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"I've come across more and more people who've actually tried reading science fiction and can't make it make sense."
- Samuel R. Delany

Biot  
  A biological robot.  

When the explorers reach the interior of Rama, and the vast structure approaches the Sun, a vast number of biological robots - biots - perform various functions.

...now life, with all its infinite possibilities, had come to Rama. If the biological robots were not living creatures, they were certainly very good imitations.

No one knew who invented the word "biot"; it seemed to come into instant use, by a kind of spontaneous generation. From his vantage point on the hub, Rousseau was Biot Watcher in Chief, and he was beginning, so he believed, to understand some of their behavior patterns.

From Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Not Known in 1972
Additional resources -

As far as I know, Clarke coined the word "biot."

Read a lot more details about biots in the article for spider tripod robots, taken from the same novel.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Rendezvous With Rama
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to Rendezvous With Rama
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

Biot-related news articles:
  - Tiny Bio-Bots Take Big Steps Forward

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