Scanning is a method for the Transformers to change their alternate mode into the native things from other planets, such as vehicles or animals on Earth. A Transformer's scanning ability is enabled by their T-Cog component. However, by scanning a new alternate mode, their robot mode appearance doesn't change.


Transformers: Exiles

Scanning new vehicle modes based on the current locale is not something that every Cybertronian enjoys; some pride themselves on retaining the same vehicle form that they have had since learning to assume it. During his stay on Junkion, Prowl briefly contemplated scanning a new vehicle mode to better suit the treacherous terrain of the junk planet but ultimately decided against it.

Project Predacon

Optimus Prime scanned a new alternate mode that would better integrate his new jetpack. The vehicle chosen by Agent Fowler was a M.A.S.K. division experimental, all-terrain, expeditionary fighting vehicle.

Pilot (Part 2)

After arriving on Earth, Strongarm scanned a police SUV and Sideswipe scanned a sports car at Denny Clay's scrapyard. Noticeably, Fixit and Grimlock did not adopt compatible Earth forms possibly due to personal preferences or physical limitations. 

Most, but not all of the Decepticon fugitives aboard the Alchemor also chose to scan new alternate modes while hiding out on Earth.

Overloaded, Part 2

While training in the Realm of the Primes, Optimus Prime learned how to control and fine-tune the scanning process so that he could merely adopt one characteristic of an appropriate vehicle. While searching for Polarclaw in the Arctic, members of the Bee Team scanned suitable camouflage from a nearby truck. 

Cover Me

During the trip south, Optimus and a few Autobots adopted desert camouflage by scanning an offroad jeep. 


  • For some reason that has yet to be explained, Cybertronians seem to lose the ability to assume a vehicle form after arriving on Earth. While they are perfectly functional in robot mode, their inability to transform puts them at a disadvantage regarding mobility. Though there are some exceptions. However, Cybertronians are readily capable of scanning local vehicles for alternate modes. This appears as the Cybertronian in question shooting what appears to be green (or blue) beams from their eyes. The beams scan the vehicle, which appears to cause some electrical interference as well, providing the Cybertronian with a complete schematic of their chosen vehicle. After which, they can immediately transform into said vehicle. Curiously, Cybertronians appear to display kibble that already hints to an Earth vehicle mode before they actually scan one.
  • William Fowler has inadvertedly provided some Decepticons their vehicle modes with the VTOL Jet he's currently riding in, much to his irritation.


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