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

"I did more research, and realized I almost would rather be a biologist than a writer, because there was incredible stuff going on!"
- Greg Bear

Tumblebug  
  A monocycle; a motorcycle that balances on a single wheel.  

In this excerpt, the unthinkable has happened; the rolling roads have been sabotaged. Chief Engineer Gaines assembles his maintenance cadets and sets out to inspect and repair the damage.

Gaines and Harvey mounted tumblebugs, and kept abreast of the Cadet Captain, some twenty-five yards behind the leading wave. It had been a long time since the Chief Engineer had ridden one of these silly-looking little vehicles, and he felt awkward. A tumblebug does not give a man dignity, since it is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel. But it is perfectly adapted to patrolling the maze of machinery 'down inside', since it can go through an opening the width of a man's shoulders, is easily controlled and will stand patiently upright, waiting, should its rider dismount.
From The Roads Must Roll, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1940
Additional resources -

Here's what they thought it would look like in 1940:


(Heinlein tumblebug from Astounding SF June 1940)

The oddest thing about a tumblebug is that it relies on "gyro-stabilization" the way we normally rely on two wheels. The Segway, a two-wheeled conveyance, similarly relies on gyro-stabilization.

Be sure to see how a modern company has created a monocycle concept vehicle similar to the tumblebug: read EMBRIO Embodies the Tumblebug. Closer yet, read about the Eunicycle Gyro-Stabilized Single Wheel Scooter.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Roads Must Roll
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to The Roads Must Roll
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Tumblebug-related news articles:
  - EMBRIO Embodies The Tumblebug
  - Eunicycle Single-Wheel Gyro-Stabilized Scooter
  - Segway Robotic Mobility Platform Looks Like A Tumblebug
  - Tango Motorcycle Monocycle Like Heinlein's Tumblebug
  - Self-Balancing Unicycle - Heinlein's Tumblebug
  - eniCycle Self-Balancing Tumblebug
  - Honda U3-X Self-Balancing Unicycle Video
  - Self-Balancing Unicycle Mythbuster Video
  - SBU Self Balancing Unicycle Perfected In V2.0
  - Solowheel Self-Balancing Unicycle
  - Self-Balancing Electric Unicycle By MIT Student
  - Honda's Tumblebug - The UNI-CUB beta
  - RYNO To Heinlein - Your Tumblebug Is Ready!
  - Pinwheel Battery-Powered Unicycle Is Segway In Your Price Range
  - Ninebot One Self-Balancing Wheel
  - Solowheel Xtreme Heinlein Tumblebug Video
  - Hi-Yo Modobag! Away!

Articles related to Transportation
World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?

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

Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'

Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'

BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'

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.