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

"Science and science fiction, how do you even distinguish the two?"
- Jerry Pournelle

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
Swarming Intelligent Aquatic Surface Robots Ahoy!
Biggest Drone Swarm Sets World Record
ATLAS Robot Now Does Housework!
Israel Working On Tunnel Detection Snake Robots

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

Denisovans, Neandertals... And Us?
'But in far realms, among strange hominids, you couldn't shun each other, either.'

Patented! Google's Autonomous Delivery Trucks
I hope Google's trucks can find my house!

3 Parent Embryos Approved By Bioethicists
' A tkan merely courts a mlenb and is attracted to a good guur...'

DIY Armed UAV (Toy)
'Each a television eye and a sonic stunner...'

Tired Of Speeders On Your Block? DIY Speed Tracker!
'There is no danger of a vehicle's speed exceeding that allowed in the section in which it happens to be...'

Centriphone Whirling Selfie Camera
''Tight mid-shot and pull out on but behind me,' he told it...'

Eagles Vs. Drones
'Moon bird's view was... partly blocked by the pyramid, so that he did not see the bird-things dark against the brilliant sky...'

SCiO Scanner Wants You To Be Spock
Almost as easy as a tricorder?

Self-Adapting Composite Heals Itself
'...Could seal the punctures that grain-of-sand-sized meteors might make.'

Rigid Clothing, Or Wearable Furniture?
'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing...'

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.