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

"[Science fiction is] nightmares and visions, always outlined by the barely possible."
- Gregory Benford

Embryonic Robots  
  Very small robots, possibly a very early reference to nanotechnology in science fiction.  

At this point in the story, someone uses a lifelike humanoid robot to plant listening devices (and maybe more):

The bureaucrat in Appleford had been ensnared by the bait; his attention distracted, the librarian had become oblivious to the robot and to its actions. Therefore, as Appleford read, the robot expertly slid its chair back and to the left side, close to a reference card case of impressive proportions. Lengthening its right arm, the robot crept its manual grippers of fingeroid shape into the nearest file of the case; this Appleford did of course not see, and so the robot then continued with its assigned task. It placed a miniaturized nest of embryonic robots, no larger than pinheads, within the card file, then a tiny find-circuit transmitter behind a subsequent card, then at last a potent detonating device set on a three-day command circuit.
From Counter Clock World, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Berkley in 1967
Additional resources -

The purpose of these tiny "embryonic robots" is not clear; neither is their functioning. However, the notion of a robot that is no larger than a pinhead is clearly a reference to what we today would call a "nanobot" or nanotechnology machine. See the article on autofac for an even earlier reference from Dick.

(Thanks to Rudi Martinez for this suggestion.)

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Counter Clock World
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to Counter Clock World
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Embryonic Robots-related news articles:
  - Bush Signs Nanotech R&D Act
  - Untethered Microrobots Dance, Form Self-Organized Structures

Articles related to Robotics
Jeff Bezos Tries Waldoes (Robotic Hands)
Tesla Diagnoses Itself, Sends Part Request
Tesla Robotaxis Will Automatically Recharge Themselves
Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD

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

Is There Extraterrestrial Life Here In The Solar System
'How fast is it moving? ...one meter per minute.'

Can We Comprehend Deep Learning Systems?
'Youíve nothing remotely like it, so I canít describe it to you.'

Skin Electronics Can Show Electrocardiogram
'... the young men in the streets who applied polyimde OLED body film to their bared shoulders.'

Chinese Fern Helps Remediate Arsenic Soil
'Bioengeering had put out a spec report on the long crawly things five months back.'

Skai Air Taxi Costs The Same As Uber
'The air-taxi found its way past and around other ground-cars...'

Neurodevices For Consumers? Neuroethicists (And Philip K Dick) Say 'Caveat Emptor'
'They tried to use it today and it wouldn't work. No colors and no ceph patterns, neither one...'

The Future Of Elon Musk's Neuralink
'Cerebral Electromagnetic Emmission Amplification and Relay System ó call it artificial telepathy, if you like.'

Researchers Make You Say Anything in Videos
'[It] caused his televised image... to mouth the vowels and consonants beautifully.'

Jeff Bezos Tries Waldoes (Robotic Hands)
'Waldo put his arms into the primary pair before him...'

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.