Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

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'm a farm boy. It's very interesting; you can detect self-starting characteristics in this society and they are strongest among people who have had some kind of rural upbringing and a very impressionable stage."
- Frank Herbert

Chairdog  
  A chair that is alive and partly sentient; it shapes itself to the person sitting in it.  

In The Tactful Saboteur, Frank Herbert describes a chair in common use in this alternative world. This short story shows the variety of Herbert's creativity; he not only imagines interesting machines and devices, but also thinks about the possibilities in genetic alteration of existing species to serve basic needs.

At this point in the story, saboteur extraordinary Jorj X. McKie meets with Pan-Spechi Panthor Bolin.

He indicated a chairdog against the wall to his right, snapped his fingers. The semi-sentient artifact glided to a position behind McKie. "Please be seated."

McKie, his caution realerted by Bolin's reference to "uninhibited conversation," sank into the chairdog, patting it until it assumed the contours he wanted.

From The Tactful Saboteur, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Galaxy in 1964
Additional resources -

The chairdogs seemed to be able to sense the mood of the person (or being) sitting in it, reacting to stress with mild massage. Don't you wish you could find an ergonomic chair that worked as hard as a chairdog to make you comfortable?

Obviously, we're a long way from being able to genetically modify a complex animal like a dog. However, this invention has clear roots in the past. A chairdog reminds me of horsehair chairs; my grandmother had one in her living room. I can only hope that the hair on a chairdog is more comfortable. The "grain" on her horsehair chair was in line with how you sat in the chair, and the net result was that you were constantly sliding out of the chair; it was impossible to retain an upright position.

Here's another look at chairdogs from Herbert's Whipping Star:

The room's standard model chairdogs had been well trained to comfort their masters, McKie noted. One of them nudged him behind the knees until he dropped his bag and took a reluctant seat. The chairdog began massaging his back. Obviously it had been instructed to make him comfortable while someone was summoned.

My daughter wants to know if there are different breeds of chairdog; maybe a small bichon chairdog for her. I think I'd need something based on a Great Dane...

Take a look at the entry for suspensor chair, from Dune, also by Frank Herbert.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 6 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Tactful Saboteur
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to The Tactful Saboteur
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Chairdog-related news articles:
  - GloFish First Genetically Modified Pet Update
  - WAO-1 Therapeutic Face Massage Robot
  - Meat Chairs And Chairdogs
  - Smart Chair Follows You Like A Chairdog
  - Skin Chair For That 'Sitting On A Fat Guy' Feeling

Articles related to Lifestyle
Tortoise Mobile Smart Stores
Sony Pocket Air Conditioner Is Phil Dick's Idea!
ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life

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 Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Sky Cruise Nuclear Powered Flying Hotel Concept
'... the huge air-freighter Jupiter.'

The Mojo Smart Contact Lens Experience
'... the lens displays would be useless without a wearable computer to do the graphics.'

Small Town Wants 60 License Plate Readers
'the registration number which the traffic control automatically photographed as she left the controlway...'

Lightyear 0 World's First Production-Ready Solar Car
'It could maintain a steady six miles per hour...'

AI Robots Excel At Trash Sorting And Recycling
'Then they press one of these here thirteen buttons...'

Could Increased Space Rocketry Damage The Ozone Layer?
'...without burning a single hydrocarbon molecule to injure the diseased atmosphere any further.'

Dyson's Secret Household Robots
'...work a human being does around a house.'

Festo BionicSwift Bird Robots Described In 1930
'Bird-like robots now descended from the ceiling of the theatre...'

Robotics Jobs In The Food Industry
'The efficient robot waiter of the Sky Club had cleared away the remnants of an epicurean meal.'

Prototype 3D Printer Could Print Arteries In Seconds
'...in the tank the new body and the new mind and memory and life has taken almost instant form.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.