NEW Story: The Fountain
Tzipora spent six hours reading about the Roman Empire on a library terminal and has just been asked to leave. She’s not happy about it.
Vekllei uses photo-electric circuits in place of semiconductors and transistors. These are very powerful, and holographic memory has a lot of storage, but the computers themselves are room-sized and consequently consolidated. You can read more about them in the computers article.
Vekllei robots combine centralised computing (sent via radio or cables) with organic wetware for things like navigation and balance. Though creepy at first blush, in practice these are “chemical steaks” with zero cognitive function, simply passing electrical charges.
Notes on Vekllei Robots
The organic wetware of Vekllei robots are situated in an immersion fluid that provides nutrients and prevents decay, and just needs to be swapped out on occasion like an oil change. Vekllei’s world also has other biotechnologies like industrial lab meat production, but those are for consumption.
In general, this universe has a superior understanding of brain structure and their function, and so has some means to design new ones that use light-seeing primitive eyes to move. There is not, however, much interest or appetite for actually fashioning a cognisant brain that can think. Especially in Vekllei, the line is drawn pretty clearly and bringing life artificially into the world via consciousness would be considered a crime against nature, and wouldn’t suit any preexisting industrial or commercial purpose.