Latest By

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

"In WWII, they had a saying that there are no atheists in foxholes. I think the modern equivalent of that is that there are no jaded, bored people in the high-tech industry, in the land of really good hardcore geeks."
- Neal Stephenson

Autonomic Plow  
  A set of farm implements able to combine and perform as a weapon.  

On the miniature TV screen Bunny Hentman was doing an act in which he played a German industrialist; wearing a blue, double-breasted suit, he was explaining to his board of directors how the new autonomic plows which their cartels were producing could be used for war. Four plows would guide themselves, upon news of hostilities, into a single unit; the single unit was not a larger plow, but a missile-launcher.
From Clans of the Alphane Moon, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Ace Books in 1964
Additional resources -

Delicious sarcasm from PKD; it derives from a passage in Isaiah:

They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

In this case, peaceful plows become weapons.

The United States government promoted Operation Plowshare starting in 1962, which was an attempt to use nuclear explosives for excavation. Take a look at the Operation Plowshare video shown below; 12 million tons of earth were displaced, creating a crater 320 feet deep by 1280 feet wide.

Dick himself wrote about a world in which competing nations maintained a balance of power by thinking of an offensive weapon and then immediately "plowshare" them into consumer goods (see The Zap Gun).

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Clans of the Alphane Moon
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to Clans of the Alphane Moon
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Autonomic Plow-related news articles:
  - Grapevine Pruning Robot

Articles related to Weapon
Railguns For Surface Ships
DIY Armed UAV (Toy)
Taser Drones Now Legal In North Dakota
HEL MD Laser Weapons Will Sound Like Star Wars, Star Trek

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 Invention Timeline, or see what's New.





More News

Human Doctors Still Better Than Computers
'Nowadays surgery was normally done by autodocs...'

FEDOR Humanoid Robot To Join Russians In Space
Am enjoying view of Russian robot.

BMW Self-Balancing Motorcycle - Never Put Feet On Road
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems...'

MicroTug Is A Micro Robot Beast
'And it had been dragging something...'

Linear Elastic Actuator in Parallel (LEAP) - It's A Hopping Robot
'...Probably the most grotesque forms of transportation ever invented.'

Smart Glove Controls 3D Printed Robotic Arm (Waldo!)
'Waldo flexed and extended his fingers gently; the... waldoes... followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

Wearables For Animals Totally A Thing
'Twin deformities on either side of his skull had been engineered to house sensor units.'

Tomatoes From Sun And Seawater
'Hydroponics. Gotta almost do it, if I'm going way out to Mars without much supplies.'

Hadrian X Construction Robot From Fastbrick Robotics
Hope Hadrian is never a runaway!

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.