"[Science fiction is] anything that turns you and your social context, the social you, inside out."
In this excerpt, the unthinkable has happened; the rolling roads have been sabotaged. Chief Engineer Gaines assembles his maintenance cadets and sets out to inspect and repair the damage.
Here's what they thought it would look like in 1940:
(Heinlein tumblebug from Astounding SF June 1940)
The oddest thing about a tumblebug is that it relies on "gyro-stabilization" the way we normally rely on two wheels. The Segway, a two-wheeled conveyance, similarly relies on gyro-stabilization.
Be sure to see how a modern company has created a monocycle concept vehicle similar to the tumblebug: read EMBRIO Embodies the Tumblebug. Closer yet, read about the Eunicycle Gyro-Stabilized Single Wheel Scooter.
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'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing...'
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