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

"As the rate of technological development speeds up, the gap between science fiction and what we’re living now is getting narrower all the time."
- Richard Morgan

Spider Space Elevator Test Vehicle  
  A robotic testing device for the cables of a space elevator.  

Once you have the cable strung between an object in orbit, and the base station on Earth, you still need to test the cable.

The flimsy spider - a prototype test vehicle that looked like a motorized bo'sun's chair - had already made a dozen ascents to twenty kilometers, with twice the load it would be carrying now. There had been the usual teething problems, but nothing serious; the last five runs had been completely trouble-free. And what could go wrong? If there was a power failure - almost unthinkable in such a simple battery-operated system - gravity would bring Duval safely home, the automatic brakes limiting the speed of descent.
From The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Ballantine in 1978
Additional resources -

In it's simplest form, a bosun's chair is just a board attached to a rope that runs up the tall mast of a ship, through a pulley, and back down. The ship's officer in charge of deck crews and ship maintenance (the 'boatswain', which is pronounced 'bosun') sits carefully on the board, When sailors on deck haul on the rope, the bosun's chair rises up the mast, allowing the officer to inspect the ship's rigging.

The idea of a bosun's chair that rises upward for many kilometers is sort of breathtaking for anyone who has used one of these chairs to fix a problem on a small boat.

Devices like this have already been tested for use on space elevator ribbons; see the related resource link below.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Fountains of Paradise
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to The Fountains of Paradise
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

Spider Space Elevator Test Vehicle-related news articles:
  - Liftport Closer To Space Elevator Goal
  - Robotic Cable Inspection System

Articles related to Robotics
Solar Powered Robot Cleans Up Solar Panels For Free
Spot Arm From Boston Dynamics Picks Up Like Heinlein's Hired Girl Robot
TIGER Ultimate Mobility Vehicle From Hyundai
Sophia Robots By The Thousands

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.