Philip K Dick wrote extensively about androids, robots and "replicants", and explored the possible boundaries between such machines and humans, and where those boundaries might one day be blurred.
While he was not a roboticist himself, he provided the inspiration for a high-profile robotics project, the PKD Android.
In 2005 a team of scientists and engineers developed a fully functional, talking android that had Philip K Dick's features, and had a mind (powered by artificial intelligence algorithms) that simulated Philip K Dick's knowledge base and speech patterns.
The head was developed by Hanson Robotics, the company founded by David Hanson. The artificial intelligence, eye-tracking software, and text-to-speech engine was developed at the Fedex Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis, principally by programmer Andrew Olney.
The android appeared at NextFest and was the subject of numerous news articles and a short feature on the Discovery channel. It was stolen on its way to a presentation at Google.
Out there, somewhere, is a life size replica of Philip K Dick that looks like him, talks like him, and has an approximation to his own brain locked away somewhere, talking to nobody, interacting with no-one. In this way, art has imitated life in a way that nobody could possibly have expected.
For more information about the android, you can visit the PKD android blog or the official android site.