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"Science fiction is what scientists would do if they could - if they had enough grant money, enough time, and enough brains to do the wonderful things they would like to do."
- Greg Bear

Self-Repairing Robot  
  A mechanism that can detect faults in itself and repair them.  

An early example of the idea of a self-repairing mechanism.

He balanced the toaster in his hand and burned a small hole in the little wheeled monster. Tentacles emerged from the side of the machine and felt puzzledly at the damaged area. The tentacles were withdrawn and presently reappeared with a small torch and began welding.

Jordan pulled the unconscious pilot toward him. He leaned against the machine, raised the inert form over his head and laid it gently on the top flat surface. Another tentacle reached out to investigate the body of the pilot. Jordan welded the joints solid with the toaster. Three times he repeated the process until the pilot was fastened to the robot.

"The thing will stay here, repairing itself, until it's completely sound again," remarked Jordan. "However, that can be fixed." He adjusted the toaster beam to an imperceptible thickness. Deftly he sliced through the control case and removed a circular section. He reached inside and ripped out circuits. "No further self-repair," he said cheerfully. "Now I'm going to need your help.

Technovelgy from Accidental Flight, by W.F. Wallace.
Published by Galaxy in 1952
Additional resources -

Compare to the repair robots from The Well-Oiled Machine (1950) by H.B. Fyfe, Self-Maintaining Circuit Monitoring and Repair from Gramp and his Dog (1952) by Frank Quattrocchi, the repair robot from The Invincible (1954), by Stanislaw Lem, the service drones from The Two Faces of Tomorrow (1979) by James P. Hogan and the repair drone from Neuromancer (1984) by William Gibson.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Accidental Flight
  More Ideas and Technology by W.F. Wallace
  Tech news articles related to Accidental Flight
  Tech news articles related to works by W.F. Wallace

Self-Repairing Robot-related news articles:
  - Tesla Diagnoses Itself, Sends Part Request

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Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
SpaceHopper Microgravity Robot Lands On Its Feet
No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix
Micro-Robots Are Smallest, Fully Functional

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