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

"Another reason why privacy could be just a passing fad, terrorism is going to get too good. [1997]"
- Larry Niven

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
Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
Drywall Robot Looking For Sheetrock
Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931

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

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

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.