So, since a big part of Trillek will be the virtual computer and the sci-fi setting, I suggest something that would go hand-in-hand with both: programmable robots! I've listed some of my ideas below.
Creation and design
A robot could be found on the starting ship (if there is any), but it would be a very simple thing, only useful for quick ship repairs and use as a probe. However, it (and all other robots) could be upgraded modularly, like guns. I will list some modules later. New robots would be created using metal, wires and mechanical parts for the body, and a computer for the 'brain'. A newly-crafted robot would be unusable, as it would have no programming or commands; it would be a blank slate. It could be programmed by plugging it into your computer, and coding to your heart's desire! When first crafting a robot, players could choose from many different basic body types, unlocking new ones from blueprints. Robots would also have their own inventory, and could be painted to look however you wanted them to.
The probe would be a simple design, with no weapon ports, just one tool port, for a saw or scoop. However, it would compensate with a large number of sensor ports, and, by default, a CCTV camera, so that you could see what your probe sees. Very useful for investigating mysterious ships or toxic planets! Probes would have 2 mobility ports.
Example: The Curiosity rover (real life)
A mechanic robot would also have no weapon ports, and few sensor ports, but many, many tool ports. A mechanic robot would be most useful for making ship repairs when you can't (i.e. reconnecting some wires in the middle of an attack) or ones too dangerous for a human (i.e. fixing a hull breach, putting out a major fire.)
Example: R2D2 (Star Wars)
The main purpose of a combat robot is just that: combat. They would be stout and tank-like, with thick armor. Though they lack any tool ports, they have the most weapon ports of any robot, and a few sensor ports for spotting enemies.
Example: ED-209 (Robocop)
Support robots are made to transport cargo and supplies, usually into battlefields. They can also function as delivery bots. They would have 2 mobility ports, 1 small weapon port, maybe a few tool ports, and some sensor ports. They would also have the most inventory space of any robot model.
Example: BigDog (real life)
(note: a tool module that has a player-usable equivalent (i.e. wrench, welding torch) would be crafted with the respective tool)
Scoop: Used for digging up dirt/sand and putting it in the robot's inventory.
Claw: Used to pick up items, possibly for inventory storage.
Fire extinguisher: Used to put out fires.
Welding torch: Used to weld.
Wrench: Used to repair.
Syringe: Used to take a liquid or blood sample.
(note: player-used weapons are installed onto an appropriate weapon mount)
Small: For pistols, etc.
Medium: For SMGs, shotguns, etc.
Large: For sniper rifles, grenade launchers, etc.
Visual: Allows a robot to see its surroundings, so as not to bump into anything. Unless upgraded with night vision, the robot would need a flashlight to see in the dark.
Life-reading: Allows a robot to see players, aliens, plants, etc. Works from behind walls and cover, and in the dark.
Rock probe: Allows a robot to scan a section of a planet, asteroid, or comet for minerals and/or caves.
Technological: Allows a robot to detect other robots, computers, and other technology.
Scanner: Allows a robot to take a detailed scan of an object, and send a report back to a computer.
CCTV camera: Gives direct footage from the robot to a computer; allows you to 'see what your robot sees'. Video becomes grainier and more static-y as the robot gets farther away.
Transmission interceptor: Allows a robot to intercept someone's data when it is being transmitted. Great for spy robots.
(note: all robots have 1 mobility slot unless otherwise specified)
Wheels: Fast, but can tip over, leaving the robot immobile and defenseless.
Treads: Very durable, but slow. Cannot navigate most obstacles.
Legs: Average speed but low durability. Can traverse almost all obstacles.
Wings: Allows a robot to fly fast. Cannot hover.
Rotors: Allows a robot to fly at average speed. Can hover.
Thrusters: Allows a robot to move in space.
Readout monitor: Allows you to see, line by line, the robot's programming and thought process.
Antenna: Allows the robot to transmit information further.
Face: Gives the robot a screen with an ASCII face, which will change depending on the robot's situation (i.e. looks distressed when damaged, smiles when accomplishes task.
Information dispenser: Allows a robot to answer question in a text adventure dialog tree style.
Flashlight: Gives the robot a little flashlight to shine.
Finally, some robot concepts: