Scaramechs are small, highly adaptive robots that have evolved into autonomous, insectoid creatures whose sole aim is to survive by connecting to energy resource points and information outlets.
No one knows exactly where they came from, but the most widely accepted theory is that they are "bastardized" robots from the Japanese IJS (Industrial Junk Scavenging) programs; machines for recycling the industrial waste that threatened to overwhelm the Japanese archipelagos in the mid-21st century. Keen recyclers, scaramechs have become uncontrollable parasites feeding on the flow of memo-data and storing the most useful fragments in their synthetic memory.
Judging that scaramechs were harmless to humans, the Neo-Paris authorities chose to ignore the potential risks from the proliferation of these creatures. This relaxed policy was open to criticism however if, as some scientists believed, these robots ever used the city's memoriel debris to evolve into a higher and perhaps more predatory form of existence. This hypothesis aside, the authorities are carrying out an assessment of the material damage caused by scaramechs.