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"Concepts of religion may now be goals of science and engineering."
- Bart Kosko

Robot Snake  
  A mechanical reptile, with no legs.  

As far as I know, the first use of this phrase in science fiction.

"There’s Cobber. He’s a mechanical device, but he’s part of my act and easily explained. They might not think to look for a second reason for my wanting him near me...

After a long moment she dropped her hands from the wheel, took the robot snake from his box and draped his topaz and emerald length over her shoulders and the mechanism, triggered by the warmth of her body, set the jeweled evil head to weaving nervously. Then she reached out mentally for Artemus Chester.

Chester scanned her mind and his face gradually lightened. "Excellent! I’m sure Mr. Kilgore's electronic wizards can build some sort of amplifying circuit into your robot snake by the time I’m ready for you to leave. I do have to find a crime for you..."

From Bait for the Tiger, by Lee Chaytor.
Published by Fantastic Universe in 1958
Additional resources -

Compare to the mining worm robot from Love Among the Robots (1946) by Emmett McDowell, the robot earthworm from War with the Robots (1962) by Harry Harrison, the mechanical cobra from Lord of Light (1967) by Roger Zelazny, the digger worm from With Friends Like These (1985) by Connie Willis and the robot snake spy from Mariposa (2009) by Greg Bear.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Bait for the Tiger
  More Ideas and Technology by Lee Chaytor
  Tech news articles related to Bait for the Tiger
  Tech news articles related to works by Lee Chaytor

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