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 strictly an ivory-tower person. I can explain things but I can't do things."
- Isaac Asimov

Dustmice  
  Tiny robotic sensors that police could set loose in a crime scene, looking for tiny clues.  

I really like the name for these items; it has a sort of Disney quality that contrasts nicely with their intended use. They do not seem to be nanotechnology, but they are very small robots indeed.

A radio assayer hung from the track mounted in the apartment ceiling, having replaced the sniffer. Dustmice pushed through the cold stiff tendrils of once live carpet searching it for skin flakes and other debris trapped in the carpet's custom digestion.
From Queen of Angels, by Greg Bear.
Published by Warner Books in 1990
Additional resources -

I'm sure that these little robots would be very thorough; I also think that if they went across the floor in my house (after two kids), the little dustmice would run screaming out the door. And if they screamed, would their little tiny voices sound like Bob Newhart and Zsa Zsa Gabor, like in The Rescuers? Just wondering.

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratory succeeded in creating what is described as "the smallest autonomous untethered robot every created." It is a one quarter of an inch cube weighing less than an ounce. It really does turn on a dime (and parks on a nickel). Shown below is a parked bot:

Read the news release at Smallest Mini-Robot. The robots are fabricated using stereolithography; read more about that on the entry for naonfax, from All Tomorrow's Parties, by William Gibson.

Take a look at the grandparents of these little guys - the robot mice from Ray Bradbury's 1950 short story There Will Come Soft Rains.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Queen of Angels
  More Ideas and Technology by Greg Bear
  Tech news articles related to Queen of Angels
  Tech news articles related to works by Greg Bear

Dustmice-related news articles:
  - Micromouse Robot Builders Seek The Brass Cheese

Articles related to Robotics
Medical Assistant Robot May Roam The Halls Of Hospitals
Amplified Nerves Lead To Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Hands
FlyCroTug Micro Drones Do Heavy Lifting
China Delivery Robot Development Quickens During COVID-2019 Outbreak

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

Trash Sorting AI Robot Presages Skynet, Thanks A Lot
Keep your head down, Kyle Reese.

Electric Unicycle Is A Tumblebug
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity, since it is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.'

Another Soil Bacterium Eats Plastic
'...the plastic was dissolved before his eyes.'

reLive Memorial Come Back As A Tree
'It was time - time to go again. She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'

Engineered Living Building Materials
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'

Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink
'It's rewiring things... squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry.'

Arkangel: Automatic Visual Censoring
It's whatever the Party says it is, Winston.

NASA Competition To Design A Bucket Drum For Moon Mining
'There was a heap of discarded ore where Grantline had carted and dumped it...'

No Autonomous Trucks? Wait, What?
'...it resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'

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.