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"I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Multiple Robot Team  
  A set of robots, with the leader able to coordinate the activities of less intelligent subsidiary robots.  

DV-5 was an unusual robot; besides being an asteroid mining robot, it was also able to direct six other less intelligent robots in mining activities.


(Subsidiary robots in 'Catch that Rabbit' by Isaac Asimov)

"Look, that robot, DV-5, has six robots under it. And not just under it - they're part of it..."

He watched the posturings of the robots on the visiplate. They were bronzy gleams of smooth motion against the shadowy crags of the airless asteroid. There was a marching formation now, and in their own dim body light, the rough-hewn walls of the mine tunnel swam past noiselessly, checkered with misty erratic blobs of shadow. They marched in unison, seven of them, with Dave at the head. They wheeled and turned in macabre simultaneity; and melted through changes of formation with the weird ease of chorus dancers in Lunar Bowl.

Technovelgy from Catch That Rabbit, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1944
Additional resources -

The subsidiary robots were called "fingers."

Neither Powell nor Donovan had ever had previous occasion to talk to a "finger." It could talk; it wasn't quite the perfect analogy to a human finger. In fact, it had a fairly developed brain, but that brain was tuned primarily to the reception of orders via positronic field, and its reaction to independent stimuli was rather fumbling.
The idea of "multiple robots" is an idea that has received a lot of current interest. Take a look at Robotic Safety Barrels; these small robots are a close match to Asimov's idea of a team of robots.

The humans finally figure out what's going on with the strange movements of the subsidiary robots:

“Hey, wait! Just tell me one thing. What were those queer shifting marches, those funny dance steps, that the robots went through every time they went screwy."


(Subsidiary robots in 'Catch that Rabbit' by Isaac Asimov)

“That? I don't know. But I’ve got a notion. Remember, those subsidiaries were Dave’s ‘fingers’. We were always saying that, you know. Well, it’s my idea that in all these interludes, whenever Dave became a psychiatric case, he went off into a moronic maze, spending his time twiddling his fingers.”

There is also a lot of interest in the idea of robots that work cooperatively; see Bees Key to Cooperative Robotics for more information.

Compare to the supervisor robot from Manners of the Age (1952) by HB Fyfe.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Catch That Rabbit
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to Catch That Rabbit
  Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov

Multiple Robot Team-related news articles:
  - Robotic Safety Barrels: Smart Traffic Cones
  - Multi-Robot Pursuit System: We'll Be Back!
  - NASA's Multi-Robot Planetary Exploration
  - Synchronizing Humanoid Robot Swarms
  - VelociRoACH Insect Robots Cooperate
  - Robots Learn To Swarm Safely
  - X2-VelociRoACH Cooperates To Launch Tiny Drones
  - LoadRunner Robot Works Alone, Or In A Group
  - CADRE Robots To Work In Teams On Other Planets

Articles related to Robotics
No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix
Micro-Robots Are Smallest, Fully Functional
DIY Robotic Hand Made After Loss Of Fingers
Robot Snakes No Longer Stopped By Stairs

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