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"...a market economy is essentially a genetic algorithm for solving resource allocation problems..."
- Charles Stross

Imp Personal Robot  
  A small 'subtree' robot that is designed for the personal use of astronauts.  

See the entry for the Christmas Bush Motile Robot for the full capabilities of this 'subtree' robot.

Each astronaut in the crew has a small subtree or "imp" that stays with him or her to act as the communication link to the main computer. Most of the crew have the tiny imp ride on their shoulder, although some of the women prefer to keep theirs in their hairdo. In addition to acting as the communication link to the computer, the imps also act as health monitors and personal servants. They are the ideal solution to the perennial problem of spacesuits ... scratching an itchy nose. The imps go into the spacesuit with the humans, and more than one human life was saved by an imp detecting and repairing a suit failure or patching a leak. In fact, there are two computer motiles with each suited human. The personal one that stays with the human, and the spacesuit motile that stays with the suit. This motile is usually outside in the life-support backpack, but can worm its way inside through the air supply hose.
From Rocheworld, by Robert Forward.
Published by Not known in 1985
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