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"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Ironing Robot  
  A robot that smooths the wrinkles out of clothing.  

Future Russians use natural plant fibers to recreate what their "прабабушки" (great-grandmothers) wore.

But, there was a problem. Unlike future clothing, the vintage clothing wrinkled and somehow needed to be smoothed. How could this be accomplished? Better call "Бытовых Автоматов" - Household Automata!

New clothes had to be protected, periodically clean, wash and dry. Build special base washing and cleaning proved unsustainable, and offered to set up production plants portable washing machines. But after washing and drying clothes had to be smooth - free from fine lines and wrinkles ...

Here plant Household Automata and received an urgent task to develop and set up production units of BTR - "бытовые тканевые разглаживатели " (a household fabric smoother).

From Iron (утюг), by Mikhail Mikheev.
Published by Not Known in 1972
Additional resources -

Senior designer Rodia Semenova submits one design after another; the incredible progress of Russian science causes each to be labeled as insufficiently modern. First, the heating element is replaced by "microgenerators"; then, the microgenerators are discarded in favor of elements of colliding isotopes!

Eventually (*spoiler alert!) it appears that his tough old grandmother had the solution all along - and it was made of cast iron.

This story comes from a collection called "Cute Robots", good luck getting a copy of that, let alone a translation!


(Cute Robots by Mikhail Mikheev)

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Iron (утюг)
  More Ideas and Technology by Mikhail Mikheev
  Tech news articles related to Iron (утюг)
  Tech news articles related to works by Mikhail Mikheev

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  - Ironing Robot May Fulfill Russian Science Fiction Dreams
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