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

"We follow the scientists around and look over their shoulders. They're watching their feet: provable mistakes are bad for them. We're looking as far ahead as we can, and we don't get penalized for mistakes."
- Larry Niven

Machine Servant  
  A wheeled plastic box with universal-joint arms.  

Departing somewhat from the usual tradition of humanoid robots, this machine is simple and functional in design.

“You Hoomen will be our guests and our allies in conquering Sharanna and the Vramen,” Holl Gormon went on. “Suitable quarters will be assigned you here in Vonn.”

He touched a switch. To their surprise, it was a machine-servant that answered. The thing was a heavy plastic box with jointed arms, which rolled into the office on its wheels and spoke in a rasping monotone.

“Your orders?”


(Machine-servant from 'The Star of Life' by Edmond Hamilton)

“Conduct these people to the west suite on the third floor,” Holl Gormon instructed. The machine-servant turned and started to roll out of the room, saying tonelessly, “Will you please follow me?"

“It will take you to your quarters,” Holl Gormon said to them. “I shall confer with you again later tonight.”

Kirk Hammond unwillingly followed with Wilson and Iva and the others. There was something curt about their dismissal that he did not like. The machine-servant took them to a lift, up to the third floor and into a suite of connecting rooms that looked across the flat black roofs of sunset-lighted Vonn.

“These are your rooms.” The machine spoke raspingly. “You will find the nutrition-dispensary buttons beside each door. The red button will summon one of us to hear your commands.”

The thing rolled away.

Technovelgy from The Star of Life, by Edmond Hamilton.
Published by Startling Stories in 1947
Additional resources -

Here's the full explanation of the scene:

“No intruders are allowed in the Psychological Department tonight, under Mar Kami’s order. Retire at once.”

The machine, as it spoke, raised a jointed arm that held a lethal-looking cylinder pointed straight at Hammond. Hammond tried to temporize. Surely a man could out-wit a mere mechanical thing?

“Mar Kann sent me,” he declared, edging a little nearer. The rasping voice retorted instantly.

“You will retire at once, for you are not Mar Kann nor one of the Psychos.”

Hammond turned as though to obey, then whirled with the energy-pistol in his hand upraised. He dared not fire, lest the crashing blast arouse all the building. He tried to knock the weapon from the machine-servant’s grasp. The cylindrical weapon was bolted to the jointed arm! He discovered that in dismay as his futile blow rebounded.

“Get on top of it, Kirk!” cried Thayn in warning.


('The Star of Life' by Edmond Hamilton)

Desperately, he heeded the Vraman girl’s cry and leaped up on top of the machine-servant’s square box. Crouching on it, he hammered furiously with the muzzle of his weapon at its lens-eye. The pistol-barrel smashed through the lens as the machine rolled under him with universal-jointed arms reaching up to seize him. Then suddenly the arms stopped, and the whole machine froze motionless...

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Star of Life
  More Ideas and Technology by Edmond Hamilton
  Tech news articles related to The Star of Life
  Tech news articles related to works by Edmond Hamilton

Articles related to Robotics
Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
SpaceHopper Microgravity Robot Lands On Its Feet
No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix
Micro-Robots Are Smallest, Fully Functional

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

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

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.