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

"Beyond a thousand years from now humans are not quite recognizably human, and I have trouble finding characters."
- Larry Niven

Specimen Track  
  A means for transporting laboratory specimens from one workstation to another in an automated lab.  

As far as I know, there is no real product that corresponds to this item.

Down a short hall and to the right, they came upon the unexpected mother lode; a fully equipped molecular biology and genetics lab, six hundred square feet under a high ceiling, crammed with equipment...

The sorter and analyzers were connected by steel and white plastic automated specimen tracks, running like a little railroad through diffraction molecular imagers, inoculators/incubators, and a variety of video microscopes - including two up-to-the-minute carbon force counters. All magnificently automated. A one- or at most two-person lab.

Technovelgy from Darwin's Children, by Greg Bear.
Published by Del Rey in 2003
Additional resources -

In the course of the last two hundred years, a number of technologies were developed to move small pieces of paper or similar items from place to place. The ones I'm thinking of were used to transport money or receipts from one place to another in a business. Pneumatic tube systems were one example; in this case, an elaborate system of tubing was built within (and between) large buildings to carry materials. These systems were expensive (much like specimen tracks would be) but were cheaper than the alternative; that is, hiring someone to move the object from one place to the next.

Another system, which was in use through the 1980's in a store in my home town, was a kind of gondola and trolley system. A clerk would wait on a customer and then total the items near the entrance to the store. The customer would hand the clerk the money (this was pre-Visa). The clerk would place the money and the totalled bill in a small "gondola" or box which was then lifted about twenty feet in the air, where it attached itself to a sort of train track. The "train" would then go to the inaccessible rear portion of the store, where the accountants would process the transaction, checking the clerk's work, and then returning change and a receipt.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Darwin's Children
  More Ideas and Technology by Greg Bear
  Tech news articles related to Darwin's Children
  Tech news articles related to works by Greg Bear

Articles related to Biology
Let's Make Slaver Sunflowers! Engineering Plants To Reflect Light
Machete-Wielding Philodendron Isn't Going To Take It Anymore
Tsunami Forecasts Improved By Ionosphere Signals
EctoLife Concept Video Artificial Womb For Baby Mass Production

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

Ulm Sleep Pods For The Homeless
'The lid lifted and she crawled inside...'

Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

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.