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

"The whole problem of energy sources is going to be solved by little solutions, not by some big new piece of technology that does everything. We got into this crisis by believing that we had one big piece of technology that would do everything (oil)."
- Gregory Benford

Specimen Track  
  A means for transporting laboratory specimens from one workstation to another in an automated lab.  

As far as I know, there is no real product that corresponds to this item.

Down a short hall and to the right, they came upon the unexpected mother lode; a fully equipped molecular biology and genetics lab, six hundred square feet under a high ceiling, crammed with equipment...

The sorter and analyzers were connected by steel and white plastic automated specimen tracks, running like a little railroad through diffraction molecular imagers, inoculators/incubators, and a variety of video microscopes - including two up-to-the-minute carbon force counters. All magnificently automated. A one- or at most two-person lab.

From Darwin's Children, by Greg Bear.
Published by Del Rey in 2003
Additional resources -

In the course of the last two hundred years, a number of technologies were developed to move small pieces of paper or similar items from place to place. The ones I'm thinking of were used to transport money or receipts from one place to another in a business. Pneumatic tube systems were one example; in this case, an elaborate system of tubing was built within (and between) large buildings to carry materials. These systems were expensive (much like specimen tracks would be) but were cheaper than the alternative; that is, hiring someone to move the object from one place to the next.

Another system, which was in use through the 1980's in a store in my home town, was a kind of gondola and trolley system. A clerk would wait on a customer and then total the items near the entrance to the store. The customer would hand the clerk the money (this was pre-Visa). The clerk would place the money and the totalled bill in a small "gondola" or box which was then lifted about twenty feet in the air, where it attached itself to a sort of train track. The "train" would then go to the inaccessible rear portion of the store, where the accountants would process the transaction, checking the clerk's work, and then returning change and a receipt.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Darwin's Children
  More Ideas and Technology by Greg Bear
  Tech news articles related to Darwin's Children
  Tech news articles related to works by Greg Bear

Articles related to Biology
Researchers Say 'Biohybrid Robot' - Clarke Said 'Biot'
Unique DNA To Foil Parts Counterfeiters
Steerable Locusts Detect Explosives
Real Leather Without Cows Modern Meadow Biofabrication

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.