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

"It is change ... that is the dominant factor in society today... the world as it will be. This means that ... every man must take on a science fictional way of thinking.""
- Isaac Asimov

Crash Balloons  
  Inflatable bags that would both cushion and hold a flycycle driver in the event of a crash.  

For his novel Ringworld, Larry Niven came up with the idea of a flycycle to cover great distances in reasonable style. They resembled flying motorcycles; what would happen if you lost control or were about to crash? Flycycles were open to the sky like a motorcycle.

His 'cycle slammed hard up against him, as if he'd been booted in the butt by a giant foot. An instant later the power cut off entirely.

Crash balloons exploded before and behind him. They were shaped balloons, and they interlocked around him like a pair of clasped hands. Louis could not so much as move his hands or turn his head.

From Ringworld, by Larry Niven.
Published by Ballantine in 1970
Additional resources -

It happens that flycycle also were equipped with automatic deceleration in the event that a crash was imminent.

In rereading the novel, I wondered if perhaps Niven had stumbled onto the idea of a car air bag. However, I'm pretty sure that airbags were available in some form in the late 1960's. Also, inflatable bags were proposed for aircraft during WWII, so it is an idea with a long history. If you're interested, take a look at how airbags work.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ringworld
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Ringworld
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Articles related to Engineering
Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
Dim The Sun With Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment
Tiny LEDs Developed For Dust-Sized Computers

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

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'

China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'

Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Uber Eats Pairs Cars With Drones
Fresh grub? Let's hope they aren't delivering grubs.

Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
SF writers popularized and elaborated on this idea a generation before the first patents were filed.

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...'

'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...'

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.