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Powell and Donovan

created by Isaac Asimov


This is a virtual series. A list of stories featuring two of the more notable Robotics engineers. Gregory Powell and Mike Donovan are fictional characters from Isaac Asimov's Robot short stories. They are practical engineers rather than theoretical roboticists, field specialists for U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men, and are employed mainly on testing new or experimental robots in practical situations — either on planets or space stations (robots are banned on Earth). They regularly get into complex and potentially dangerous situations when trying to solve robot issues in the field. The issues typically involve the Three Laws of Robotics.

They are mainly comical characters, but they also explore the logical contradictions behind some of the applications of the Three Laws of Robotics. Their adventures stand out in stark contrast to the indoor exploits of Susan Calvin, a dour robopsychologist working for the same company. The characters Powell and Donovan appear in "Runaround", "Reason", "Catch that Rabbit" and "Escape!". Donovan also appears in "First Law". In the Foundation's Friends tribute anthology, they appear in Poul Anderson's story "Plato's Cave", and an elderly Donovan appears in Harry Harrison's "The Fourth Law of Robotics".

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Page last modified on 09 October 2015, at 12:03 GMT