Latest By

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

"The science fiction method is dissection and reconstruction. You look at the world around you, and take it apart into its components. Then you take some of those components, throw them away, and plug in different ones, start it up and see what happens."
- Frederik Pohl

Aerostat Monitor  
  A small flying platform, capable of maneuvering in three dimensions; can hover in place and communicate with others like it.  

I've seen a device very similar to this demonstrated on TechTV, but I can't find any other reference to it. It was about a foot square, with a fan in the middle, and looked like a flying bathroom ceiling fan.

...then Bud made himself scarce, because the monitors - almond-sized aerostats with eyes, ears, and radios - had probably picked up the sound of the explosion and begun converging on the attack. He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna that caught the light like a hairline crack in the atmosphere.

Aerostat meant anything that hung in the air. This was an easy trick to pull off nowadays. Nanotech materials were stronger. Computers were infinitesimal. Power supplies were much more potent...a device built with several thrusters pointed along different axes could remain in one position or indeed navigate through space.

From The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson.
Published by Bantam Books in 1995
Additional resources -

Aerostat is really a generic word for craft that get their "lift" from the buoyancy of the surrounding air, rather than by the use of screws or turbines. At present, aerostats are in use as radar platforms; they are usually dirigibles and are not small.

In the novel, the author does point out that flying or hovering devices are much easier to make in an era when nanotechnology makes very light, very strong materials and machines possible.

Take a look at copseyes, from Cloak of Anarchy, a story by Larry Niven, written about twenty years earlier.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Diamond Age
  More Ideas and Technology by Neal Stephenson
  Tech news articles related to The Diamond Age
  Tech news articles related to works by Neal Stephenson

Aerostat Monitor-related news articles:
  - Epson uFR Micro Flying Robot
  - uFR-II Micro Flying Robot - (Lighter) Son of Micro Flying Robot
  - Micro Imagers For Sensing On Nano Air Vehicles

Articles related to Surveillance
Snap Specs - Snapchat Spectacles - Are Video Glasses
Bradbury's Method Used In Search For Bombing Suspect
Drone 100, Coordinated Drone Performance Team
Satellite Surveillance Reveals Guerrilla Drug Trade

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

Untethered Drone Gets Wireless Power
'We'll use my 'broomstick'.'

ESA Plans Akon Projectile To Europa ala Jules Verne
'... might [it] not be possible to project a shot up to the moon?'

Transparent OLED TV By Panasonic
It's the look of things to come.

Shape-Memory Metal Transforms Millions Of Times
'Annealed in any shape for a time, and codified, the structure of that shape is retained down to the molecules.'

Advertising Drones Hover Over Traffic In Mexico
'Blurbflies are allowd to travel the streets, buzzing their adverts alive and direct...'

How Can Amazon Patent A Voice-Controlled Drone?
''Tight mid-shot...' he told it.'

'North Sense' Wearable Piercing From Cyborg Nest
'The fingers opened from the many-scaled stellarimeter grafted onto his palm.'

proCover Smart Sock Prosthetic Limb Enhancement
'Series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce...'

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

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.