"My feeling is that the chance of our surviving into the twenty-first century as working civilization is less than fifty percent but greater than zero."
This is a very early use of the term "escape pod."
There were a variety of early approaches to this idea - see spacecraft rescue for more details about these programs. Also, Werner von Braun also worked on escape pod designs in the 1960's. Also compare to the Survival Bubble (Beach Ball) from Footfall (1985) by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle).
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SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.'
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'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.'
Moving Whole Planets, Revisited
There was a lot of work done on this idea over the years.
Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...'
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'The inner leaves were beginning to curl faster than the outer leaves.'
Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'
Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'
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'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'
Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'
IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'
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