What do the moravecs (humanoid machines from the Jovian system) look like in Dan Simmons' Ilium?

I am halfway through the book and haven't seen a good description yet as to their appearance.

  • If I remember rightly they're named Moravec's in honour of Hans Moravec a researcher at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, who has published various books about the future directions of robotics, transcendence and other related stuff.
    – Amos
    Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 22:12

1 Answer 1


As you noticed, the novel is a bit short on specific descriptions. Little bits here and there. For the two main moravec characters:

  • Mahnmut is a small humanoid analog...sometimes.
  • Orphu is a horseshoe crab...sorta.

The moravec was not designed for walking — his role was mostly to sit in an exploration submersible, sometimes to swim — and when he grew tired of being a biped, he altered the workings of his joints and spine and padded along like a dog for a while.

- Ilium, Chapter 22

These images might be a start...

Ultimately they look like almost anything your imagination can come up with :)


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