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"Another reason why privacy could be just a passing fad, terrorism is going to get too good. [1997]"
- Larry Niven

Telepresence Bulldozer  
  A bulldozer on the Moon that is operated remotely by a driver on Earth.  

We can see the future of telepresence in the following scenes from a documentary described in the novel:

"Meet Rachel Lief," Lunan said. "Ms. Lief is a bulldozer driver." Lunan paused for effect. "As you see, Ms. Lief doesn't look like your typical tractor driver..."

"But then," Lunan said, "not every bulldozer operator works on the Moon." The cameras followed the trim woman into another room, where there was a replica of a large tractor. It was surrounded by TV screens. One screen showed an astronaut sitting in the driver's seat, staring impatiently into the screen. A bleak, nearly colorless pit showed over his left shoulder.

"About time you got here," the astronaut said.

"We were busy," Rachel sat down in the driver's seat and took hold of the controls. "I relieve you..."

The bulldozer moved through the lunar strip mine... "As you can see... this is no easy job. It takes over a second for the signal to get to the Moon, and over a second for the information to get back to her. It takes a lot of computer power to work this trick, but its worth it. Meet Colonel Robert Boyd, commander of Moon Base."

"Colonel Boyd, does it help to have Earth-based machine operators?"

"Sure. It costs a lot to keep people on the Moon. Now it's like I have four or five times as many people up hear, and I don't have to find air for them or feed them."

From Oath of Fealty, by Jerry Pournelle (w/L. Niven).
Published by Timescape in 1981
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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Oath of Fealty
  More Ideas and Technology by Jerry Pournelle (w/L. Niven)
  Tech news articles related to Oath of Fealty
  Tech news articles related to works by Jerry Pournelle (w/L. Niven)

Telepresence Bulldozer-related news articles:
  - Robotic Lunar 'MoonDigger' Bulldozers Planned By NASA
  - Robotic Bulldozer Force Doubles In Israel
  - Regolith Excavation Challenge Yields Prize Money
  - NASA Project M Robot Avatar On Moon

Articles related to Space Tech
Pent-Up NASA Scientists Simulate Life On Mars
Dust Movement On The Moon, Saturn's Rings Solved
Axiom - The World's First Private Space Station?
Moon's Huge Lava Tubes Perfect For Heinlein's Bat Wings

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