Today more and more total stations are equipped with tracking features, which enable the user to induce the instrument to aim at targets or to follow a moving prism automatically. These instruments are called robot tacheometers. After a brief review of their functionality and of possible applications, potential error sources relating to the additional features are discussed, regarding separately the static mode (including stop-and-go) and the cinematic mode. Furthermore, systematic and stochastic aspects are characterized. Evaluation strategies for the determination of the performance of robot tacheometers are presented: on the one hand the testing only procedures which prove the instruments’ features according to the manufacturers’ specifications and on the other hand the calibration functions with the possibility to increase the instruments’ accuracy. The requirement for specific examination and calibration methods is shown, which is a demanding task, because a new dimension, time, is involved.