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

"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

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
Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Researchers Create Bowls, Coils, Ripples Of Living Tissue

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

LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'

Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

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.