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Russell uses the drone to perform reconnaissance around City 17, and thanks to several additions to the base Scanner model, he can also use it to remotely carry out dangerous actions from the safety of his lab. The housing around the Scanner's "eye" has been removed, and A/V equipment with a protruding antenna that's affixed to the body is plugged into the front camera presumably to allow a visual feed to be sent to Russell. On the side of the drone, a pneumatic arm with a large clamp at the end has been attached to allow it to carry items. A small laser module has been duct taped on top of the clamp which is shown to be powerful enough to cut through metal and steel. Unlike regular City Scanners which have glowing red eyes, Russell's drone has a green eye. Russell is able to communicate through the drone with what's apparently a text-to-speech generator which speaks in a slow, mechanical fashion.
The drone is first seen being used in an attempt to rescue Eli Vance after he had been captured by the Combine in a raid on his safehouse. With the prisoners of the raid being transported in multiple Prisoner Transport vans and being unable to tell who's inside which transport, Russell uses his drone to smash into the front windshield of one transport and drop a primed Grenade into the cabin, killing the Civil Protection officers inside and overturning the vehicle. This ends up freeing Alyx instead. Russell then uses the drone to give a headset to Alyx in order to communicate with her directly. The drone begins guiding Alyx back to Russell's lab, using its laser to cut open the vehicle's back door and through the lock on a ladder. However, a passing Strider inadvertently drops its foot on the drone, sending it careening into the nearby building sides before eventually exploding.
Later on, after Alyx has ventured deep into the Quarantine Zone just outside of the Distillery, Russell's drone returns, Russell having been able to repair it. While Russell is elated that the drone is back in action, it is immediately destroyed again by a newly arrived Combine patrol.