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

"For the sciences, the way to change science's perception of things is to wait until all the old farts have died off."
- Larry Niven

Factory Crawler (or Harvester Crawler)  
  A mobile factory which filtered and processed the sands of Dune for the spice, mélange.  

The most precious substance in the Dune universe is a substance called spice, or mélange. It was found only on the planet Arrakis (aka Dune), a planet that was almost entirely desert. It was not possible to establish fixed mining sites, because of enormous sandworms that roamed freely across the surface of the planet. For this reason, mobile, self-contained factory units were dropped onto the surface where spice sands were observed.

Paul stretched up in the seat to peer ahead, saw a rolling yellow cloud low on the desert surface some thirty kilometers ahead.

"One of your factory crawlers," Kynes said. "It's on the surface and that means it's on spice. The cloud is vented sand being expelled after the spice has been centrifugally removed. There's no other cloud quite like it..."

Paul looked down, saw sand still spewing out of the metal and plastic monster beneath them. It looked like a great tan and blue beetle with many wide tracks extending on arms around it. He saw a giant inverted funnel snout poked into dark sand in front of it.

From Dune, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1965
Additional resources -

Since the giant sand worms would invariably come to any source of rhythmical vibration, a carryall wing aircraft was always on standby to remove it. Shai Hulud, the sandworm of Dune, was large enough to swallow a factory crawler as long as a football field whole, with all aboard.

Obviously, we have no equivalent of spice on Earth, but huge mobile harvesting factories can be found in various forms. For example, timber harvesters capable of felling, debarking, debranching and cutting entire trees in lengths for transport, at an average of one tree every thirty seconds changed the logging industry. One could imagine unscrupulous logging companies landing one of these in a stand of virgin timber, hoping to clear as many acres of land as possible before being discovered.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dune
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Dune
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Articles related to Engineering
Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
Google Perfects 'Blade Runner-style' Photo Details
CloudFisher - Moroccan Fog Farmers Harvest Moisture From The Air
Dilbert Writer Scott Adams Plans For Immortality

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

Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'

Robotic Physician Assistant Has Steady 'Hands'
'You turned the screws below and the prongs moved... with caliper slowness, minuteness and precision.'

Roboy 3DPrinted Humanoid Robot
'A robot child that would be reared within the bosom of a human family...'

Robird Flapping Wing Drones Keep Airports Safe
'Mitch heard a rasping, flacketing buzz, like a big insect...'

3D Printed Fashion - Plastirobes And Transdresses
'... dial a new fashion every day!'

Robotic Lawn Mower Powered By Sun, Arduino
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself like a contented hen...'

Google Perfects 'Blade Runner-style' Photo Details
'Pull back... stop... enhance 57-19...'

Pokerbot Libratus Learns To Lie (Bluff)
'Lying's a vital part of your psychological defense system - you're naked without it!'

Otto Autonomous Robot Trucks Run Into... Legal Snag
'They were automatic trucks such as are used for making deliveries...'

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.