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"Science fiction has gotten more accurate as we've gotten closer to the present, because science fiction stories have not only attracted, but also generated current scientists."
- Larry Niven

Robomule  
  The robotic equivalent of a mule.  

...he might have paid more attention to his ploughing... and would have driven his furrow to the far side of the hill before the seductive music sounded along the road. But he did hear it and dropped the handles of the plough that was plugged into the robomule, turned and gaped.
Technovelgy from Bill the Galactic Hero, by Harry Harrison.
Published by Unknown in 1965
Additional resources -

You might compare the robomule to the more fully-featured robass from Anthony Boucher's 1951 story The Quest for Saint Aquin, as well as the more nimble dope mule from Bruce Sterling's 1994 novel Heavy Weather.

Compare to the automatic cultivators from Piracy Preferred (1930) by John W. Campbell, the conscious farm machines from The Hidden Colony (1935) by Otfrid von Hanstein, the robot farmer from The Turning Wheel (1954) by Philip K. Dick, the field minder from Who Can Replace A Man (1963) by Brian Aldiss, the self-guided tractor from At the Bottom of a Hole (1966) by Larry Niven, the robot crab from Neuromancer (1984) by William Gibson and the agricultural robot pest controller from Runaway (1985) by Michael Crichton.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Bill the Galactic Hero
  More Ideas and Technology by Harry Harrison
  Tech news articles related to Bill the Galactic Hero
  Tech news articles related to works by Harry Harrison

Robomule-related news articles:
  - Kinze Autonomy Project's Autonomous Tractors
  - Autonomous Tractor Harvest-Ready

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Coin-Sized Nuclear Battery Good For 100 Years
The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror In Space

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