Drones are a vital part of your economy as they help maintain your base, build structures and gather resources. Unlike other units, you are unable to take direct control of them due to their simple AI.
They come in a variety of forms and all produced at a drone fabricator.
A multi-purpose drone which comes equipped with a manipulator beam and mobile atomising device. They serve a multitude of functions:
When you see some resources you might like, such as Calcite, Thorium or Heskosium, send a prospector drone to go and gather it. The drone will fly over to it, use its manipulator beam to 'carefully' extract it from the ground and bring it back to the appropriate location.
Make sure the drone doesn't get destroyed 'en route' or else it will drop the crystal and will need to be gathered by another drone.
Structures within a certain radius of the HQ building can be atomised without any external help, however if you want to build beyond this then a Prospector Drone is needed. Thankfully, the process is fairly well automated. Simply place the building outside of your construction area and a drone will automatically get manufactured and sent to the location. If, while trying to get there, it gets stuck (again, simple AI), or you need to divert it for some reason, then you will need to order it to cease what it's doing and try and rebuild the structure again.