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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Marvin the Robot  
  Another fine robot from the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation  

This is one example of what happens when you give a robot a personality.

“Look Zaphod,” she said, patting his arm, “don't worry about the aliens. They're just a couple of guys I expect. I'll send the robot down to get them and bring them up here. Hey Marvin!”

In the corner, the robot's head swung up sharply, but then wobbled about imperceptibly. It pulled itself up to its feet as if it was about five pounds heavier that it actually was, and made what an outside observer would have thought was a heroic effort to cross the room. It stopped in front of Trillian and seemed to stare through her left shoulder.

“I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed,” it said. Its voice was low and hopeless.

“Oh God,” muttered Zaphod and slumped into a seat.

“Well,” said Trillian in a bright compassionate tone, “here's something to occupy you and keep your mind off things.”

“It won't work,” droned Marvin, “I have an exceptionally large mind.”

From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams.
Published by Harmony Books in 1979
Additional resources -

Compare to the robot cab driver from A Present for Pat (1952) by Philip K. Dick.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  More Ideas and Technology by Douglas Adams
  Tech news articles related to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  Tech news articles related to works by Douglas Adams

Marvin the Robot-related news articles:
  - Robot Suicide Ad Changed By GM
  - PALRO Companion Robot
  - Japanese AI Forms Suicidally Depressed Personality

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