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If I recall correctly, it was an Isaac Asimov story about a malfunctioning robot which created a machine which violated the laws of Physics, but I dont remember the name of the story and some details about the story I want to be able to re-read now. Though I'm not 100% sure it was an Isaac Asimov story.

Does anyone know the name of a sci fi story about a malfunctioning robot which created a machine which violated the laws of Physics?

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Could be Robot AL-76 Goes Astray, which is one of Asimov's. The titular robot is meant to operate a 'disinto' on the moon, but ends up lost on Earth. Trying to get back to its programmed function, it builds a device in a scrap yard that ends up being the most advanced disinto ever seen - it destroys much of the local scenery. Investigators find one power source - a single battery.

19

This could also be the Asimov story "Escape!" in which a specialized robot, "the Brain" goes a bit crazy as it develops a hyperspace drive, because the drive will cause the temporary death of the crew, which violates the First Law of Robotics. I don't think the drive "violates the laws of Physics", but it did reveal new laws. According to the Wikipedia article linked above: "The Brain has become a practical joker: it hasn't built any manual controls for the ship, no showers or beds, either, and it only provides tinned beans and milk for the crew to survive on."

I was also reminded of the Asimov story "Little Lost Robot" but it doesn't really fit, as no new device or discovery was made by the Nestor robot in that story.

5

There was an Asimov short story about planetary computer / AI which was asked to solve a problem of which would break the laws of thermodynamics. This story was called "The Last Question".

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  • Whilst this may be true is there any reason to suspect that the OP is wrong in that they were remembering "Robot AL-76 Goes Astray"? They have currently confirmed that to be correct and so unless you suspect they're mistaken this can't be the correct answer and so merely a work which also fits the criteria but that would make this a comment not an answer. – TheLethalCarrot Feb 3 at 11:57
  • Yes, Multivac, that's a very famous story but this is about a robot. Good try though – Pablo Feb 3 at 11:58
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    Probably my favorite Isaac Asimov story – Pablo Feb 3 at 12:01
  • There's an implicit spoiler here, since the question is about robots that actually did violate physcial laws. – Mad Physicist Feb 3 at 18:13

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