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"The world is really so surreal these days that it's necessary for us to blunt it somehow in order to stay sane. The artist functions to short-circuit the buffering mechanism, so that people can occasionally perceive the weirdness of things as they are."
- William Gibson

Pilot-Robot  
  The piloting gear of a space tug.  

The gritty life of a space tug owner, in the tiny pilot's cabin.

A sturdy, utilitarian craft, the tug had no broad and dangerous ports.The low walls and bulging roof of the tiny pilothouse, lined with spongy gray plastic, were cut only with thin tubes for the instruments. Beside the dial-topped case of the pilot-robot, Captain Rob McGee pulled his square leather face out of a black periscope hood, and looked at them with mild, squinted eyes.


(The pilot-robot from Collision Orbit>)

From Collision Orbit, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Astounding in 1942
Additional resources -

See how the pilot-robot keeps the ship safe by using thermalarm relays to detect small objects in the ships path and maneuver around them.

See also automatic navigator in A Matter of Size (1934) by Harry Bates, the chart cabinet in One Against the Legion (1939) by Jack Williamson, the 3D tank display in Triplanetary (1930) by 'Doc' Smith, the article on astrogation in Methuselah's Children (1941) by Robert Heinlein and the telechart in Crashing Suns (1928) by Edmond Hamilton.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Collision Orbit
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Williamson
  Tech news articles related to Collision Orbit
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Williamson

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