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

 

Prufrock The Newest Boring Machine

The Boring Company is back in the news with their third generation borer, playfully nicknamed Prufrock (proof-rock?).

The Boring Company started with Godot, a traditional boring machine that pretty much functions like a regular TBM. Godot is believed to be the boring machine that created the Hawthorne test tunnel, and while it works just as well as a TBM could, it is also immensely slow. Following Godot, the Boring Company designed Line-Storm, a TBM that is essentially a heavily modified conventional boring machine. In terms of speed, Line-Storm is capable of at least digging twice as fast as a traditional TBM like Godot.

But Godot and Line-Storm are just the beginning. During The Boring Companyís information session, Elon Musk and Steve Davis talked about a third tunneling machine. This machine, called Prufrock, is entirely designed by the startup, and it is expected to dig about 10-15 times faster than traditional boring machines like Godot. Thatís a notable improvement over conventional diggers, and it has the potential to revolutionize tunneling technology in one fell swoop.

Science fiction writers from the 1920s-1930s Golden Age loved the idea of machines that moved through the earth like submarines move through the water. It's an uncharted frontier down there!

I'm sure you'll enjoy this illustration from Ed Earl Repp's 1929 Science Wonders Stories yarn The Metal World:

In his marvelous 1936 story Death Dives Deep, Paul Ernst describes a metal earthworm:

Inside, a great arc light shed white beams over scientific paraphernalia, machine shop equipment ó and the thing these elaborate devices had produced. That was a great metal cylinder, perhaps , ten feet through and twenty-five long, set up on end in the center of the dome building... "... What is this thing? Well, it's an atom compacter. In plainer language, it digs holes..."

"With it, if you liked, you could find many times its weight in gold. For with it you could sink shafts in a few hours to the deepest of metal deposits. Or you could build commercial tunnels at a rate of many miles a day. Or it could be used as a war Instrument: You could sink in it behind your own lines, burrow forward through solid earth till you were under the enemy capital, and there lay mines to be exploded when you were far on your way home again."

"It sounds to me as though you had invented a kind of metal earthworm," sniffed Ria...
(Read more about the atom compactor - a metal earthworm)

Via Teslarati.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/11/2020)

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 - (" Engineering ")

Philippines Coast Guard Cuts Chinese Barrier
'Each of the four areas is enclosed by a sonic wall...'

Giant Lunar Surface Test Bed Built On Earth
Astronauts first walked the site, then flew over the site at a few hundred feet in a small Cessna.

Zai Pits (West Sahel) And Dew Collectors (Dune)
'Each is planted most tenderly in its own little pit.' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

Away Rude Mechanicals! I Want Self-Sensing Variable-Stiffness Artificial Muscles.
'... it is remarkable that the long leverages of their machines are in most cases actuated by a sort of sham musculature.' - HG Wells, 1898.

 

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

18 Wheels Mutant Centipede Vehicle
'If a centipede were a dinosaur and made of metal to boot...'

Octopus Suckers Inspire Transdermal Patches
'...a capsule which he placed against his wrist.'

Robotic Hands Have More Than One Use
'The crawling, exploring object was V-Stephen's surgeon-hand...'

Space Weather To Universe Weather
'It radiates outward in a cone which, by the time it has reached our section of space, is many lightyears across.'

That's MOXIE! Terraforming Mars Baby Steps
'Drake was the young spatial engineer he employed to terraform the little rock.'

'No, I'm Not A Robot' - Robot
'... with a weird simulation of life, the ten forked ends of each arm commenced a rattling pressing of the buttons.'

Missing Jet Finally Found
Ah, what could have been - still in the future.

Philippines Coast Guard Cuts Chinese Barrier
'Each of the four areas is enclosed by a sonic wall...'

Barista Robot Perfects Latte Swirl With Multi-DOF Wriggle
'It's done with a flip of the third joint of the tentacle on the down beat.'

Vendetta 2023 All-Terrain Skateboard Could Use Neal Stephenson's Smartwheels
'If you surf over a bump... If you surf over a pothole...'

Safe Street Rebel Autonomous Vehicle Luddites And Schachner's 1931 Robot-Deranger
'Then the spreading beam of the deranging ray struck them, and they stood an instant transfixed...'

The Electric Balance Bicycle And The Decline Of Western Civilization
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed...'

'Droplet' Battery Microscale Power Pack
'...a power pack the size of a pea.'

ARX-5 Doing Robot Arm Dancing
It's Data's day - at last.

CD, DVD Bit Rot And PKD's Civic Notification Distorter
'...copy two of the original document no longer can be superimposed on copy one.'

Inbiodroid Prometheus 2.0 Telepresence Avatar Robot
My prize robot, tall, dashing would speak and act for me...

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.