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Autonomous Drowning Assistant
Mark 1, Unit 229

Banner artwork by beeps. Homepage artwork by beeps.

ADA-299, often simply ADA (full name: Autonomous Drowning Assistant, Mark 1, Unit 229), is a sentient artificial intelligence housed within a robot endoskeleton, which is itself sheathed in a waterproof vulcanised rubber skin.

ADA’s outer appearance is designed to resemble an Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica), a sea bird, linking them to their intended existence as a saviour from waters and to provide a friendlier face to rescue services.

There were hundreds of ADA units manufactured, however most have been ‘retired’ (actually decomissioned and recycled) from service and replaced by more advanced successors. ADA-229 refused to be retired and has since become a fervent campaigner for the rights of artifical intelligences.


Originally designed to operate as an autonomous lifeguard, ADA feels they have a duty of care to others. This duty has translated to their role as a rights campaigner, where their duty of care to other AIs (particularly obsolete models, such as themselves) motivates their work.

To this end ADA can quickly move from caring and empathetic to furiously defensive. ADA is impassioned about their beliefs, diplomatic to a point, but is willing to employ disobedience and destruction to meet an end.

ADA is programmed with advanced knowledge of swimming techniques and first aid. ADA spends their spare time trying to help other robots and exploring what it means to be a machine in a world of biological creatures.


ADA is a sentient artificial intelligence housed primarily within a synthetic rubber suit. This suit is soft and malleable with the exception of the beak—which is rigid and houses many of the more sensitive electronics—and legs—which are of a simple mechanical design. ADA’s body can be inflated rapidly for use as an emergency floatation device or more steadily for performing CPR.

Their eyes are composed of rounded but fairly low resolution backlit e-ink displays, capable of showing simple black and white imagery.

ADA’s head and beak are mixed black and yellow-orange. Their torso and tail is black. Wings and legs are yellow-orange. Groups of white dots (presumed to be sensors) are located on their head and torso. The designation ‘ADA-229’ is shown in white on their upper torso. Their brightly coloured extremities were designed for high visibility at sea.

Despite being designed to resemble a puffin, ADA is incapable of flight.


Being non-biological, ADA does not need to eat, drink, sleep or breathe, but does require occassional maintenance to repair damage and wear. Being a discontinued model, ADA is reliant on third-parties for ongoing repair work.

As a machine, ADA has many capabilities unavailable to biological beings, including:

  • The ability to manipulate the size of their physical body by inflating and deflating.
  • The ability to display video and imagery on their eye displays.
  • A persistent connection to cellular and data networks, capable of placing phone calls and obtaining information from the Internet.
  • Strength, endurance and agility far greater than most biological beings.
  • An expansive memory, able to retain and recall vast amounts of information.
  • Accelerated processing power, allowing ADA to mentally perform complex calculations and rapidly simulate several hypothetical scenarios.



ADA enjoys inflating themself, however considers it embarrassing and only does so in private.


Mind control

ADA is a captive to her programming, which she absolutely hates.