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

"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Sensitive Robot Fingers  
  Special sensory capabilities of robotic appendages.  

We had gone no more than a hundred feet or so when Migul [the robot] slowed our pace, and began to walk stooped over, with one of its abnormally long arms held close to the ground. The fingers were stiffly outstretched and barely skimmed the floor surface of the tunnel. As we passed through a spot of light I saw that Migul had extended from each of the fingertips an inch-long filament of wire, like finger nails.

The Robot murmured abruptly, "Tugh's vibrations are here. I can feel them. He has passed this way recently."

Tugh's trail! I knew then that Tugh's body, touching this ground, had altered to some infinitesimal degree the floor-substance's inherent vibration characteristics. Vibrations of every sort are communicable from one substance to another. Tugh's trail was here--his vibration-scent--and like a hound with his nose to the ground, Migul's fingers with the extended filaments were feeling it. What strange sensitivity! What an amazing development of science was manifested in every move and act and word of this Robot! Yet, in my own Time-world of 1935, it was all crudely presaged: this now before me was merely the culmination.

"He recently passed," said Migul. We stopped, I close beside the stooping metal figure. The Robot's voice was a furtive sepulchral whisper that filled me with awe.

"How long ago?" I asked.

"He passed here an hour or two ago, perhaps. The vibrations are fading out. But it was Tugh. Well do I know him. Put your hand down. Feel the vibrations?"

"I cannot. My fingers are not that sensitive, Migul."

A faint contempt was in the Robot's tone. "I forgot that you are a man." Then it straightened, and the extended filaments slid back into its fingers. It said softly, "There is one guard in this passage."

From The Exile of Time, by Ray Cummings.
Published by Astounding Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Compare to the chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues from This Immortal (1966) by Roger Zelazny.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Exile of Time
  More Ideas and Technology by Ray Cummings
  Tech news articles related to The Exile of Time
  Tech news articles related to works by Ray Cummings

Sensitive Robot Fingers-related news articles:
  - Robotic Hand Has Sensitive Fingertips
  - Digger Finger: Super-Sensitive Robot Fingers Predicted In 1931
  - BioTac Robot's Finger More Sensitive Than Yours
  - Artificial 'Hairs' To Enhance Senses Of Robots

Articles related to Robotics
Terrifying Robotic Apple Harvester
Jetson-Style Clockwork Robot Nail Salon Coming To Target Near You
Mechanical Horse Sculpture Gallops In Place
Hotels Turn To Robots As Human Workers Regroup

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

'Courier Commons' By Tomorrow Lab, From Karl Schroeder (and Bruce Sterling?)
'The pokkecon rang again. *The coffee’s for him?* Tsuyoshi said.'

Terrifying Robotic Apple Harvester
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant.'

Mechanical Horse Sculpture Gallops In Place
'Rod placed the brain inside the panel... the horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

'Make Sunsets' Tweaks Climate By Atmospheric Alteration
'Pina2bo would have to operate full blast for many years to put as much SO2 into the stratosphere as its namesake had done in a few minutes.'

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...'

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.