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

"...there's a great affinity between writing poetry and SF."
- Dan Simmons

Automatic Navigator  
  Device steers your spaceship to its destination without additional effort from you.  

The ship until then had been flying outward blindly; it remained for him to set it on its course for Earth. He climbed his little craft over to the great chart table to the forward end of the room where were the banks of dials and the rows of colored buttons whereby the ship was controlled. A glance at a dial half as large as his ship showed a negligible amount of air outside, so he advanced thirty feet to hover like a humming bird in front of a green button with a large 3 on its face, and, feeling a lit­tle sentimental, reached out and pushed it in. Farther on he pushed in another, which would give him the ship’s maximum acceleration. Then he glided to a landing on the immense flat top of the chart table and sat down. The rest was up to the ship’s automatic navigator.

It was equal to the job. Its ultra-sensitive receivers picked up and identified every major planetary body in the solar system and sent the information through an over­lapping labyrinth of seventy-two circuits where every navigation fac­tor of location, spacial relation, planetary gravital pulls, ship’s speed and acceleration and deceleration, planetary speeds and orbits, ship’s destination, and so forth, were sec­ond by second electrically arranged and coordinated into the necessary resultant course; and it put the ship on that course, and corrected in­finitesimal strayings, and would without attention start deceleration at the proper time, and bring the ship gently to ground in a place re­served for it in Earth’s great space port at New York. All that Allison had to do, therefore, was set the buttons for destination and accelera­tion.

From A Matter of Size, by Harry Bates.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1934
Additional resources -

Compare to the automatic control car from Imperial Earth (1976) by Arthur C. Clarke and the bubble car from A World Out of Time (1976) by Larry Niven.

See also the chart cabinet in One Against the Legion (1939) by Jack Williamson, the pilot-robot in Collision Orbit (1941) also by Williamson, the 3D tank display in Triplanetary (1930) by 'Doc' Smith, the article on astrogation in Methuselah's Children (1941) by Robert Heinlein and the telechart in Crashing Suns (1928) by Edmond Hamilton.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Matter of Size
  More Ideas and Technology by Harry Bates
  Tech news articles related to A Matter of Size
  Tech news articles related to works by Harry Bates

Articles related to Space Tech
Mercury Capsule Ablative Shielding
Heinlein And Russian Quail In Orbit
Space Construction Tools For Large Structures By OAC
Comercial Airlock 'Bishop' Now On ISS

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

Flatcat Robot Recalls Both Heinlein And Simak
Sorry, you'll need to read the article.

Nuclear Batteries May Pack Inner Punch
'... the most super-valuable substance in the solar system.'

Elon Musk STILL Wants To Make Heinlein's 1940's Speedster
'As she neared the barrier the car surged and lifted...'

Mercury Capsule Ablative Shielding
'...a synthetic which air-friction would erode away.'

Heinlein And Russian Quail In Orbit
'No earth-hatched bird can learn to fly in that fashion...'

Solar Powered Robot Cleans Up Solar Panels For Free
'... with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length of Rama's six artificial suns.'

Spot Arm From Boston Dynamics Picks Up Like Heinlein's Hired Girl Robot
'Anything larger than a BB shot it picked up and placed in a tray on its upper surface...'

Electric Vehicle Prices Will Drop To $2,890
'the human seats took up two-thirds of the room in each'

TIGER Ultimate Mobility Vehicle From Hyundai
'He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs...'

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.