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"I realized there was a heavy-duty change coming in biology, and I could write a really compelling novel about catastrophic evolution, punctuated equilibrium."
- Greg Bear

Silencer-Padding  
  Robots need to have special padding on the bottoms of their lower limbs, so they don't clank as they walk.  

Robert F-R badly needed some maintenance work.

Robert lowered his jaw to communicate the mechanical equivalent of a smile. "I may be the only free robot in existence, but I still have certain basic needs. Lubricant for instance, a power pile reactivation, and," he said bringing his foot up to indicate his silencer-padding, "I even need soles."
From Robot Unwanted, by Daniel Keyes.
Published by Other Worlds in 1952
Additional resources -

As I recall, the robotic horse in A Warlock in Spite of Himself by Christopher Stasheff had special retractable rubber hooves for silent running!

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