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"Everything starts as somebody's daydream. And, when you're daydreaming, it is science fiction. It's when you start work out how you put it together, true science fiction becomes real science."
- Larry Niven

Robot Self-Assembly  
  A robot separated into many pieces reassembles itself.  

The men of the Swan, a star ship, landed on an a planet that had supposedly been settled by men. They found instead a vast treasure of useful ore, and began loading it into their ship.

Behind Meccano's impassive face, at the bottom of the dark orbits, the delicate mechanism that was built to last for thousands of years threw a switch with a low snap that was swallowed up in the silence...


('Meccano' by Hugo Correa)

... A sort of car, shaped like no vehicle ever made by human hands, its wheels all the hidden under a rounded belly. It had small cavities in its flat roof and three openings in the longest side. As soon as the man had gone it rolled noiselessly to the center of a vast plane where it stopped and placed itself carefully. Another strangely shaped car, a flat underneath and rounded on top. With long legs ending in small wheels, came up from another direction and rolled smoothly over the other one so that the roof of one fitted neatly under the belly of the other. The legs then folded up like those of a monstrous beetle.

Mecanno fitted his body together into a powerful machine. The feet, high as 30 m towers, and the hands, wide as terraces, joined ankles and wrists. In the middle of the plain a headless body took shape, arms and legs outspread...

Meccano took note of its bearings, and walked away to the crater with hundred-meter strides. Its shadow was a huge batracian sliding over the stony ground. The robot knelt before the head, lifted it slowly, and with a single careful pressure of its strong hands placed it on its shoulders in the cavity prepared for it. Next, the eyes. Two white balls lay on the pedestal where the head had rested. The robot screwed them carefully into its eyesockets.

Technovelgy from Meccano, by Hugo Correa.
Published by International Science Fiction in 1968
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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Meccano
  More Ideas and Technology by Hugo Correa
  Tech news articles related to Meccano
  Tech news articles related to works by Hugo Correa

Robot Self-Assembly-related news articles:
  - Gentle Monster Robot Head

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Ballie Your AI Robot Companion From Samsung

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