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"[Science fiction] is the only kind of writing that allows you to look at the world we live in and change one piece at a time."
- Frederik Pohl

Silencer-Padding  
  Robots need to have special padding on the bottoms of their lower limbs, so they don't clank as they walk.  

Robert F-R badly needed some maintenance work.

Robert lowered his jaw to communicate the mechanical equivalent of a smile. "I may be the only free robot in existence, but I still have certain basic needs. Lubricant for instance, a power pile reactivation, and," he said bringing his foot up to indicate his silencer-padding, "I even need soles."
Technovelgy from Robot Unwanted, by Daniel Keyes.
Published by Other Worlds in 1952
Additional resources -

Compare to the rubber soled feet from Reason (1941) by Isaac Asimov and the rubber hoof from The Warlock in Spite of Himself (1969) by Christopher Stasheff.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Robot Unwanted
  More Ideas and Technology by Daniel Keyes
  Tech news articles related to Robot Unwanted
  Tech news articles related to works by Daniel Keyes

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'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

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'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

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'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

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'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

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