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"did I had an extremely expensive wife - she would see a new car that she liked and just buy it... under California law I was bound to buy her debts. I think I turned out 16 novels in five years."
- Philip K. Dick

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 The tentacles were withdrawn and presently reappeared with a small torch and began welding.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.

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

Compare to the repair robot from The Invincible (1954), by Stanislaw Lem.

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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

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