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"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it."
- Robert Heinlein

Stationary Automatic Blaster  
  An automated defensive blaster.  

"Gimme that chair. I'll demonstrate the gimmick." He stuck it out into the doorway. Instantly two bolts cut across the door, parallel to the ground..."

"Anybody here enough of a technician to sneak up on it and pull its teeth?"

..The colonial trotted ahead, swung around behind the shield covering the stationary automatic blaster, and stopped. He worked away for several minutes, then there was a white flash, intensely bright. He trotted back. "Shorted it out. Bet I blew every overload breaker in the power house."

"Sure you fixed it?"

"You couldn't dot an 'i' with it now."

From Red Planet, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Scribner in 1949
Additional resources -

As presented by Heinlein, this device does not appear to be a fully automated sentry gun that detects intruders in a wide area. It works on a simpler sensor, like an electric eye beam. If you break the beam, the gun fires.

"Becher didn't try to keep men outdoors all night - at least I don't think so. It's automatic. They've put an electric-eye grid across the door. When you break it, a bolt comes across, right where you'd be if you walked through it."

Compare to the blaster from When the Green Star Waned (1925) by Nictzin Dyalhis, the neutron disruption blaster from The Complete Paratime (1951) by H. Beam Piper and the meteor blasters from First Contact (1945), by Murray Leinster.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Red Planet
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Red Planet
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

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