Isaac Asimov:
Science Fiction Technology and Ideas
Isaac Asimov was born in Petrovichi, Russia in 1920. He was awarded a PhD in Biochemistry in 1948 and joined the faculty of Boston University. He started writing science fiction in 1939. He wrote:
"at the age of nine, he found the love of his life (in the inanimate sense) when he discovered his first science-fiction magazine. By the time he was eleven, he began to write stories, and at eighteen, he actually worked up the nerve to submit one. It was rejected. After four long months of tribulation and suffering, he sold his first story and, thereafter, he never looked back."
His extraordinary output comprises some 500 volumes on every conceivable subject. His most famous science fiction works include the Foundation trilogy and I, Robot.
Invention/Technology Source Work (Publication Date)

Force-Field Penknife - origin of the Lightsaber?
A pocket-sized knife, the blade of which is a force-field.

Foundation (1951)

Gesturing Robot
A robot that uses gestures to communicate.

Robbie (1940)

Gravitic Lift
An elevator with no visible means of support.

Prelude to Foundation (1988)

Gravitic Repulsion Elevator - going up
The elevator was of the new sort that ran by gravitic repulsion.

Foundation (1951)

Hand Computer
A small pocket-sized computing device.

The Dead Past (1956)

Head-Molding Skincaps -
Get a smooth pate without shaving.

Prelude to Foundation (1988)

A vehicle with a single leg and rotors to enhance 'hang time.'

Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus (1954)

An alien with a human-like shape and appearance.

Homo Sol (1940)

A nearly-silent helicopter.

Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain (1987)

A device that allows a pursuer to follow a spaceship through hyperspace.

Second Foundation (1953)

A space suit specially designed to resist extreme heat.

Runaround (1942)

Jet-Down - explore planets
A spacecraft able to explore planetary surfaces.

Prelude to Foundation (1988)

Jump Through Hyperspace - is travel through hyperspace possible?
Device that makes faster-than-light travel possible.

Foundation (1951)

Lens Image
A presentation of the night sky, calculated for any planet or point in space.

Second Foundation (1953)

A creative work that was both sculpture and light.

Light Verse (1973)

Machine Suicide
A self-aware computer system wants to destroy itself.

All the Troubles in the World (1958)

Machine Test Scoring
A device that scans a specially prepared grade sheet and determines a student's score.

The Fun They Had (1951)

Mechanical Jokester
A vast computer system learns about humor.

Jokester (1956)

Mechanical Teacher - one for all
A computer device able to teach children.

The Fun They Had (1951)

A device that stores information in vibration patterns on a mercury surface.

Caves of Steel (1953)

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