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

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"What has allowed so many Psychopathic Personalities to rise so high in corporations and government, is that they are so decisive. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they cannot care what happens next."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Proxy Robot  
  A remote-controlled floating telepresence robot, for use by aliens who cannot share an atmosphere.  

This is a very early example of an often-used idea.

Visitors from across space seldom emerged from their rooms, other than to go to the recreation halls, if such were provided for the particular type of creature they happened to be. The most important reason was simply that direct exposure to Earthly conditions usually held a promise of swift death. Instead, they accomplished their contacts with the terrestrial environment by means of radio-controlled proxy robots, usually provided by the hostelry itself...

The robot was a little flying sphere, about eight inches in diameter. It had a single mechanical eye, and one flexible metal arm. More than that, besides its propulsion, radio direction, and auditory receiver units, it possessed only the capacity to speak, as its unseen guide, hidden in one of the rooms here, directed.

From Hotel Cosmos, by Raymond Z. Gallun.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1938
Additional resources -

Proxy robots did as they were directed - including attacking helpless human attendants in the hotel!

Four white-clad youths were down, screaming on the floor, while proxy robots wheeled and darted over them like angry hornets of gigantic size. No weapons were in evidence here, but the proxies, by hurling their own bulks swiftly, could strike furious blows against their human adversaries.

Old Dave — Easy Goin’ — Ledrack, rushed forward, the pistol-like device in his hand flaming vengefully. Ragged bolts of energy lanced from it blindingly, and with each blast a proxy robot clattered to the floor in glowing, superheated fragments...

The remaining proxies hurtled toward Dave, like wickedly glittering projectiles, their camera eyes agleam, their metal arms extended like spearpoints!

...Dave, armed as was no one else present, smashed the last of the small attacking mechanisms with a series of dazzling bursts of energy.

Compare to remote telepresence robot from Buck Rogers, 2430 AD (1929) by Philip Nowlan (w/D. Calkins) and the robot probes from Oath of Fealty (1981) by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle). See also the copseyes from Larry Niven's 1972 story Cloak of Anarchy, Eyes from This Moment of the Storm (1966) by Roger Zelazny and the Raytron apparatus (1928) from Beyond the Stars by Ray Cummings and the artificial eye drone from Glimpse (1938) by Manly Wade Wellman.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Hotel Cosmos
  More Ideas and Technology by Raymond Z. Gallun
  Tech news articles related to Hotel Cosmos
  Tech news articles related to works by Raymond Z. Gallun

Articles related to Robotics
San Francisco Wants ED-209, Or Maybe Robocop
Thermite's Robot Firefighter
Project MARCH VII Exoskeleton Video
LoadRunner Robot Works Alone, Or In A Group

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.





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
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

San Francisco Wants ED-209, Or Maybe Robocop
'The Enforcement Droid series 209 is a self-sufficient law enforcement robot...'

Seoul Self-Driving 42dot Bus Unveiled
'Buses without drivers moved close to the curb and stopped at intervals.'

T. Gondii And The Leaders Of The Pack
'... infected males were more than 46 times more likely to become pack leaders than uninfected males.'

'Parastronaut' First Astronaut With Disability From ESA (Updated!)
'He had left Earth to get away from its gravitational field...'

MIT Self-Assembling Reprogrammable Materials
'Faster the cubes moved; faster the circle revolved; the pyramids raised themselves, stood bolt upright on their square bases...'

Mem, The All Your Memories, Super Note-Taking App
'Life experience is linearly additive, but the correlation of memory impressions is an unlimited expansion.'

Porcine Fat Cells For 3D-Printed Whole Pork Products
'I grabbed two Syntho-Steaks out of the freezer...'

LANIUS Loitering Drone Munition Scouts And Maps
'... micro-missiles proceeding at walking pace.'

Copilot Software AI Training Sued By Involuntary Contributors
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

Thin Film Dome Protects Cities From Nuclear Blasts
'What fabric can take that kind of a load? Synthetic spider silk.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.