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"it slowly dawned on me that the landscape of science is maybe what interests people a great deal in science fiction."
- Gregory Benford

Robot Handlers  
  Small robots used in spacecraft for a variety of useful tasks.  

Small robot handlers were climbing all over the pressure crates, metal spiders no bigger than my hand, stabbing shipping labels with laser lights. I watched as they snapped lines to the pallet's air and water tanks.
From The Golden Globe, by John Varley.
Published by Ace Books in 1998
Additional resources -

Compare to the Earth-bound autoporter from John Brunner's 1975 novel The Shockwave Rider.

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  More Ideas and Technology from The Golden Globe
  More Ideas and Technology by John Varley
  Tech news articles related to The Golden Globe
  Tech news articles related to works by John Varley

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