After it was discovered, Andalites made use of Zero-Space (Z-space). Because it exists beneath normal space and is subject to different metaphysical laws--the key one being distance--it serves a crucial role in faster-than-light travel and communications.
While Z-space travel has been effectively harnessed, Elfangor explains that it far from perfect. Z-space is subject to fluctuations, being described as something similar to weather or even a boat rising and falling with the waves. This sometimes requires travelers to compromise by returning to normal space at a point where, while nearer the intended destination, still requires a considerable trek. For example, when returning humans back to earth, the closest Z-space could bring Elfangor's ship was a point near Saturn, which left three days of travel left to be made. Also, after contacting the Andalite Homeworld, Ax was informed that due to fluctuations in Z-space, it would be over a year before reinforcements could arrive.
When performing a lower-mass morph, the Andalite morphing technology relocates the user's remaining mass into Z-space, where it remains until being called upon again.
Andalites have made many different space ships, including fighters, the large Dome ships, and other ships.
Andalite fighters are as big as a school bus. The front end is a pod, shaped like an egg. Extending from the back of the pod there is a long, narrow shaft, with two crooked, stubby wings, and on the end of each wing is a long tube that glows bright blue on the back end. At the end, it has a sort of tail, resembling a raised Andalite's tail, that's curved up and foreward, and come to a point as sharp as a needle, which is where the Shredder gun is located.
Dome ships are large ships shaped vaguely like a big mushroom or umbrella. The engines form a large pod at one end, thought of as the roots. The long shaft is the bridge and sleeping quarters, while the large, detachable dome of the ship contains a large, meadow-like area/environment for grazing and exercise. It was once said that "Andalites take a piece of home with them wherever they go."
One of the more recently developed, and most advanced, Andalite technologies is the Escafil device (also called the morphing cube, or blue box, etc.). This allows Andalites to "morph" into any animal by absorbing their DNA through touch. The only draw-back is the fact that they can only stay in morph for up to two Earth hours at a time. Passing the two-hour time limit carries the penalty of becoming a Nothlit, a person/Andalite trapped in morph forever. Tobias became a Nothlit in the first book. The reason for this limitation is never explained.
The Escafil device works by absorbing an animal's DNA and containing it in a microscopic capsule, which remains in a subject's bloodstream. When the subject concentrates on the animal s/he wants to morph into, the DNA in the capsule begins to overwrite the subject's own DNA and alters his/her body into that of the animal in question. If the subject chooses to morph into an animal physically smaller than themselves, the extra body mass is extruded into Z-space until the subject resumes its natural form. Where subjects acquire the mass necessary for higher-mass morphs was never clarified.
Extruded Mass DisruptionEdit
Although it's extremely unlikely to happen due to the sheer enormity and vastness of Z-Space, a subject's body mass may be struck by a passing space vessel while stored there, subjecting it to possible disintegration or other grisly fates. In the only known instance this occurred, the field surrounding and protecting the subjects' body masses was disrupted by a passing Andalite war cruiser. Each of the subjects suddenly became aware of themselves in Z-Space (as opposed to their morphed forms in normal space) and would all have asphixiated had the Andalite among them not hailed the passing ship with his thought-speak.
Although the mechanics of Z-Space allowed for the subjects to have their bodies pulled out of a second point in Z-Space, it nevertheless kept them rooted to the point in Z-Space where their masses were initially extruded, with the remaining mass from their morph serving as an anchor. Over a period of time, each subject was "snapped back" to his/her initial location in both space and time (Ax likened it to a rubber band). Although from their perspectives this "snapping" occurred for each of them after different lengths of time, they returned to their morphs together at the exact moment that their mass was disrupted in Z-Space. Their extruded mass suffered no physical damage despite being yanked out of Normal Space and back into the environment that nearly killed them hours earlier, and they were able resume their normal forms with no apparent damage.
- Andalites all have microchips implanted in their brains. These devices work to help them to learn and understand the languages of other extraterrestrials. The more the other entities speak, the more accurate and complete the translations become.
- Andalites can also transmit thought-speak over long distance by means of a mirrorwave call.
- Andalite computer systems are so advanced that Ax mistook a new, state-of-the-art computer operating system Marco's father developed for a game in which one identifies the blaringly obvious and laughable fallacies in the program and fixes them.
- Andalite computers can be given commands through both manual input and telepathy.
- According to Ax, Andalites invented the computer before they invented the book. They also consider books to be the superior resource because, as Ax explained, it can take up to five minutes for a computer to load a "page," while books are "instant-access" and require no power source or processing power other than one's own hands.