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"[Science fiction] is the only kind of writing that allows you to look at the world we live in and change one piece at a time."
- Frederik Pohl

Undercover Detective Robot  
  Specialized robot masquerades as different robot types to spy on criminals.  

Undercover work can be tedious - and dangerous. Why not use robots?

"The name is Wil Counter-4951L3, not that that means much any more. I've worn so many different bodies that I forget what I originally looked like. I went right from factory-school to a police training school - and I have been on the job ever since - Force of Detectives, Sergeant Jr. grade, Investigation department. I spend most of my time selling candy bars or newspapers, or serving drinks in crumb joints. Gather information, make reports and keep tabs on guys for other departments..."
From The Velvet Glove, by Harry Harrison.
Published by Fantastic Universe in 1956
Additional resources -

Fans of Isaac Asimov will, of course, remember his robotic detective R. Daneel Olivaw from his 1953 story Caves of Steel.

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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

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