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

"I realized there was a heavy-duty change coming in biology, and I could write a really compelling novel about catastrophic evolution, punctuated equilibrium."
- Greg Bear

Spider  
  A robotic device that both extruded cable and climbed along it; a space construction robot.  

The Spider is a robot designed for speed in bridge-building; it extrudes the cables and works faster than any other component. They were well adapted for a free space environment.

The two great ovoid bodies were hanging near the surface of the asteroid, about a hundred meters apart. The eight thin metallic legs were pointed downwards, balanced delicately a few centimeters clear of the surface. Between them, probing deep into the interior of the asteroid, was set the long proboscis. As Rob watched, the great, faceted eyes turned towards him. The Spiders were aware of his presence. Somewhere deep in their organic components lurked a hint of consciousness.

Corrie had been fascinated by them from the first moment she saw one. "Why eight legs?" she had asked.

Rob had shrugged. "It extrudes material like a spider. How many legs wouldi you have given it?

From The Web Between the Worlds, by Charles Sheffield.
Published by Not Known in 1979
Additional resources -

A bit more detail:

"...The Spider is a machine with a biological component.”

Rob had seen that lightning flash of understanding illumine her face, and been shocked by it. He drew in a deep breath, rubbed at his dark beard and looked with new respect at those alert, pale-blue eyes.

“I’ll bet people do that all the time with you,” he said wryly. “You look about eighteen, and you stare at them with those big eyes and ask innocent questions. They want to show off a bit, the way I did a moment ago, and before they know what’s happening they’ve spilled something important. Well, the damage is done. I won’t deny it, even though it has been a well-kept secret. The Spider has a key bio component where logically there would be a computer. I suspect that Regulo’s people have been going mad trying to come up with a microprocessor with a high enough level of parallel processing—that was my bottleneck for about six months."

Compare to Arthur C. Clarke's spider used to test the cables of a space elevator in The Fountains of Paradise. Spinnerettes were used to handle and dispense continuous pseudo one-dimensional diamond crystal in building the cables.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Web Between the Worlds
  More Ideas and Technology by Charles Sheffield
  Tech news articles related to The Web Between the Worlds
  Tech news articles related to works by Charles Sheffield

Spider-related news articles:
  - Spidernaut, Orbital Construction Robot
  - Robotic Space Spiders To Crawl Sub-Orbital Web
  - Robot Fabricates Endless Tools For Itself (Updated)
  - Robonaut To Get Eight-Legged Spidernaut Configuration?
  - SpiderFab Spider Robots To Weave Space Structures
  - Archinaut 3D Printing Autonomous Space Manufacturing System
  - Siemens 3D Printing Robot Spiders
  - RAMST - Robotically Assembled Modular Space Telescope
  - Digital Construction Platform Robot 3D Prints A Building
  - Spider Flyer Walker Space Suit For Mars Astronauts
  - Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
  - CNSILK Robotic Spider Builder
  - Looms To Manually Weave Lunar Rover Wheels

Articles related to Space Tech
Space Construction Tools For Large Structures By OAC
Comercial Airlock 'Bishop' Now On ISS
Space Station Could Use Some Martian Sawgrass
Arches Of Chaos: Jovian Space Manifolds Create A Celestial Autobahn

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.