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 am first of all not a science fiction writer I write, I suppose, what the Latin Americans call magic realism."
- Harlan Ellison

Automatic Gun  
  A sentry gun that could target and decide to fire without any human intervention.  

In the novel, a group of scientists are working in a multilevel underground laboratory; the levels were connected by an open central core.

In this excerpt, it is rather important for Mark Hall to scale the central core to reach a different level of the structure.

In theory, once inside the central core, you could go straight to the top. But in practice, there were ligamine sensors located around the core to prevent this. Originally intended to prevent the escape of lab animals that might break free into the core... there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts...

Stone was sitting in the Level V laboratory, watching on the consoles as the computer electric eyes picked up Hall and outlined his body moving up the wall. To Stone he seemed painfully vulnerable. Stone glanced over at a third screen, which showed the ligamine ejectors pivoting on their wall brackets, the slim barrels coming around to take aim...

On the screen, Hall's body was outlined in red on a vivid green background. As Stone watched, a crosshair was superimposed over the body, centering on the neck. The computer was programmed to choose a region with high blood flow...

The ... dart hit him in the shoulder, stinging as it entered his flesh...

Stone watched it all on the monitor. The screen blandly recorded STRIKE and then proceeded to rerun a tape of the sequence, showing the dart moving through the air, and hitting Hall's shoulder.

From The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton.
Published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1969
Additional resources -

Automatic guns that target and fire date from WWII. The SCR-584 anti-aircraft gun laying radar was a highly accurate system developed early in the war.

The RadLab [Radiation Laboratory] had a prototype radar system running in April [1941]. To test the automatic aiming system, they attached the outputs from the radar to a gun turret taken from a B-29 bomber, removing the guns and replacing them with a camera. A friend then flew his light plane around the area, and on May 31 the system was able to accurately track the aircraft. Work then started on making the system suitable for field use, mounting the entire system in a single trailer with the 6-foot antenna on top. Known as XT-1, for eXperimental Truck-1, the system was first tested at Fort Monroe in February 1942.

Work also started on a suitable gun-laying computer that could use electrical, as opposed to mechanical, inputs for pointing data. Bell Labs delivered an analog computer known as the M-9 Gun Predictor for this role, able to control four of the Army's standard 90 mm M3 guns.

It could detect bomber-sized targets at about 40 miles range, and was generally able to automatically track them at about 18 miles. Accuracy within this range was 25 yards...
(From SCR-584 radar)

Thanks to an anonymous reader for additional information on this item.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Andromeda Strain
  More Ideas and Technology by Michael Crichton
  Tech news articles related to The Andromeda Strain
  Tech news articles related to works by Michael Crichton

Automatic Gun-related news articles:
  - Robotic Sentry Gun From USMechatronics
  - South Korean Intelligent Surveillance and Guard Robot
  - DoDAMM Autonomous Robot Sentry Gun

Articles related to Weapon
EXACTO Smart Bullet From DARPA
Navy Deploys LaWS First Ship-Borne Laser
TrackingPoint Smart Rifle
Navy Shoots Down Drone, With Help From Dr. Benton Quest

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 Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Survival Seed Vault Low Cost Life Bank
'They existed in the Life Bank, as did virtually every plant...'

PoseiDrone Tentacled Undersea Robot Like HG Wells'
'Its motion was so swift, complex, and perfect that at first I did not see it as a machine...'

Man-Made Space Leaf Creates Oxygen From Water And Light
'What better purifying machine is there than... grass?'

Robot With Broken Leg Learns To Walk Again
Robots that learn to walk again are now on the march.

World's First Android Newscaster (Video)
'The autonomic TV interviewer, camera in its hand, blocked his path.'

Japan Invites Robot Athletes To Gather For 2020 Olympics
It's time we started to get rid of that distinction between metal and flesh, and IC and neuron, don't you think?

CV Dazzle Anti-Surveillance Make-Up
Let's hear it for the vague blur!

LG Display's 18 Inch Flexible OLED Panel Is Awesomely Cool
'...a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling color.'

Tiniest Microphone Inspired By Fly
'Transmitting to its manipulator, far away now, all that it heard through its ear microphones...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.