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"...a market economy is essentially a genetic algorithm for solving resource allocation problems..."
- Charles Stross

Blue Collar Robot  
  An autonomous robot required to find its own work.  

In this future, autonomous robots need to find work; how else can you afford spare parts, not to mention upgrades?

Jon Venex fitted the key into the hotel room door. He had asked for a large room, the largest in the hotel and had paid the desk clerk extra for it... The room was bigger than he expected - fully three feet wide by five feet long...

There was the usual adjustable hook on the back wall. He slipped it through the recessed ring in the back of his neck and kicked himself up until his feet hung free of the floor. His legs relaxed with a rattle as he cut off all power below his waist.

The overworked leg motor would have to cool down before he could work on it, plenty of time to skim through the newspaper. With the chronic worry of the unemployed, he snapped it open to the want ads and ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...

From The Velvet Glove, by Harry Harrison.
Published by Fantastic Universe in 1956
Additional resources -

This newspaper knew its readers; there were even comics for robots:

He even had a favorite strip, a fact that he scarcely dared mention to himself - "Rattly Robot," a dull-witted mechanical clod who was continually falling all over himself and getting into trouble. It was a repellant caricature, but could still be very funny.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Velvet Glove
  More Ideas and Technology by Harry Harrison
  Tech news articles related to The Velvet Glove
  Tech news articles related to works by Harry Harrison

Blue Collar Robot-related news articles:
  - Blue Collar Bot Pumps Gas Update
  - Unemployed Robots Should Seek Work Autonomously
  - Pi4-Workerbot Adapts Quickly
  - Competing With Blue Collar Robots

Articles related to Robotics
'We're Not Creating A Terminator' Say Russians About Gun-Wielding Robot Fedor
Pooper Scooper Drone Robot Watchdog 1
Cassie Robot Brings AT-ST Walker To Life
Hundreds Of Robot Lawnmowers Invade Texas Town

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