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

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"It was my preferred entertainment when I was a kid, so when I set out to be a writer, it was perfectly natural that I should write the sort of stories that I used to enjoy reading."
- John Brunner

Robot Tracking Device  
  Small UAV robot remotely operated by an artificially intelligent computer.  

Vulcan 3, an underground self-modifying supercomputer, uses unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to find out what's going on with the humans.

On the chest of drawers something was perched. Something that gleamed, shiny metal, gleamed and clicked as it turned toward her. She saw into two glassy mechanical lenses, something with a tubelike body, the size of a child's bat, shot upward and swept toward her.
From Vulcan's Hammer, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Ace Books in 1960
Additional resources -

Take a look at what artists in 1960 thought a robot tracking device looked like in this first edition cover photo:

The same device attacked the leader of the resistance movement:

"...I found most of it." He triumphantly displayed a charred but still intact metal cylinder with an elaborate system of antennas, receptors and propulsion jets.

Here's what it feels like to live in this future society:

Madness, he thought. The ultimate horror for our paranoid culture; vicious unseen mechanical entities that flit at the edges of our vision, that can go anywhere, that are in our very midst. And there may be an unlimited number of them. One of them following each of us...

The existence of these devices is one demonstration of Vulcan 3's paranoia; ordinarily, it relied on countless human beings who provided it with information. Dick compares the provision of data to Vulcan 3 with slopping a hog - he refers to "data troughs."

Compare to the scuttle-bot from Hella (2020) by David Gerrold and the robot snake spy from Mariposa (2009) by Greg Bear.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Vulcan's Hammer
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to Vulcan's Hammer
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Robot Tracking Device-related news articles:
  - Draganflyer X6 Helicopter Has HD Camera
  - Aggressive Autonomous Quadrotor UAV Makes Its Moves
  - Perching Flying Robot
  - Wasp Micro-UAV Used By Texas SWAT
  - Rolling Robot's Helicopter Transformation
  - sFly UAVs Swarm Together For SAR
  - EASE Surveillance Robot Hovering Near You
  - Google's Project Wing Will Find You
  - Flying Robot Has An Arm
  - Prodrone Dual Arm Drone PD6B-AW-ARM As Predicted In 1960
  - DoD Requests AI Drone Swarm
  - 'Alexa For Residential' A Landlord's Dream (Tenant's Nightmare?)
  - In Your Orchard, Do You Want Buzzing Suction Drones, OR Dick's Claw Hand Drones?

Articles related to Surveillance
New Train Station Offers Minority Report-Style Signs
'Ring Nation' Show Predicted By William Gibson In 1999
The Wanderer: Eyebot From Fallout, Eye From Zelazny
Small Town Wants 60 License Plate Readers

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

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 Science Fiction 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

Science Fiction in the News

Eviation Alice Electric Plane First Flight
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...'

Hotels Turn To Robots As Human Workers Regroup
'Chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Changesite Mineral To Be Mined On Moon By China
'But then... not every bulldozer operator works on the Moon.'

Tongue-Controlled Tong Wearable Mouth Computer
'Griff found the white and pink map distracting and switched it off using his tongue mouse.'

Is It Better To Be Short?
'He was one of the smaller, energy-saving new breed...'

Taikonaut Tai Chi Foot Loops
'Jimmy Cardigan and Harlowe, staring through the darkside port, had their feet in the foot-loops...'

Space Billboards Would Ruin Our View Of The Cosmos
'But the rising sign, as it had been designed to do, held his eyes. A vast circle of scarlet stars came up into the greenish desert dusk.'

Orion's 'Skip-to-M'Lou' Entry
'A lightning pilot possibly could land that tin toy without power and still walk away from it provided he had the skill to play Skip-to-MíLou in and out of the atmosphere...'

MarsCat and MetaCat, Your Robot Cat Companions
'It was you who betrayed me ó you and your robot cat.'

Mars Mission Using Nuclear Thermal Propulsion
'with its atomic engine as noiseless as a dancing sunbeam...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.