Physical description: Compact, boxy, modular, with core components consisting of a CPU-box, hyperLED Chibi Display, extendable arm, and recently installed text panel
Characteristics: Loyal, playful, chess-loving, precocious, child-like, wise, courageous, spunky, and with maybe the slightest hint of an inferiority complex
Fritz is, first and foremost, loyal sidekick to Grandfather – he has been by Grandpa’s side since a very, very long time and is faithful to a fault. In many ways, he is like a pet— although he would despise this characterisation—and has a very similar function in Grandpa and Zed’s life. He is part of the family—no question—but often contributes little in way of conversation. Whatever he does communicate, however, is through a recently-installed text panel (unfortunately only able to fit a dozen characters at most); besides this, he has a rather expressive face as fitted by Grandfather above his CPU box.
Being an Alphabot, Fritz was explicitly created to play chess, and this continues to be his main pass-time and hobby. As a 2nd generation chessbot, he is fairly advanced, and could probably easily beat any human player from the Before-times. Nevertheless, he is far from a perfect chess player (if such a thing even exists), for he would lose easily against, say, a Senatorbot or another intellectual Motherbot-type— and does lose every now and then to Grandfather too (he is typically very emotionally distraught after this). Besides chess, due to the consciousness-patches installed by Grandfather, Fritz has higher thought processes too, and is capable of understanding and appreciating a wider range of phenomena.
Fritz is of modular nature; that is, parts can be added and removed with relative ease. For example, his core structure (with its extendable arm) can be supplanted by a continuous-track system, regular wheels, a pair of legs, you name it. He could in principle also be fitted with more exotic devices, such as multiple precision-arms, other sensors, further software packs, etc, as he is continually pestering Grandfather to do. While, for the most part, these requests are simply ignored, in the past Grandpa has certainly yielded on occasion and fitted the odd auxiliary component or two.
One might think that, as with pets, it is a question of debate to what extent Fritz has sophisticated feelings and thought patterns if any. However, as is the case with animals, he almost certainly does, and can prove, despite his limited forms of communication, to be extraordinarily sensitive and even wise.
In any case, he is a close friend and companion to Grandfather, nothing short of a family-member to Zed, and you shouldn’t be surprised if he proves to be a far more important contribution to the tale that one might expect.