An astromech droid, also referred to as an astro droid or mech, was a type of repair droid that served as an automated mechanic on starships. These compact droids used tool-tipped appendages stored in recessed compartments. Many starfighters relied on astromech copilots to control flight and power distribution systems. Sitting in an astromech socket exposed to space, the droid, in addition to its piloting duties, could calculate hyperspace jumps and perform simple repairs.
Most astromechs were only able to communicate in writing, conveyed via another computer system, or through a special code of clicks, bleeps, and similar sounds, known as binary. However, certain other droids, such as C-3PO, could understand the binary code of astromechs, and often translated from binary to other languages.