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"In 1977, it took about eight months for a slightly faster more refined mechanism to put punk in the window of Holt Renfrew. It's gotten faster ever since."
- William Gibson

Porter Televox-Robot  
  A robot that carries your bags through the passageways of space liners.  

The great, ungainly figure of the porter stalked down the corridor from the left. Gently it helped the fat man to his feet and picked up his traveling-bags and the two of them departed into the gloom of the ship.

The porter was a size No. 3 televox-robot. He stood six and a half feet high, and moved with a curious croaking sound. There is a rather odd thing about the televox-robots that the General Electric has never been able to explain: although their manufacture is rigidly standardized nevertheless each machine turns out to have its individual peculiarities, and differs from all the others.

It seems to have a personality of its own. Machines of this type have a square head with eyes and ears, an opening for oil, and a little diaphragm with which they can answer simple questions of a Routine nature.

“When you’re through, come back and show me my room,” Burgess called after the robot.

And indeed, in a few minutes the huge figure came stalking back, its queer croak re-echoing through the metal corridor.

Technovelgy from On Board the Martian Liner, by Miles J. Breuer.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Here's another interaction with the robot porter:

Downn the corrIdor, doors were opening and sleepy heads were poking out. The porter stalked up, the whirring of his gears audible in the night’s quietude.

“Do you want anything?” he asked in soft, courteous tones. “No,” said Burgess. “I couldn’t sleep, and came to find something to read.” He had decided to say nothing for the present. Then he was assailed by a foolish little feeling : the porter could understand his “no” but nothing of the rest of the explanation. It was difficult to keep in mind that these things were only machines ; one felt like treating them as conscious human beings.

The passengers retired sleepily to their respective rooms, and the porter returned to his niche; his faint croaking stopped and the night was quiet again.

Compare to the GPP feature (Genuine People Personalities) in Douglas Adams' 1979 book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Also, see the autoporter from The Shockwave Rider (1975) by John Brunner.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from On Board the Martian Liner
  More Ideas and Technology by Miles J. Breuer
  Tech news articles related to On Board the Martian Liner
  Tech news articles related to works by Miles J. Breuer

Porter Televox-Robot-related news articles:
  - New Porter Robot - Matsushita Mechanorg

Articles related to Robotics
LORIS Passive-Gripper Climbing Robot
Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
SpaceHopper Microgravity Robot Lands On Its Feet
No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix

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