Unlike other forms of plasma cannon, the Uzi is designed to be lightweight and compact enough for use by Matoran. Inside is a power core, made from rows of energy cells; each cell is the equivalent of one charge. When the trigger is pulled, a reaction occurs that causes the energy cell to ignite. The heated plasma is forced through the launch barrel and then fired.
It is for this energy cell system that the Uzi is notable for its safety and energy-efficiency; earlier designs of plasma weapon required plasma tanks, which could be a hazard if ruptured, whereas energy cells were more compact and no hazard if damaged.
More specialized versions of the Uzi are known to exist, including one with a modified power cell battery that can modify the strength and compression settings of the energy cells, and by extent those of the plasma bursts that are fired. It is often used my members of Toa-sized species such as Vortixx and Noctians.
Following the Great Cataclysm and the onset of the Dark Hunter-Brotherhood of Makuta War, a weapons-making boom ensued among most of the industrialized islands in the Matoran universe. However, many of the weapons became expensive in the Noctian Islands area due to the high shipping rates and regular piracy, so several entrepreneurs sought to create a more affordable version of the Xian plasma cannon.
In 70 AGC, the plasma Uzi was successfully created, becoming a major success not just on the Noctian archipelago, but most of the northern Matoran universe. This was in no small part due to the energy-efficiency the Uzi provided through the power cell system compared to the existing method of using plasma tanks for such weapons. The Uzi was re-released in various models following its initial success.