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"As the rate of technological development speeds up, the gap between science fiction and what we’re living now is getting narrower all the time."
- Richard Morgan

Walking Balloon  
  A means of efficiently traversing rough country.  

...they were in Wisconsin, and stepped off into a "walking balloon", which proceeded with long strides of its aluminum legs over a slant of steep upland.


(The Walking Balloon)

This vehicle is a shallow car with small hollow sails of silk above it, containing just enough gas to keep it about thirty feet above ground, assisted by a small electric engine in the centre. From the bottom of the car two long rods or mechanical legs, made of aluminum—the lightest metal known— extended down to the ground, where they are reciprocated at regular intervals by an electrometer, which enables them to imitate the motion of walking, and carry the balloon along at the rate of some fifteen miles an hour. They are not meant for high speed, and can travel only, of course, on prepared routes, but are very convenient in certain places.

From In the Deep of Time, by George Parsons Lathrop.
Published by Not known in 1897
Additional resources -

Compare to the wonderful kite-copter car from The Kokod Warriors (1952) by Jack Vance.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from In the Deep of Time
  More Ideas and Technology by George Parsons Lathrop
  Tech news articles related to In the Deep of Time
  Tech news articles related to works by George Parsons Lathrop

Walking Balloon-related news articles:
  - LEONARDO Robot Has Legs And Thrusters, Can Skateboard, Slackline

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