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"The whole problem of energy sources is going to be solved by little solutions, not by some big new piece of technology that does everything. We got into this crisis by believing that we had one big piece of technology that would do everything (oil)."
- Gregory Benford

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
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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

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  - PALRO Companion Robot

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