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"I'm strictly an ivory-tower person. I can explain things but I can't do things."
- Isaac Asimov

Field-Minder  
  An agricultural robot.  

It's lonely work out there in the fields; fortunately, the human beings give orders.

The field-minder finished turning the top-soil of a two-thousand-acre field. When it had turned the last furrow, it climbed on to the highway and looked back at its work... the land was bad. Like the ground all over Earth, it was vitiated by over-cropping or the long-lasting effects of nuclear bombardment.

it went slowly down the road, taking its time. t was intelligent enough to appreciate the neatness all about it. Nothing worried it, beyond a loose inspection plate above its atomic pile which ought to be attended to.

From Who Can Replace A Man, by Brian Aldiss.
Published by Faber & Faber in 1963
Additional resources -

It was able to communicate with robots in charge of warehouses; it could print out a card with its requirements.

This robot will probably need the services of the agricultural robot pest controller from the 1985 movie Runaway by Michael Crichton.

Compare to the automatic cultivators from Piracy Preferred (1930) by John W. Campbell, the conscious farm machines from The Hidden Colony (1935) by Otfrid von Hanstein, the robot farmer from The Turning Wheel (1954) by Philip K. Dick, the Robomule from Bill the Galactic Hero (1965) by Harry Harrison, the self-guided tractor from At the Bottom of a Hole (1966) by Larry Niven and the robot crab from Neuromancer (1984) by William Gibson.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Who Can Replace A Man
  More Ideas and Technology by Brian Aldiss
  Tech news articles related to Who Can Replace A Man
  Tech news articles related to works by Brian Aldiss

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