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

 

Prufrock The Newest Boring Machine

The Boring Company is back in the news with their third generation borer, playfully nicknamed Prufrock (proof-rock?).

The Boring Company started with Godot, a traditional boring machine that pretty much functions like a regular TBM. Godot is believed to be the boring machine that created the Hawthorne test tunnel, and while it works just as well as a TBM could, it is also immensely slow. Following Godot, the Boring Company designed Line-Storm, a TBM that is essentially a heavily modified conventional boring machine. In terms of speed, Line-Storm is capable of at least digging twice as fast as a traditional TBM like Godot.

But Godot and Line-Storm are just the beginning. During The Boring Companyís information session, Elon Musk and Steve Davis talked about a third tunneling machine. This machine, called Prufrock, is entirely designed by the startup, and it is expected to dig about 10-15 times faster than traditional boring machines like Godot. Thatís a notable improvement over conventional diggers, and it has the potential to revolutionize tunneling technology in one fell swoop.

Science fiction writers from the 1920s-1930s Golden Age loved the idea of machines that moved through the earth like submarines move through the water. It's an uncharted frontier down there!

I'm sure you'll enjoy this illustration from Ed Earl Repp's 1929 Science Wonders Stories yarn The Metal World:

In his marvelous 1936 story Death Dives Deep, Paul Ernst describes a metal earthworm:

Inside, a great arc light shed white beams over scientific paraphernalia, machine shop equipment ó and the thing these elaborate devices had produced. That was a great metal cylinder, perhaps , ten feet through and twenty-five long, set up on end in the center of the dome building... "... What is this thing? Well, it's an atom compacter. In plainer language, it digs holes..."

"With it, if you liked, you could find many times its weight in gold. For with it you could sink shafts in a few hours to the deepest of metal deposits. Or you could build commercial tunnels at a rate of many miles a day. Or it could be used as a war Instrument: You could sink in it behind your own lines, burrow forward through solid earth till you were under the enemy capital, and there lay mines to be exploded when you were far on your way home again."

"It sounds to me as though you had invented a kind of metal earthworm," sniffed Ria...
(Read more about the atom compactor - a metal earthworm)

Via Teslarati.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/11/2020)

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 - (" Engineering ")

Skyline Robotics Instantiates Heinlein's 'Window Willie' Skyscraper Robot
'Do you know what window washing used to cost by the hour?' - Robert Heinlein, 1956.

Melting Permafrost Endangers Infrastructure
'From the tower's huge octagonal base radiate wide silvery strips...' - Robert Silverberg, 1970.

MIT And Rice Create Blade Runner Photo Analysis
Rick Deckard, your photo analysis is ready.

Whisper Aero Ultraquiet Electric Aviation
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...' - Charles Cloukey, 1930.

 

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

ESTHER Tennis Robot V. Fact (1934) And Fiction (1952)
'THE red tennis robot scooted desperately across the court...'

Japan's LignoSat Space Wood Satellite And Dan Simmons' Treeship
'The Consul remembered his first glimpse of the kilometer-long treeship...'

Skyline Robotics Instantiates Heinlein's 'Window Willie' Skyscraper Robot
'Do you know what window washing used to cost by the hour?'

Drone Bombings In Moscow Foreseen 100 Years Ago
'Once the target is confirmed, it uses an IR laser to send a coded signal back to the parent, clearing it to attack.'

I Didn't Know You Can Already Buy Flesh Putty
'I filled your bullet hole with flesh putty and the lattice.'

'A Sign in Space' Gives Practice In Decoding ET Messages
'... it will be easy to form an alphabet which shall enable us to converse with the inhabitants of the moon.'

Melting Permafrost Endangers Infrastructure
'From the tower's huge octagonal base radiate wide silvery strips...'

EELS Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor For Enceladus
'It was about five feet long... a black bullet head and red camera eyes.'

Lazy Lawyer's Trust In ChatGPT Misplaced
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software...'

Paradromics Implant FDA 'Breakthrough Device'
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted...'

Mice, At Least, Can Sober Up Quickly
'Then draw some aldodote-vitamin pills from the medic.'

Is It Time For Lunar Farside Telescopes?
'Mount Ambarzumian Observatory, on Farside.'

Spaceflight Vertigo Solved By NASA Releasing The Kraken
"I threw up in my helmet."

TM-62 Loitering Ground Landmine
Runaway movie comes to life!

Helpful Robots In Science Fiction
'If you douse me again... I'm donating you to a city college.'

Lunar Pogo Stick - Retro Technovelgy From 1968
'Lucky touched the leap knob...'

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.