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"If you have a gut response to a story, you are not responding to something new ..you are really responding to a story you were told when you were six or seven…"
- Samuel R. Delany

Repair Robots  
  Autonomous robots that carry out maintenance functions on a space ship.  

"Doc" was a repair robot:

Doc rolled in. He was an adaptation of the same model as Sinner and Adder, with digits specialized for repairing machinery, including other robots. His cylindrical body housed a “memory” file of repair instructions recorded on tape.

As far as I know, this is the first use of "repair robot".

“Didn’t I ask you to do something about Liar?” [William "Ed" Moran, editor of Stupendous Stories] demanded when the repair robot rolled in. “You were supposed to find a way weeks ago to stop his editing stories as he works.”

Doc hesitated a moment in acute embarrassment.

“To tell the truth,” he said, “I fear to tamper with as complex a mechanism as Liar. I am only a Model 255-C.”

"Oh, get out!" growled Ed, discouraged.

From The Well-Oiled Machine, by H.B. Fyfe.
Published by Fantasy Science Fiction in 1950
Additional resources -

In Stanislaw Lem's 1954 novel The Invincible, a heavy cruiser powered by photon drive, came within range of a star system worthy of exploration, the crew was brought out of hibernation and the ship prepared for their use.

Faint rattling noises came from inside the hull as if swarms of tiny animals were busily scurrying about scratching the metal walls with their sharp little claws. This was the sign that the repair robots had started out on their rounds, checking the solidity of the braces of the ship's framework; making sure that the hull had not been damaged anywhere and that all seams were still welded tight. The entire ship came to life, filled with myriad noises and activities . . . only the crew had not yet awakened...

Interesting early use of this concept; we all remember the helpful droids from Star Wars, like R2D2.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Well-Oiled Machine
  More Ideas and Technology by H.B. Fyfe
  Tech news articles related to The Well-Oiled Machine
  Tech news articles related to works by H.B. Fyfe

Repair Robots-related news articles:
  - SRI International's Speedy, Ant-Sized Microrobot Swarm
  - Bridge-MINDER Repair Robot
  - SPIDER Repair Robots From Lockheed Martin Blimps
  - Rolls Royce 'Cockroach-Sized' Repair Robots To Crawl Inside Engines

Articles related to Robotics
NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
Dyson's Secret Household Robots
Festo BionicSwift Bird Robots Described In 1930
Robotics Jobs In The Food Industry

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