It is unseen to what extent they had artificial intelligence, since they were apparently incapable of speech, although Kryten seemed on friendly terms with them, and one did "bleep" in response to Kryten's greeting. (RD: Fathers & Suns)
Under the control of the homicidal computer Pree, the garbage droids forced Dave Lister out of an airlock barely in time for him to get his space suit on, although Lister re-entered through the Front Ramscoop of Red Dwarf. Soon after, two garbage droids are about to crush all of the Boys from the Dwarf together, before Lister convinces Pree to uninstall herself, disabling the garbage droids under her control. (RD: Fathers & Suns)
- It may have been the garbage droids who assisted the skutters to keep Red Dwarf running in the three million years after the accident which killed the crew, and Lister was in stasis. During this time they would have been under the control of Holly.
- They appear in the novel Better Than Life, where they are named "stacker trucks" or "stacker droids" but described as exactly as they appear later in television series episode Fathers & Suns, even down to the colour. In the novel, it is said that there are three of them aboard Starbug, and Lister uses them along with a makeshift metal suit and resting on their forks to escape the marooned Starbug on Garbage World (formally Earth) which is eaten away by acid rain. After his escape and back aboard Red Dwarf, the Dwarfers find one in pristine condition and blow it up, mistakenly believing it to be a polymorph since none of the stacker droids were in pristine condition.
Behind the scenes
- The Garby props in Fathers & Suns were pushed from behind by the crew. The cast had a hard time making the "crushing" look convincing during Lister's telling Pree to uninstall herself, since the crew had to push them together slowly.
- In the webcomic "Scoop of the Century", the Cat drives a bulldozer-like Garby and uses it to push the Fecal Beast out of an airlock.