The Oxium Osprey is a curious little robot. Most Corpus robotics will simply shoot at invading Tenno. However, the Oxium Osprey has a different choice of combat. While it does have a small laser turret, Oxium Ospreys stop using them as soon as they take damage to their shields. Once damaged, an Oxium Osprey will charge at you and then explode, killing itself in the process.
If you kill the Oxium Osprey before it explodes, you can take its Oxium for yourself. If it self-destructs manually, the Oxium disappears.
What is Oxium though?
Oxium is a lighter-than-air alloy. It’s a magic metal that is somehow so light that it floats, even in places with very low gravity, like Phobos. It was apparently created by the Orokin, but disappeared from use when the Orokin empire fell. Thankfully though, some intrepid Corpus scientists managed to rediscover Oxium in a facility near Eris.
And what do they use this brand new, physically impossible resource on? Drones that blow themselves up.
“Wait, that seems expensive and wasteful! That doesn’t seem to fit the Corpus motives of Grofit!”
Oxium is kinda rare. Even for Tenno, it’s actually tricky to get vast amounts of it. Both Zephyr and Vauban use large quantities of Oxium, and it’s present in a lot of items.
At the same time, the Corpus are not known for spending much money on their crew. Sure, the Corpus Board will throw money at various plans. After all, they funded Ambulas Reborn, the Zanuka Project and more. But wasting money on a rare resource? I have to assume it’s rare, otherwise all Corpus drones would use it, not just Osprey ones. After all, the ability to float seems genuinely pretty handy. And Oxium Ospreys only fall to the ground when blown up – either the Oxium inside them explodes, or we steal their Oxium.
So this stuff must be valuable, right?
Time for some bad maths!
Now, the only reason why we can work out how much each drone costs is actually quite awkward. You can buy 300 Oxium for 30 Platinum on the Market. You should never, ever buy Oxium, or any resource on the Market, for Platinum. It’s just bad.
That being said, we can now work out that 1 piece of Oxium costs 0.3 Platinum. You get 6-7 pieces of Oxium for every Osprey, which means that the Oxium for one Oxium Osprey costs between 1.8 and 2.1 Platinum. Not including other components and shipping/handling/tax costs. According to the Warframe Wiki, 1 Platinum is equal to 6.7 cents. So we are looking at about 14c ($0.1407 to be exact) per Oxium Osprey.
Well, uh… guess Oxium IS pretty cheap then.
But I’m missing some key components here. I haven’t included ANY of the other materials used to make an Oxium Osprey. After all, they are made from more than just Oxium. Oxium is just the potentially rare bit.
Even then though, the Corpus are mass-producing these things in vastly efficient factories. Even if you throw in other Warframe items (like circuits and neural sensors), you’re probably not spending THAT much money. And, thanks to economies of scale, Corpus companies can probably afford to buy in bulk. The more you buy in one go, the less it often costs per single unit.
And, worst case scenario, production is owned solely by the Corpus.
So yeah, at the end of the day, it costs pretty much nothing to throw Oxium Ospreys at Tenno.
And even if making exploding drones does slowly cost the Corpus money, they can make it all back by betting on the Index.