B1 battle droids were battle droids that made up the backbone of the Trade Federation Droid Army and the Separatist Droid Army. Often called "Clankers" by Galactic Republic clone troopers, they were the successor of the OOM-series battle droid.
B1s were perhaps the most numerous—and expendable—soldiers in galactic history, and, unlike most organic soldiers, they were capable of action in hostile environments such as underwater or in space. They were designed, for the most part, to defeat their enemies through sheer numbers, not through their ability to think (they were very vulnerable to tricks) and utilize combat skills (unlike clone troopers).
The B1 battle droid was frequently used as a soldier for the Trade Federation. As a result, B1s were present in nearly every battle involving the Trade Federation.
Early battles involving the droids required a central computer for the droids to "think" from, but this was mostly removed post-Battle of Naboo after an attack destroyed the mainframe stationed there, resulting in all the droids on the planet being deactivated.
Neimoidians were known to spread the false rumor that B1 battle droids' heads were designed to imitate the shape of a Neimoidian's skull after death. In this way, they were intended to strike fear into an enemy's heart. In addition, their bodies vaguely resembled those of the Geonosians.
B1 battle droids were physically identical to their direct predecessor, the OOM-series battle droid; like OOM models they were color-coded according to function, such as commander or security. Some were painted with different colors to blend into a certain environment. They stood 1.93 meters tall.
B1s were usually slaved to a central control mainframe located on a remote starship or another well-defended facility. However, this could lead to massive failure if the central control mainframe was destroyed, such as during the Battle of Naboo, in which Anakin Skywalker destroyed the Droid Control Ship. The monumental defeat at Naboo spurred interest in independent battle droids, and this technique gained ground following the battle and during the Clone Wars. A Human could rip a battle droid's limbs off if sufficiently enraged. In extreme cases, the electromagnets that kept their limbs attached could malfunction. During the Clone Wars, Galactic Republic clone troopers learned to aim at the hips, torsos, and arm joints of the B1s to quickly destroy them. But a head shot was the only decisive way to disable a droid. They didn't need arms, legs or even bodies to pass intel to central command.B1s were designed for cheap mass-production. As a result, they were very flimsy and vulnerable, but were capable of swarming an enemy with their hugely superior numbers. Other models, like the droideka, B2 super battle droid, grapple droid, and B1-A air battle droid, were more expensive and as a result less widely used but better soldiers.Battle droids used E-5 blaster rifles, blaster pistols, and thermal detonators in combat. They spoke in a high-pitched monotone. The voice varied between units around the time of the Battle of Naboo, and at some point during the Clone Wars their voices were uniformly changed to a more high-pitched version.