"Science fiction and science have always danced around each other. Science fiction is the subconscious of science."
Just a bit less than one meter tall, Artoo-Detoo is an astromech droid - or robot - with a wide assortment of tools and appendages to solve problems. R2 is a very talkative robotic Leatherman.
R2 does not speak English, or other human languages - too inefficient, perhaps. He communicates with a wide range of whistles and beeps, all translated (however reluctantly) by his counterpart C3PO.
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'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'
PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."
Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'
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'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'
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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.'
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'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'
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'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'
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'... a sound tape to supply the noise'
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