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"I don't know why I write science fiction. The voices in my head told me to!"
- Charles Stross

Robot-Deranger  
  A device that confuses the cognitive functions of robots.  

"I could not get you because your circuit was broken," it said. "Our air-vessel Micrad; bearing the large projector of the Robot-deranger, landed on the ocean surface two hundred miles from New York harbor. It was forced down when your district air-power failed."

...

"The Micrad is coming with the long-range deranger," Tina told them briefly. After a moment they hastened away upstairs and I heard one of them shouting...

We saw a white search-beam from the Micrad come down and disclosed a group of Robots on the laboratory roof. Then the spreading beam of the deranging ray struck them, and they stood an instant transfixed, stricken, with wildly flailing arms. Then one toppled and fell. Then another. Two rushed together, locked in each other's grip, desperately fighting because of some crazy, deranged thought-impulse. They swayed and tore at each other until both wilted and sank inert. Another tottered with jerky steps to the edge of the roof and plunged headlong, crashing with a great metal clatter to the stone paving of the ground....

From The Exile of Time, by Nat Schachner (w. AL Zagat).
Published by Astounding Stories in 1931
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