Sims are able to buy pre-made and pre-programmed Plumbots. There is a "Create a Bot" feature, which allows players to create Plumbots and customize existing ones. Plumbots can have up to seven "trait chips", which allow them to have a variety of features, abilities and skill sets. The number of trait chips a Plumbot can be equipped with depends upon its creator's Bot Building skill. Anyone with high enough skill can upgrade a Plumbot to give it more trait chip slots. Sims are able to buy trait chips, or design and make them; and are able to buy materials needed to make them Sims are able to build a Bot Building skill which allows them to make better Plumbots, upgrade existing ones, and make more advanced trait chips.
Plumbots can also scan Sims or other Plumbots, which has a small chance to reveal their traits or trait chips.
A Plumbot's Simology panel will show the bot's name, gender, and quality (on a scale of 0 to 10). It will also show which trait chips are installed.
A Plumbot can gain Lifetime Happiness points from high Mood if the Simulated Emotions or Sentience trait chips are installed. They may also have wishes, even without specific trait chips, which can be promised and fulfilled for happiness as normal.
In the Q&A on July 30, it was mentioned that Plumbots do not age, but can have accidents. It was implied that Plumbots that are kept maintained will last indefinitely.
Plumbots have a quality rating that ranges from 0 to 10. Skilled bot-builders can increase a Plumbot's quality by tuning it up. Increasing a Plumbot's quality increases the amount it can be sold for, and higher quality Plumbots lose Battery Power and Maintenance more slowly.
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Like Servos from The Sims 2: Open for Business, Plumbots have 4 needs. Those needs are: Battery Power, Maintenance, Social, and Fun. Whether or not Social and Fun are greyed out depends on which trait chips are installed. Plumbots have a mood meter, but it will be greyed out unless an appropriate trait chip is installed. Plumbots do not need to eat, and will not want to eat.
This is the Plumbot equivalent of energy. The quality of a Plumbot affects how quickly this decays. The higher a Plumbot's quality is, the longer its battery power will last.
Plumbots can recharge at the Nexus-9 Non-Organic Charging Station, which can be bought in Buy mode for §710. They can also siphon power from electrical appliances, though this will greatly deplete their maintenance need. Plumbots can be shut down, and will replenish power while shut down.
The Solar Powered trait chip allows a Plumbot to use solar power when outside during daylight, and the Efficient trait chip lets Plumbots use power more efficiently.
Unlike Servos and SimBots, Plumbots will require maintenance. The quality of a Plumbot affects how fast this decays (the higher the quality the slower it decays). If a Plumbot's maintenance bar is empty, it will begin to malfunction. Plumbots are able to maintain themselves. When a Sim or Plumbot with a medium or high Bot Building skill tunes a Plumbot, its quality may rise. The Plumbot's quality can only increase if it was lower than the tuner's Bot Building skill. A Plumbot that accrues 15,000 Lifetime Happiness Points can purchase the Maintenance Master reward, which freezes the Maintenance motive.
Create a BotEdit
The announce trailer suggested that it would be possible to create Plumbots inside a special machine. The live broadcast from July 30, 2013 indicated that clicking on the machine would allow the player to enter Create a Bot, which is similar to Create a Sim, but oriented toward building robots.
This machine is Reventlov's Bot Workshop. It can be purchased in Buy mode for §1,750. In addition, the Bot Emporium in Oasis Landing has a Bot Workshop that Sims can use. Access to Create a Bot requires at least level 2 of Bot Building skill, and is not free. Creating a Plumbot costs §250, and customizing an existing Plumbot costs §100. Create a Bot apparently creates Plumbots with no programming. Trait chips must be bought or made separately and installed after the Plumbot is created.
Create a Bot allows the player to customize the Plumbot by choosing a head, body, arms, and legs. The player can color the parts with Create a Style. There is a "randomize" button, as there is in Create a Sim.
The very first of the five tabs is Basics. This is where the player chooses the Plumbot's name and gender. 
Name: Type in the Plumbot's name.
Gender OS: Choose either Male or Female.
Voice: Choose one of three voice types.
There is a slider below the voice select buttons. It was not demonstrated but the labeling suggests it may control the pitch of the Plumbot's voice.
The player can choose a head from the collection..
The player can choose a torso from the collection.
The player can choose arms from the collection.
The player can choose legs or a hover bottom from the collection.
Trait chips give Plumbots various skill sets, abilities, and features. A Plumbot starts out able to have between 3 and 7 trait chips, depending on the skill of its maker, and Plumbots can be upgraded to have more trait chip slots. Sims will be able to buy trait chips from the Bot Emporium in Oasis Landing, or design and create them with Reventlov's Bot Workshop, using the Bot Building skill. Sims will also be able to buy a Trait Chip Bundle for 10,000 lifetime happiness points.
These are the available trait chips:
- Plumbots were originally called ServoBots during development.
- Some of the parts are from Servo in The Sims 2: Open for Business.
- Plumbots' voices are just like regular Sim voices, but robotized.
- One of the Plumbot heads looks similar to a Geth head. This could be a possible reference to another game published by EA, Mass Effect.
- Another head looks like EDI, from the same game.
- The name "Reventlov's Bot Workshop" may be a reference to R. Giskard Reventlov, a robot character from Isaac Asimov's Robot series.
- There is a Plumbot by the name of KH-48, this is likely a reference to HK-47 a Hunter-Killer assassin droid from the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series.
- Plumbots have their own gravestone and urn. The gravestone has a holographic plaque of spinning gears.
- The name of the "Steel Chef" trait chip may be a reference to the Iron Chef cooking shows.
- In Create-a-Bot when choosing the body parts, sometimes Plumbots speak like normal Sims.
- There's a glitch when player create/edit Plumbot from the future when coming to their homeworld the body/head are changing to the other head/shape/body [Patch 1.62][clarification needed]
- It appears that sometimes a glitch will occur that will result in the Plumbot aging. (See gallery for screencaps.)
- ↑ August 13 blog post by SimGuruBritt.
- ↑ The Sims 3 Live Broadcast - July 23, 2013 on "The Sims" YouTube Channel. Mention of Plumbots starts at around 25:00
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 The Sims 3 Live Broadcast - July 30, 2013 on "The Sims" YouTube Channel
- ↑ The Sims 3 Into the Future: Trait Chips at Carl's Sims 3 Guide.
- ↑ The Sims 3 Into the Future: Bot Making at Carl's Sims 3 Guide
- ↑ Plumbot Trait chips in The Sims 3 Into the Future at Pinguintech. Page is in English, but some pictures have text in Dutch.
- ↑ http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/719602.page