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"...the space defense initiative drove the USSR bankrupt, and it originated at my house in Tarzana."
- Larry Niven

Wabbler  
  An autonomous underwater robot.  

The Wabbler is an autonomous robotic underwater munition. It is launched from a plane into waters outside enemy scrutiny, and then it slowly makes its way to the target.

...The Wabbler lay in its place, with its ten foot tail coiled neatly above its lower end, and waited with a sort of deadly patience... It and all its brothers were pear-shaped, with absurdly huge and blunt-ended horns, and with small round holes where eyes might have been, and shielded vents where they might have had mouths...

Splash! The Wabbler plunged into the water with a flare of luminescence and a thirty-foot spout of spume and spray rising where it struck... It dived swiftly for twenty feet... Then its falling checked. It swung about, and its writhing tail settled down below it... and then slowly, it settled downward. Its ten-foot tail seemed to waver a little, as if groping.

Then it made small sounds from inside itself. More bubbles came from the round place like a mouth. It settled one foot, two feet, three...

The Wabbler leaned infinitesimally toward the shore. Presently its flexible tail ceased to be curved where it lay upon the ooze. It straightened out. Then the Wabbler moved. Shoreward...

From The Wabbler, by Murray Leinster.
Published by Street and Smith in 1942
Additional resources -

Compare to another autonomous underwater robot Mitsubishi turbot from Slow Life (2002) by Michael Swanwick.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Wabbler
  More Ideas and Technology by Murray Leinster
  Tech news articles related to The Wabbler
  Tech news articles related to works by Murray Leinster

Wabbler-related news articles:
  - Squid Robot Underwater Inspector Has Unique Propulsion
  - RoboClam Smart Anchor
  - Underwater Robot With Touch Sensitive Skin
  - Underwater Mine Detection Robots Vs. Wabbler
  - Adelopod Amphibious Tumbling Robot
  - DARPA's Upward Falling Payload Like Leinster's Wabbler
  - Eel Robots Ideal For Naval Warfare
  - Ad Astra! JPL's Autonomous Undersea Drones

Articles related to Robotics
Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
Buddy Companion Robot Your Bulbous Friend

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