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 started writing in the 1930's when I was eighteen years old. And deep inside me I'm still eighteen and it's still 1938."
- Isaac Asimov

Dustmice  
  Tiny robotic sensors that police could set loose in a crime scene, looking for tiny clues.  

I really like the name for these items; it has a sort of Disney quality that contrasts nicely with their intended use. They do not seem to be nanotechnology, but they are very small robots indeed.

A radio assayer hung from the track mounted in the apartment ceiling, having replaced the sniffer. Dustmice pushed through the cold stiff tendrils of once live carpet searching it for skin flakes and other debris trapped in the carpet's custom digestion.
From Queen of Angels, by Greg Bear.
Published by Warner Books in 1990
Additional resources -

I'm sure that these little robots would be very thorough; I also think that if they went across the floor in my house (after two kids), the little dustmice would run screaming out the door. And if they screamed, would their little tiny voices sound like Bob Newhart and Zsa Zsa Gabor, like in The Rescuers? Just wondering.

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratory succeeded in creating what is described as "the smallest autonomous untethered robot every created." It is a one quarter of an inch cube weighing less than an ounce. It really does turn on a dime (and parks on a nickel). Shown below is a parked bot:

Read the news release at Smallest Mini-Robot. The robots are fabricated using stereolithography; read more about that on the entry for naonfax, from All Tomorrow's Parties, by William Gibson.

Take a look at the grandparents of these little guys - the robot mice from Ray Bradbury's 1950 short story There Will Come Soft Rains.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Queen of Angels
  More Ideas and Technology by Greg Bear
  Tech news articles related to Queen of Angels
  Tech news articles related to works by Greg Bear

Dustmice-related news articles:
  - Micromouse Robot Builders Seek The Brass Cheese

Articles related to Robotics
Unusual Twist On Woman Dates Robot
Blood Battery Robotic Fish
Bee+ Robobee Now With Four Wings
Jeff Bezos Tries Waldoes (Robotic Hands)

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

Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.'

Mushroom Eats Plastic, Saves Planet
Fungus Amongus, SaveUs!

Juggalo Face Paint Disrupts Facial Recognition
'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.'

Mojipic Smart Voice Vehicle Emojis
KITT, what's your response?

Unusual Twist On Woman Dates Robot
'My hearing, vision and awareness went along with that excellent imitation of a young Adonis...'

BrainNet Triple Telepathic Gaming Threat
'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.'

AVAS Noisemakers Required For EVs By EU
'...a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "[internal combustion]" engine...'

Pun Generation Via Neural Nets
'You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags...'

Blood Battery Robotic Fish
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'

Lightyear One Solar-Powered Electric Car (Design By Heinlein)
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

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.