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Self Configuring Modular Robot (Chapter Cover)

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Chapter 48 - Self Configuring Modular Robot[]

Elizabeth leaned back... her seat as she finished programming the remotes. These were specialist variants of the self-replicating robots Arthur's team had developed to deal with the Machine plague. These were carefully trucked in their coding, so they would reproduce only in limited numbers. They would do a job that would take millions of man-hours to achieve, and, she hoped, they would follow instructions somewhat intelligently.

Below her personal shuttle, the site on Snark IV was coming to life. The prospector machines spreading out to seek out the right ores, the fabricator units were established, she had her interface-based on a child's strategy game set up in real-time.

"Are you ready to go now?" Alicia Li asked.

"I have to, don't I?" liz asked.

"Most people look at potentially life-saving treatments with a little more enthusiasm, Liz."

"I'm not most people. I've written documentation and I think the kill-switches will work. So your guys should be able to handle the machinery on the moon by remote. Once we've proven the interface and control architecture work, we'll move on to applying terraforming concepts. Do we have a candidate system?"

"The Coast Guard's still looking for one, but by the time you're back from your sabbatical. We should have several candidate systems on file for you to look at."

"More is better." Liz observed, "This time the infrastructures are going to be self-repairing, we're not going to fall behind again."

"And your lab?" Li asked.

" lab. It's funny. I'm testing a new concept in manufacturing tech. In order to build what amounts to a big super collider for high-energy physics research to try and reconstruct lost works of Kearney and Fuchida....We've all forgotten so much. We don't even know what it is we've lost in the last few centuries or even if we ever had it. A worthwhile life's work, wouldn't you say?"

"I'd say you need to stop being so fatalistic, Liz, it's not a good look on you." Li quipped, "The machines? They're safe?"

"Well, for a certain value of safety. I mean, you don't want to be around heavy construction gear if you're at all clever," Liz noted, "but the kill-switches and the programming doors ought to prevent anything going off the rails like it apparently did on Callison or New Earth."

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