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"Generally, the human race avoids doing anything radical until forced into it."
- Frederik Pohl

Asteroid Mining Robot  
  An autonomous robot able to effectively mine asteroids.  

The DV-5 mining robot is of an unusual variety; it is a multiple robot. It has six robots working for it.

It is also able to work autonomously: "... these robots are equipped for asteroid mining without supervision."

It was not overmassive by any means, in spite of its construction as thinking-unit of an integrated seven-member robot team. It was seven feet tall, and a half-ton of metal and electricity. A lot? Not when that half-ton has to be a mass of condensers, circuits, relays, and vacuum cells that can handle practically any psychological reaction known to humans...


(Asteroid Mining Robot from 'Catch that Rabbit' by Isaac Asimov)

"Dave," [Powell] said. "You're a stable, rock-bottom mining robot, except that you're equiped to handle six subsidiaries in direct coordination..."

From Catch That Rabbit, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1944
Additional resources -

The company that produced these robots was rather uncompromising; their unwritten motto was "No employee makes the same mistake twice. He is fired the first time."

Each robot is carefully tested:

It started simply enough. Robot DV-5 multiplied five-place figures to the heartless ticking of a stop watch. He recited the prime numbers between a thousand and ten-thousand. He extracted cube roots and integrated functions of varying complexity. He went through mechanical reactions in order of increasing difficulty. And, finally, worked his precise mechanical mind over the highest function of the robot world the solution of problems in judgment and ethics.

Compare to asteroid mining from Edison's Conquest of Mars (1898) by Garrett P. Serviss, asteroid mining (blasting) from Asteroid of Gold (1932) by Clifford Simak, the meteor miner from Salvage in Space (1933) by Jack Williamson, asteroid claim law from Jurisdiction (1941) by Nat Schachner, space placers from The Day We Celebrate (1941) by Nelson S. Bond, the asteroid mine from Love Among the Robots (1946) by Emmett McDowell, the coal mole from The Web Between the Worlds (1979) by Charles Sheffield, and asteroid metal from The Mechanical Monarch (1958) by E.C. Tubb.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Catch That Rabbit
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to Catch That Rabbit
  Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov

Asteroid Mining Robot-related news articles:
  - Robots In The Mines
  - NASA's Robotic Mining Competition

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