Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By

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

"Science fiction operates a little bit like science itself, in principle. You've got thousands of people exploring ideas, putting forth their own hypotheses. Most of them are dead wrong; a few stand the test of time; everything looks kind of quaint in hind"
- Peter Watts

Control Helmet  
  Direct control of a robot from the brain.  

FIRE broke out in an unrenovated warehouse near the edge of the city one night. Doc and I drove to the scene in his atocar. There was a lot of inflammable and possibly explosive material. Someone shouted that a watchman had been overcome by smoke inside the building.

"Get him out, Charlie,” Doc said. "Your body is more agile than mine; your control of an artificial one will be the same.” Sitting in the car, I put the control helmet over my head. In it there was no old fashioned television screen, and no complicated guide levers. What the helmet did was detect and sidetrack the motor impulses from my brain, broadcasting their pulsations by short wave radio to the robot, which I thus guided as if it were my own form. Similarly, sensory impressions were radioed back to the helmet, there to be reconverted into impulses directly percep- tible to the sensory centers of my brain, without the intervention of my eyes, ears, and other sense organs. So, in effect I was living in a shape not handsome in a human way, stronger than my own, and far less limited. Like a demon I stepped out of the rear seat of the atocar on asbestos-shod feet. Propelled by steel muscles energized by a motor drawing current from an atomic battery, I walked past less intricately robotized fire-fighting equipment. Through smoke that would have strangled an unprotected man, I climbed a ladder and went through a window from which a plume of flame belched. I felt no inconvenience whatsoever. There was a thrill in that — like being something super...

With flames all around, I — or the machine — scrambled along a steel support, and through an opening in an inside wall. Flames had not penetrated there, and automatically I saw through the opaque smoke by radio waves sent out by, and bouncing back to eyes that belonged to the robot; parabolic antennas, they were. The images were visual and unblurred, and lacked only color...

Back at the car I made the robot polish the soot off itself with a cloth, and then climb into the rear seat to assume an inert position for transport, again. After that, I removed the helmet.

"Well, Charlie, another foretaste of the future, eh?” Doc said from behind the wheel. “Make way for tomorrow . . .

“Yeah,” I grunted raggedly. "Like being more than human.”

Technovelgy from Dawn of the Demigods, by Raymond Z. Gallun.
Published by Planet Stories in 1954
Additional resources -

Roger Zelazny uses a similar idea in his story Home is the Hangman; the control helmet of that story is important in that it transfers some of the psychological characteristics of the wearer to the malleable brain of the robot.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dawn of the Demigods
  More Ideas and Technology by Raymond Z. Gallun
  Tech news articles related to Dawn of the Demigods
  Tech news articles related to works by Raymond Z. Gallun

Articles related to Robotics
Mika The Robot-Boss
Sensitive, Soft Robot Skin
Finger Sensors For Robot Hands
A Vacuum With An Arm - Engineers Create Heinlein's Hired Girl Robot

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 Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.





Science Fiction Timeline
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Wearable Energy Harvester
'... he had tightened the chest to gain maximum pumping action from the motion of breathing.'

Drones Participate In Buddhist Rites
'...a prayer wheel swung into view and began spinning at a furious pace.'

Anna Indiana AI Singer-Songwriter
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents'

Video Manicuring ala Schismatrix
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time'

'Feel the AGI' OpenAI Leader Now OpenWorship
'And are all the people willing to be governed by a machine?'

NASA Tests Prototype Europa Lander
Why have legs if they don't walk around?

Tailsitter Drone Aircraft For SAR
' was so easy for me to remain motionless in midair.'

Forward CarePod The AI Doctor's Office
'It's an old model,' Rawlins said. 'I'm not sure what to do.'

Mika The Robot-Boss
'the robot-boss was busy at the lip of the new lode instructing and egging the men on to greater speed...'

Yamaha Motoroid 2 No Handlebars Self-Balancing Motorcycle
'He rode the bike with an intense lack of physical grace...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.