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

"Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not."
- Isaac Asimov

Flexible Stem  
  A long flexible tube that can expand and contract its length quickly.  

"At one of the religious festivals, a platform supported by a long flexible stem raises a priestess dressed in flower petals. Another similar platform raises a table supporting certain symbolic objects...The priestess performs rites while the stems twine about each other. I learned that the stems are built up of several dozen smaller tubes, each containing a magnetic slurry: iron powder in a viscous liquid. Reacting to fields from internal windings, these tubes selectively contract with great force. By proper circuitry any contortion of the tubes is posible. It seems to me that this system might be applied to the legs of the walking fort."
From The Killing Machine, by Jack Vance.
Published by Fantastic Fiction (?) in 1964
Additional resources -

Thanks to R. Probert for contributing this item.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Killing Machine
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Vance
  Tech news articles related to The Killing Machine
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Vance

Flexible Stem-related news articles:
  - FlowerBot Robotic Flower Follows And Grabs

Articles related to Engineering
Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
Skin Electronics 3D Printed
Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter

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

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...

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.