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"SF is a controlled way to think and dream about the future."
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Robot Biomimicry  
  Endowing robots with an organic-appearing fluidity, rather than mechanical motion.  

As far as I know, Wells is the first to both describe machines that seem to move like organic beings, and also to describe some sort of means by which this "biomimicry" might be accomplished. Wells himself did not use this expression.

He called it "a curious parallelism to animal motions".

...And while upon this matter of detail, it is remarkable that the long leverages of their machines are in most cases actuated by a sort of sham musculature of the disks in an elastic sheath; these disks become polarised and drawn closely and powerfully together when traversed by a current of electricity. In this way the curious parallelism to animal motions, which was so striking and disturbing to the human beholder, was attained. Such quasi-muscles abounded in the crablike handling-machine which, on my first peeping out of the slit, I watched unpacking the cylinder. It seemed infinitely more alive than the actual Martians lying beyond it in the sunset light...
From The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells.
Published by Unknown in 1898
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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The War of the Worlds
  More Ideas and Technology by H.G. Wells
  Tech news articles related to The War of the Worlds
  Tech news articles related to works by H.G. Wells

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