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 represents the modern heresy and the cutting edge of speculative imagination as it grapples with Mysterious Time---linear or non-linear time."
- Frank Herbert

Spider Space Elevator Test Vehicle  
  A robotic testing device for the cables of a space elevator.  

Once you have the cable strung between an object in orbit, and the base station on Earth, you still need to test the cable.

The flimsy spider - a prototype test vehicle that looked like a motorized bo'sun's chair - had already made a dozen ascents to twenty kilometers, with twice the load it would be carrying now. There had been the usual teething problems, but nothing serious; the last five runs had been completely trouble-free. And what could go wrong? If there was a power failure - almost unthinkable in such a simple battery-operated system - gravity would bring Duval safely home, the automatic brakes limiting the speed of descent.
From The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Ballantine in 1978
Additional resources -

In it's simplest form, a bosun's chair is just a board attached to a rope that runs up the tall mast of a ship, through a pulley, and back down. The ship's officer in charge of deck crews and ship maintenance (the 'boatswain', which is pronounced 'bosun') sits carefully on the board, When sailors on deck haul on the rope, the bosun's chair rises up the mast, allowing the officer to inspect the ship's rigging.

The idea of a bosun's chair that rises upward for many kilometers is sort of breathtaking for anyone who has used one of these chairs to fix a problem on a small boat.

Devices like this have already been tested for use on space elevator ribbons; see the related resource link below.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Fountains of Paradise
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to The Fountains of Paradise
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

Spider Space Elevator Test Vehicle-related news articles:
  - Liftport Closer To Space Elevator Goal
  - Robotic Cable Inspection System

Articles related to Robotics
HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?

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

HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."

Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'

DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'

A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?

Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'

Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'

PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'

Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...'

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.