets of Ahto City are
being monitored with security cameras, and their
can be used as evidence in a trial.
Yet, the Sith often goaded Republic soldiers into street fights, but at least shoot outs were rare.
In the game they are often called as security droids, but obviously they are
the same, or at least very similar in use. Also, their look is alike, silvery
color, round shape, pink eyes, etc.
A similar droid can be seen in
new season of Rebels. In the Rebels it is called spy droid, but it is a very
similar droid, so it can be mentioned as a relative, widening our perspective.
That droid was sent after minister Maketh Tua, who was a human female on the
Her efforts failed to locate the rebels. In retribution, Tarkin ordered
to located the rebels. Despite doubling patrols, setting up security
checkpoints, and establishing curfews, she was unable to discover the
whereabouts of the cell. In response, the Emperor dispatched Moff Tarkin, then
his chief enforcer, the Sith Lord Darth Vader, to deal with the situation.
Having failed the Grand Moff, she was summoned to meet with him in person the
next day to atone for her failure.
Fearing for her life, minister Tua managed to
the cell and arrange for passage off of Lothal, in exchange for a list of
rebel sympathizers on Lothal and its neighboring systems, and information
regarding the Empire's true mission on Lothal. Vader, however, suspected she
would run, and decided to use her to draw out the rebels and lead them to the
larger rebellion. Kallus, an agent of the Imperial Security Bureau programmed
a spy droid to shadow the minister, and then personally escorted
to her shuttle for her meeting. However, the cell attacked the shuttle that
day, and a rebel orders Tua to board the ship, telling her that they would be
right behind her. As she entered the trooper compartment, the vehicle
exploded, killing the minister.
The Empire framed the rebels for Tua's assassination using footage that the
spy droid the took of the attack, when it was in fact them who rigged the
shuttle to explode. Their goal was to turn the local populace against the
rebels with this assassination.
Camera droids could have 3 different outlooks. The basic
yellow was the most common, as the senate hovercams, skylane probes often
The cam droids of the CIS were often painted black. And the police droids were
silvery, with a red and a blue siren on top, with pink eyes. We could only see
these droids in the Clone wars.
After seeing all 6 seasons, and watching
whole Clone Wars again, I noticed some police camera droid units, which are the same, or very similar. There
was an episode, when Anakin and
Padme are expecting a Roonan
senator for a party, but some fruits are missing on top dressing of the cake. So
Anakin sends the 2 droids to the market, to buy some fruit, we can spot a police
cam droid in the background as they going to market.
The commando droid figure was made from a cheap repro camera
droid torso, painted with silver and grey. The two sirens were made from putty,
painted red and blue. Underneath, or around the sirens the droid's top part was
painted as a reflection of the lights, with more water. The eyes were painted
with pink, white, and silver.
Please take a look at my custom Camera droid figure!
Custom police camera droid figure front
Custom Police Camdroid figure side
Custom police hovercam figure back
for visiting the site CustomStarWars. Come back ASAP,
as there will be plenty of interesting things here!
by: Norbert Rostas