Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?

NASA is working hard on PUFFERs (Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robots) which, I'm sure, has some sort of good scientific intention. As we know, the road to hell is so paved.

Sometimes, I just have to shake my head.


(PUFFER Robot [Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robots])

PUFFERs (Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robots) utilize a folding printed circuit board (PCB) as the rover chassis, which enables the platform to fold into a minuscule, palm-sized volume. With this feature, many PUFFERs can be integrated into future spacecraft or packed into Earth science experiments at low cost.

The multitude of PUFFERs would then be used to carry out science investigations that specifically require a distributed, multi-unit approach, such as entering cave formations on Mars or conducting spatially-distributed topographic mapping of ice on Earth. In addition to small packing volume, PUFFER's folding chassis provides unique mobility benefits; PUFFERs can collapse into a low-profile "crouch" to crawl beneath tight terrain features, such as overhung rocks, and to lower their center of gravity for ascending steep inclines. The highly-flexible origami-inspired chassis also provides impact-absorbing capabilities, allowing PUFFER to survive great falls.

The units would recharge themselves using solar energy, allowing them to operate for months and possibly years at a time...


(PUFFERs acting like screamers)

Fans of sf great Philip K. Dick recall the claws from his 1953 short story Second Variety:

"It doesn't take them long. Not after the first one gets in. It goes wild. You know what the little claws can do. Even one of these is beyond belief. Razors, each finger. Maniacal."

Off to the right something scuttled, something round and metallic. A claw, going lickety-split after something. Probably after a small animal, a rat. They got rats, too. As a sort of sideline.

The claws got faster and they got bigger. New types appeared, some with feelers, some that flew. There were a few jumping kinds...

Some of the little claws were learning to hide themselves, burrowing down into the ash, lying in wait.

And they started getting into bunkers, slipping down when the lids were raised for air and a look around. One claw inside a bunker, a churning sphere of blades and metal - that was enough. And when one got in others followed.

This short story was the inspiration for the 1995 film Screamers.


(Claws - or Screamers - from the 1995 movie)

Via PhysOrg.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/3/2017)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.' - Greg Bear, 2003.

SpaceHopper Microgravity Robot Lands On Its Feet
'...a slender-legged tripod surmounted by a spherical body no larger than a football.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1972.

No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix
'...he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.' Robert Heinlein, 1962.

Micro-Robots Are Smallest, Fully Functional
'With a whir, the Scarab shot from the concealing shadows of the corner where it had hidden itself.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1936.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

Heinleinís Controlway - Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Corridor In Michigan
'Well, that's us,' said Lazarus.

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

NYC/Dublin Portal Fails To Meet 'Guardian Of Forever' Standards
I am the Guardian of Forever.

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror In Space
'It's area, and its consequent light-gathering capacity, was many times greater than any rigid mirror...'

Robot Preachers Found To Undermine Religious Commitment
'Tell me your torments,' the Padre said, in an elderly voice marked with compassion.

CyberCab - Tesla Renames The Robotaxi
'A cybercab dogged their heels...'

SpaceHopper Microgravity Robot Lands On Its Feet
'...a slender-legged tripod surmounted by a spherical body no larger than a football.'

Brin's 1990 Novel Earth Still Full Of Predictions
'... making the point that their likenesses, every move they made, were being transmitted.'

'Whisper Mode' ala Blue Thunder Researched At Bristol
'Forest Lawn.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.