"I did more research, and realized I almost would rather be a biologist than a writer, because there was incredible stuff going on!"
Very early reference to this idea, an interesting counterpoint to the idea of an autonomous cab (which Dick talks about in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch ) or a regular cab that is piloted by a robot (which Dick talks about in A Present for Pat ).
Compare to the driverless drones from the 2007 novel Halting State by Charles Stross.
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'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'
DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.
ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.
When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'
Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'
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