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 prefer working by artificial light."
- Isaac Asimov

Disperser  
  Device that gives an electric shock to anyone who touches a vehicle.  

In the teeming metropolis of Sagramanda, it is important for vehicles to maintain their space.

Occasionally, a pedestrian attempting to pass part of the flow would step off into the street. This happened less often than might be expected since most vehicles, both public and private, were equipped with dispersers. Via conduits embedded in the carbon-metal car frames, an electric charge flowed from the vehicle's motor through the vehicle's exterior. Anyone coming in contact with this would receive a low-voltage jolt that was strong enough to make them want to avoid such contact, much less lean on a vehicle so equipped.

City vehicles were allowed to generate much more powerful charges. Unlike private cars and taxis whose repelling nuisance voltage was limited by law, those of fire engines and police cars responding to emergency calls could be cranked up to truly uncomfortable levels. Nobody in their right mind would attempt to get in the way of or hitch a ride on an ambulance with siren wailing. Touch a bumper or a door and the current flowing through it could knock a man off his feet and leave him quivering helplessly on the street for a minute or more.

From Sagramanda, by Alan Dean Foster.
Published by Pyr in 2006
Additional resources -

This idea has a venerable history in science fiction. See the entry for Electrify the Hull from Jules Verne's classic 1875 novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Sagramanda
  More Ideas and Technology by Alan Dean Foster
  Tech news articles related to Sagramanda
  Tech news articles related to works by Alan Dean Foster

Articles related to Engineering
Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
ODYSSEUS Solar-Powered Stratospheric Plane Flies Forever
Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea

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

Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'

Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'

China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'

China Social Credit System Like State-Run Whuffie
'At least there was no mandatory Whuffie check on the monorail platform...'

Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. '

Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....'

Johns Hopkins Says Asteroid Deflection Will Be Difficult
'This obelisk is one huge deflector mechanism...'

Fabric Automatically Cools Or Insulates Based On Environment
'...a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system.'

Deepfakes From OpenAI GPT-2 Algorithm
'How can you compete with an IBM heavy-duty logomatic analogue?'

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.