Image from Anders Sandberg

Subsentient biomachines. Widely used in the Zoeific Biopolity and elsewhere.

Muschines lack both sentience and autonomy, characteristics which define them from biobots. A biobot can be programmed to perform a task and then left alone while it does it. A muschine, on the other hand, only possesses the responses needed to maintain its own life-functions. A muschine in use requires direct control from an external mind or expert system.

A muschine is a simple device, a muscle-tool really: Something that, when in use, extends the user's reach and power, but which needs guidance to work. A muschine may enhance the user's abilities by a great deal — such as a biological waldo or exoskeleton. Or it may be little more than a living tube of glue or a muscle powered hammer (cf. the Europan Glue Grub and the Arcadian Quillgun) that the user merely picks up, applies the business end to what is being worked on, and squeezes.
Related Articles
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev and AI Vin
Initially published on 08 December 2001.

Substantially revised and expanded 07 March 2010