"I believe in limited government, and the 20th century has been the century of government. The data is uniform. The government has failed at every single task it has set out to do, with the exception of waging war."
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.
Here's another illustration, and a quote (they don't write them like this anymore):
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.
Compare to the gyrocar from Two Boys in a Gyrocar the story of a New York to Paris motor race (1911) by Kenneth Brown, the Gyro-Hat from An Experiment in Gyro-Hats (1926) by Ellis Parker Butler, the Two-Wheeled Ground Car from First Lensman (1950) by E.E. 'Doc' Smith, the Gyro Two-Wheeled Truck from The Sign of the Tiger (1958) by Alan Nourse (w/Meyer), the Gyrocar (Gyro) from The Ring (1969) by Piers Anthony (w/R. Margroff) and the smart bike from Distraction (1998) by Bruce Sterling.
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''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'
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'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'
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'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.'
Let's Make Slaver Sunflowers! Engineering Plants To Reflect Light
'The mirror-blossom was a terrible weapon.'
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