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
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 would say 75% of the economy is now being run by ex-science-fiction fans."
- Greg Bear

Mechanical Hound  
  An eight-legged robotic "hound" with hypodermic poison fangs.  

Note: See also the Science Fiction in the News stories Bradbury's Mechanical Hound and DARPA's Big Dog and DARPA's Big Dog Now In Puppy Stage.

It hunts an individual keyed to his or her perspiration. The Hound is one of the parts of the novel I remember most vividly (having read it over thirty years ago).

The mechanical Hound slept but did not sleep, lived but did not live in its gently humming, gently vibrating, softly illuminated kennel back in a dark corner of the fire house. The dim light of one in the morning, the moonlight from the open sky framed through the great window, touched here and there on the brass and copper and the steel of the faintly trembling beast. Light flickered on bits of ruby glass and on sensitive capillary hairs in the nylon-brushed nostrils of the creature that quivered gently, its eight legs spidered under it on rubber padded paws.

Nights when things got dull, which was every night, the men slid down the brass poles, and set the ticking combinations of the olfactory system of the hound and let loose rats in the fire house areaway. Three seconds later the game was done, the rat caught half across the areaway, gripped in gentle paws while a four-inch hollow steel needle plunged down from the proboscis of the hound to inject massive jolts of morphine or procaine.

From Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury.
Published by Doubleday in 1953
Additional resources -

The Hound is described in the chilling Bradbury style, contrasting the animal characteristics of a real hound with references to brass and steel and nylon.

The Six-Million Dollar Nose (E-Nose)

The really unique part of the Hound is already under development by NASA. Dubbed the "E-Nose" is a sophisticated electronic sensor developed to help astronauts monitor air quality aboard spacecraft. The nose is programmed to detect 12 different compounds that could spell trouble if released inside the confines of a spaceship.

"Space crews are very, very busy," said Amy Ryan, principal investigator for E-Nose at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Anything we can do to automate their tasks and keep the space habitat safe is highly desirable."

Besides checking for accidental chemical spills, NASA officials hope the E-Nose will be able to detect fires, a major hazard in space, before they break out. Earth-bound uses include "sniffing" for unexploded land mines, for spills in chemical plants that could contaminate workers, for plant ripeness to harvest and for possible diagnosis of disease based on odors from human perspiration and breath.

Another assassination device based on an animal model is the cobra, from Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light.

Compare to the bloodhound machine from Crimes of the Year 2000 (1935) by Ray Cummings.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 32 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Fahrenheit 451
  More Ideas and Technology by Ray Bradbury
  Tech news articles related to Fahrenheit 451
  Tech news articles related to works by Ray Bradbury

Mechanical Hound-related news articles:
  - DARPA's BigDog Robot And Bradbury's Mechanical Hound
  - Boudreaux - Extra Vehicular Activity Robotic Assistant
  - Sega idog Robot Puppy (Update)
  - BigDog Quadruped Robot Update
  - No Runts In BigDog Robot Litter
  - Sniffer Robot With Infotaxis Algorithms On The Hunt
  - Ubiko Robot A Fireman's Friend
  - Caltech Electronic Nose: The Lewis Group Smells Success
  - Electronic Taster Has A Nose For Coffee
  - Active Stereo Nose Finds The Source
  - PIGORASS Pneumatic Quadruped Robot
  - Artificial Noses For Disease Diagnostics
  - Personal Sniffer Robots
  - Robot To Detect The Source Of Odors
  - Robotic Guide Dogs May Displace Fido
  - Fuli Bad Dog Robot Is 'Auspicious Raccoon Dog' Bot

Articles related to Robotics
San Francisco Wants ED-209, Or Maybe Robocop
Thermite's Robot Firefighter
Project MARCH VII Exoskeleton Video
LoadRunner Robot Works Alone, Or In A Group

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

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

San Francisco Wants ED-209, Or Maybe Robocop
'The Enforcement Droid series 209 is a self-sufficient law enforcement robot...'

Seoul Self-Driving 42dot Bus Unveiled
'Buses without drivers moved close to the curb and stopped at intervals.'

T. Gondii And The Leaders Of The Pack
'... infected males were more than 46 times more likely to become pack leaders than uninfected males.'

'Parastronaut' First Astronaut With Disability From ESA (Updated!)
'He had left Earth to get away from its gravitational field...'

MIT Self-Assembling Reprogrammable Materials
'Faster the cubes moved; faster the circle revolved; the pyramids raised themselves, stood bolt upright on their square bases...'

Mem, The All Your Memories, Super Note-Taking App
'Life experience is linearly additive, but the correlation of memory impressions is an unlimited expansion.'

Porcine Fat Cells For 3D-Printed Whole Pork Products
'I grabbed two Syntho-Steaks out of the freezer...'

LANIUS Loitering Drone Munition Scouts And Maps
'... micro-missiles proceeding at walking pace.'

Copilot Software AI Training Sued By Involuntary Contributors
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

Thin Film Dome Protects Cities From Nuclear Blasts
'What fabric can take that kind of a load? Synthetic spider silk.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.