A number of Known Space stories involve the opening of stasis devices, an act which poses the serious risk of releasing one or more live Thrint (Slaver) or Tnuctip. If a Thrint is released, its discoverers have moments to kill it before it comprehends its surroundings and enslaves their minds. Typically, the precautions taken involve keeping human or Kzinti telepaths on hand to immediately sense the awakening of a Thrint, with the exploratory party or some standoff weapons crew needing to immediately kill the awoken Slaver.
My question is; why are the final stages of a stasis box mission crewed at all? One likely scenario would be armed exploration drones, deployed from a drone ship, receiving remote commands from a crewed ship some distance away. Although I cannot think of a Known Space story focusing on human- or Kzin-developed A.I., I can think of many casual mentions of highly autonomous robots and systems. So, it stands to reason that humans or Kzin could develop sophisticated explorer-hunter-killer drones, capable of operating semi or fully autonomously. With a communications lag of only a few seconds, the command ship could be hundreds of thousands of kilometers away from the newly opened box. As a safeguard, the drones might be hardwired to hunt and kill any encountered Thrint regardless of operator input.
Aside from crewed missions making for more engaging stories, is there any reason within the Known Space canon that it makes more sense or is actually necessary to send living away teams to a stasis box, as opposed to remotely directing smart robots? What are the mechanics and range restrictions of Thrintun telepathy/mind control?