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"I wrote many novels which … contained the element of the projected collective unconscious, which made them simply incomprehensible to anyone who read them, because they required the reader to accept my premise that each of us lives in a unique world."
- Philip K. Dick

Robot Snake Spy  
  A small robot in the shape of a snake, used for field work by spies.  

How to retrieve a small amount of material from a person held captive in a small cottage?

The coil on the table appeared to be a snake - tan and brown with black specks and a spade-shaped head. It did not look alive and it did not look dead.

...He reached down and partially uncoiled the snake, then squeezed its middle. A small hatch popped open, giving a glimpse of gleaming steel ribs and wires. He placed the tube inside the snake, then closed the hatch.

"The snake has hi-res terrain mapping tied in with augmented GPS, and in this model, face and voice recognition... Within sight of a targeted individual - I mean, the intended individual - it will make an audible announcement and open its hatch."

From Mariposa, by Greg Bear.
Published by Vanguard Press in 2009
Additional resources -

Interesting science-fictional predecessors to this idea include the mining worm robot from Love Among the Robots (1946) by Emmett McDowell and the mechanical cobra from Lord of Light (1967) by Roger Zelazny.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Mariposa
  More Ideas and Technology by Greg Bear
  Tech news articles related to Mariposa
  Tech news articles related to works by Greg Bear

Robot Snake Spy-related news articles:
  - Snakebot Conquers Obstacle Course
  - Terrifying Robot Snake's Flying, Coiling Attack

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