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

"Tokyo homeless people reiterate the whole nature of living in Tokyo in cardboard boxes, they're only slightly smaller than Tokyo apartments, and they have almost as many consumer goods. It's a nightmare of boxes within boxes."
- William Gibson

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
Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities

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

Wound Healing With Wearable Nanogenerators
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to ... erase the other internal-external damage.'

Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
Terrific prototype video.

Negative Matter Fluid Theorized In New Paper
'Of course, being negative matter, when you push it, it comes toward you..'

Grow Structures Upon Planetfall - Myco-Architecture
'They'll also start pulling in gases and liquids from the local atmosphere...'

MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
'The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste...'

EXPLORER, The First Total-Body Scanner
'The object is built up of an infinite series of plane layers, at the focus of the ray...'

UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike
'... the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.'

Sonitus Audio Interface Positioned Beyond The Noise
'... an instrument having relatively small bit pieces adapted to be gripped between the teeth.'

Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks
'A procession of automatic ore carts was racing over the bleak slag'

Audi Pop.Up Autonomous Electric Flying Car
'The cab was an egg-shaped bubble of light metals and plastics...'

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.