"Every scientist worth his salt that I know of has read science fiction."
Niven and Pournelle use small, remote-controlled robots to be the "eyes and ears" of Tony Rand, the chief engineer of a massive arcology, Todos Santos.
The authors even provide us with some possible limits of the device, particularly during interactions with people:
Robot Probes (Arr-twos)-related
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Star Trek Voyager Replica Tricorder And Galaxy Quest
'They designed those controls after watching you...take her out!'
Rolls Royce Electric Airplane Breaks Records
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...'
Chang'e-5 Lunar Lander Seeks Water
'... get out the solar power apparatus and send it down to us from the air-lock by the crane.'
I Really Want A Folding Computer
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'
A Kill Switch For Your Car?
'The car faltered as the external command came to brake...'
Scientifiction, Searchlight of Science
'And science goes on, with scientifiction as its searchlight.'
Wearable Biomedical Sensors Printed Directly On Your Skin
'The dragon is a skin computer... People put it on their arms and exchange personal data.'
Artificial, Implantable Kidney Prototype
'George Walt's corporate existence proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'
Ultra-short Pulse Laser Kills Bacteria In Vivo
'...coherent beams at precise wave-lengths passing through her flesh to zap foreign molecules within her body.'
Bioprint Prototype Handheld Bioprinter
'He turned the little art-derm nozzle...'
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