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

"Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today -- but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all."
- Isaac Asimov

Factory Crawler (or Harvester Crawler)  
  A mobile factory which filtered and processed the sands of Dune for the spice, mélange.  

The most precious substance in the Dune universe is a substance called spice, or mélange. It was found only on the planet Arrakis (aka Dune), a planet that was almost entirely desert. It was not possible to establish fixed mining sites, because of enormous sandworms that roamed freely across the surface of the planet. For this reason, mobile, self-contained factory units were dropped onto the surface where spice sands were observed.

Paul stretched up in the seat to peer ahead, saw a rolling yellow cloud low on the desert surface some thirty kilometers ahead.

"One of your factory crawlers," Kynes said. "It's on the surface and that means it's on spice. The cloud is vented sand being expelled after the spice has been centrifugally removed. There's no other cloud quite like it..."

Paul looked down, saw sand still spewing out of the metal and plastic monster beneath them. It looked like a great tan and blue beetle with many wide tracks extending on arms around it. He saw a giant inverted funnel snout poked into dark sand in front of it.

From Dune, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1965
Additional resources -

Since the giant sand worms would invariably come to any source of rhythmical vibration, a carryall wing aircraft was always on standby to remove it. Shai Hulud, the sandworm of Dune, was large enough to swallow a factory crawler as long as a football field whole, with all aboard.

Obviously, we have no equivalent of spice on Earth, but huge mobile harvesting factories can be found in various forms. For example, timber harvesters capable of felling, debarking, debranching and cutting entire trees in lengths for transport, at an average of one tree every thirty seconds changed the logging industry. One could imagine unscrupulous logging companies landing one of these in a stand of virgin timber, hoping to clear as many acres of land as possible before being discovered.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dune
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Dune
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Articles related to Engineering
Listen Up, Coppertop - Wearable Device Turns You Into A Battery
Smellicopter Combines Live Moth Antenna With Mechanical Drone
DARPA's Virtual Caves Explored By Virtual Robots
Samsung Gets Transparent Smartphone Patent

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

Solar Powered Robot Cleans Up Solar Panels For Free
'... with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length of Rama's six artificial suns.'

Spot Arm From Boston Dynamics Picks Up Like Heinlein's Hired Girl Robot
'Anything larger than a BB shot it picked up and placed in a tray on its upper surface...'

Electric Vehicle Prices Will Drop To $2,890
'the human seats took up two-thirds of the room in each'

TIGER Ultimate Mobility Vehicle From Hyundai
'He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs...'

Drones Communicate With Each Other Using Quantum Encryption
'the curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits...'

Space Construction Tools For Large Structures By OAC
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

SpinCare Electrospins And Shoots Wound Dressing
'Over her lacerated right shoulder he sprayed art-derm...'

Tesla Model S And X Moves Toward KITT Knight Rider Styling
Now, that was a Pontiac Trans Am with some real style.

Sophia Robots By The Thousands
'There is a built-in microphone that hears everything you say, and an electric brain that selects a suitable answer.'

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.