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"For the sciences, the way to change science's perception of things is to wait until all the old farts have died off."
- Larry Niven

Ramrobot  
  An autonomous interstellar exploration craft using gathered hydrogen for fuel.  

Ramrobots had been first visitors to all the settled worlds. The interstellar ramscoop robots, with an unrestricted fuel supply culled from interstellar hydrogen, could travel between stars at speeds approaching those of light. Long ago, the UN had sent ramrobots to nearby stars to search out habitable planets.
From A Gift From Earth, by Larry Niven.
Published by Del Rey in 1968
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  - Pinta The Robot Sailboat

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