The Robotic Blanket Project And The Hunting Robe

In his marvellous 1961 novel Time is the Simplest Thing, Clifford Simak wrote about a hunting robe, a living creature that was wide and flat like a blanket. Robert Stedman has created a gentler robotic implemenation of this idea in his Blanket Project.


(From The Blanket Project)

The robotic blanket actually interacts with people who lie down with it. The blanket will try to cover up people who lie down next to it.


(From The Blanket Project)

In the novel, the hunting robe is a creature, rather than a robot. It also has a sinister purpose:

It was a fur of some sort and there was something about the fur itself that made it glitter in the fire light, as if someone had dusted it with tiny diamond fragments. It was a golden yellow with black stripes that ran diagonally and it had the look of silk rather than of fur.

He spread the robe carefully on the floor, took off his jacket. He kicked off his shoes and laid down on the robe. It was soft and yielding, almost like a mattress despite its lack of thickness. He pulled it over himself and it fell together smoothly, like a sleeping bag...

There was something wrong.

Somehow or other, the robe had become wrapped too tightly. Rather, it tightened. He could feel it tighten. The robe held him in a gentle but unyielding grasp...
(Read more about Clifford Simak's hunting robe)

I had seen the Blanket Project earlier, but I found it again on pasta and vinegar; see also the Blanket Project website. And don't miss the robotic blanket video.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/24/2005)

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