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

"I'm a fairly visual thinker. In doing science, I think in terms of pictures of things happening, and then do the mathematics."
- Gregory Benford

Spider Space Elevator Test Vehicle  
  A robotic testing device for the cables of a space elevator.  

Once you have the cable strung between an object in orbit, and the base station on Earth, you still need to test the cable.

The flimsy spider - a prototype test vehicle that looked like a motorized bo'sun's chair - had already made a dozen ascents to twenty kilometers, with twice the load it would be carrying now. There had been the usual teething problems, but nothing serious; the last five runs had been completely trouble-free. And what could go wrong? If there was a power failure - almost unthinkable in such a simple battery-operated system - gravity would bring Duval safely home, the automatic brakes limiting the speed of descent.
Technovelgy from The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Ballantine in 1978
Additional resources -

In it's simplest form, a bosun's chair is just a board attached to a rope that runs up the tall mast of a ship, through a pulley, and back down. The ship's officer in charge of deck crews and ship maintenance (the 'boatswain', which is pronounced 'bosun') sits carefully on the board, When sailors on deck haul on the rope, the bosun's chair rises up the mast, allowing the officer to inspect the ship's rigging.

The idea of a bosun's chair that rises upward for many kilometers is sort of breathtaking for anyone who has used one of these chairs to fix a problem on a small boat.

Devices like this have already been tested for use on space elevator ribbons; see the related resource link below.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Fountains of Paradise
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to The Fountains of Paradise
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

Spider Space Elevator Test Vehicle-related news articles:
  - Liftport Closer To Space Elevator Goal
  - Robotic Cable Inspection System

Articles related to Robotics
No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix
Micro-Robots Are Smallest, Fully Functional
DIY Robotic Hand Made After Loss Of Fingers
Robot Snakes No Longer Stopped By Stairs

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

SpaceX Wants A Moonbase Alpha
'And he had been sent with troops, supplies and bombs to command Russia's most trusted post, the Moonbase.'

Vast Apartment Living Will Get Even More Vast
'What is your population', I asked. 'About eighty millions.'

NASA Wants Self-Driving Or Remote-Controlled Vehicles For Lunar Astronauts
'THE autobus turned silently down the wide street of Hydropole. Robot-guided, insulated from noise and cold...'

Elon Musk Says Robotaxis Will Be Ready This August, 2024
'The car had no steering wheel, and no one drove!'

Moonwalkers AI-Controlled Electric Shoes
Now that's power walking that Hugo Gernsback would have approved.

Steve Jobs: 'Capture The Next Aristotle - With AI'
'It was disturbing to think of the Flatline as a construct...'

No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix
'...he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.'

Electric Catamaran 'Explorer Eco 40m' Has 'Solar Skin'
'On went the electric-yacht faster and still faster.'

Orbital Mechanics, The Liftoff, The Turnover, The Retrograde Burn
'...the huge vessel had spun, with a sickening lurch, through a complete half-circle, the instant the power was reversed.'

Harvest Power From Tears And Blinking With Smart Contact Lens
'...he realized that it was not quite a clear lens. Speckles of colored brightness swirled and gathered in it.'

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.