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've got this beautiful panoramic three-dimensional painting of Mars based on Martian photos. It's 30 feet wide. You can pick out every pebble on the Martian landscape. And who'd have dreamed you could do that?"
- Arthur C. Clarke

Teleoperated Beetle Car  
  A remotely-operated robotic vehicle that permitted telepresence.  

Supervising the construction of a vast structure - the Bridge - in the depths of Jupiter's atmosphere is not a task for human beings. Instead, tele-operated "beetle cars" were used for inspection.

The scanner on the foreman's board was given 114 as the sector where the trouble was...

With a sigh, Helmuth put the beetle into motion. The little car, as flat-bottomed and thin through as a bedbug, got slowly under way on its ball-bearing races, guided and held firmly to the surface of the Bridge by ten close-set flanged rails. Even so, the hydrogen gales made a terrific siren-like shrieking between the vehicle and the deck...

While they shook the structure of the Bridge heavily, they almost never interfered with its functioning. And could not, in the very nature of things, do Helmuth any harm.

Helmuth, after all, was not on Jupiter - though that was becoming harder and harder for him to bear in mind. Nobody was on Jupiter...

From Helmuth's point of view - that of the scanners on the beetle - almost nothing could be seen of [the Bridge]...

He took the automatic cut-out of the circuit and inched the beetle forward on manual control...

Helmuth grunted involuntarily and backed the beetle away.. Helmuth turned the body of the vehicle 180 degrees on its chassis... There was nothing further that he could do at the moment for the Bridge. He searched his control board - a ghost image of which was cast on the screen across the scene on the Bridge - for the blue button marked Garage, punched it savagely, and tore off his foreman's helmet.

Obediently, the Bridge vanished.

From Cities in Flight, by James Blish.
Published by Avon in 1957
Additional resources -

Compare to the telepresence bulldozer in Oath of Fealty, a 1981 novel by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Cities in Flight
  More Ideas and Technology by James Blish
  Tech news articles related to Cities in Flight
  Tech news articles related to works by James Blish

Teleoperated Beetle Car-related news articles:
  - NASA's Robotic Rover Drivers

Articles related to Space Tech
MIT Wants To Catch Interstellar Visitors
Starlink Orbital Network Like Coruscant Traffic Jam
NASA Competition To Design A Bucket Drum For Moon Mining
Are You Ready For Commercial Space Travel?

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

I Want My 1928 Telestereo Hologram Now
'Instantly there appeared standing upon the disk, the image of a man...'

Memes Now Come From Neural Nets
'Your order said for him to be able to be able to work out twists on the gags in the file...'

Robot Dog Learns To Be Doggy From Real Dogs
'So we took pictures of Guzub making a Three Planets, and I could construct this one to do it exactly right down to the thousandth of a second.'

Unwanted Cruise Ships Huddle Together Out At Sea
'On the screen they passed in an endless, boundaryless flood of green specks...'

Sono Sion Electric Car Charges As You Drive
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

News Mood Filter Web Extension
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'

Fetal Lamb Rests In Artificial Womb
'... stewing warm on their cushion of peritoneum and gorged with blood-surrogate and hormones, the foetuses grew and grew...'

MIT Wants To Catch Interstellar Visitors
'INVESTIGATE MYSTERIOUS OBJECT ENTERING NEW CALEDONIA SYSTEM FROM NORMAL SPACE'

AutoX Sets Up Asia's Largest Robotaxi Center
'The robot cab seemed to know where it was going and, no doubt, the master machine from which it received its signals knew.'

E - Ink's Automatic Self Styling Color-Changing Dress
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'

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.