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

 

Flatcat Robot Recalls Both Heinlein And Simak

The Flatcat robot may be familiar to fans of both Robert Heinlein and Clifford Simak. It was a creative effort from Berlin-based robotics startup called Jetpack Cognition Lab.

At its core, the Flatcat is an ultra-simplified robot that reacts to touch by folding, twisting, and rolling its body into different shapes. It doesn’t appear as if it can easily locomote; it has no legs, but like an inchworm it seems it can rhythmically contract and expand its body to slowly creep across the floor. In other words, it can probably follow you—or hunt you down—if it so chooses.

Fans of Robert Heinlein instantly recognize the flatcat from his 1952 novel The Rolling Stones:

"Say, Mr. Angelo, what is this? At first I thought it was a fur cap; now I see it's alive." Castor pointed to the furry heap on the counter. It was slowly slithering toward the edge. The shopkeeper reached out and headed it back to the middle. "That? That's a 'flat cat.'
(Read more about Heinlein's flatcat)

As far as "it can probably follow you—or hunt you down", that makes science fiction readers think about the wonderful hunting robes from Clifford Simak's spectacular 1961 novel Time is the Simplest Thing:

"Isn't it a beauty?" [Grant] demanded. It was all of that. It was a fur of some sort and there was something about the fur itself that made it glitter in the fire light, as if someone had dusted it with tiny diamond fragments. It was a golden yellow with black stripes that ran diagonally and it had the look of silk rather than of fur...

Hunting dogs, thought Blaine. The cactus was a hunter and these were his hunting dogs. Or he was a trapper and these things were his traps...

Via Gizmodo; thanks to @nyrath for pointing it out to us.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/19/2021)

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

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.'

Gaia - Why Stop With Just The Earth?
'But the stars are only atoms in larger space, and in that larger space the star-atoms could combine to form living matter, thinking matter, couldn't they?'

Microsoft VASA-1 Creates Personal Video From A Photo
'...to build up a video picture would require, say, ten million decisions every second. Mike, you're so fast I can't even think about it. But you aren't that fast.'

Splendid View Of Eclipse From Orbit Visualized And Repurposed By Arthur C. Clarke
'The area affected was five hundred kilometres across, and perfectly circular.'

Bespoke Environment Music From AIs
'Call 'em Winter Mute," said the other, making it two words.'

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.