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"One can see the free software movement as a precusor for a "free hardware" or "free wetware" movement--one that will provide free libraries of designs for biological or nanotechnological products that replicators can be programmed to churn out."
- Charles Stross

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.

"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.

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.

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

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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

Articles related to Robotics
Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Cassie 'Halfbot' Best Half (Lower) Of Humanoid Robot

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