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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

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.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Who Can Replace A Man
  More Ideas and Technology by Brian Aldiss
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