We all dream about one day getting into our hovercraft instead of our car, about teleporting to work instead of sitting in traffic, and we all pray for those who lose limbs due to war and disease to have them back.
Well, the future could hold technology that could change the way we live and move, give feeling back to people who have lost an arm, and even create new ways to save our planet. Here is some future tech that could soon be a reality.
3D Printed Food
3D printing is all the rage right now as people find new ways to incorporate it into their everyday lives. But soon you could be making food in a 3D printer rather than on the stove. Biozoon, a German company, is hard at work harnessing the power of 3D printing to create something they are calling SeneoPro.
SeneoPro is a range of 3D printable powered mixtures that solidifies when printed, and melts when consumed. You will be able to mix the powders together to create different dishes, and add colouring and texturisers to give the food a more attractive look and texture. The process is aimed at the elderly who are suffering from dysphagia, or the inability to swallow. But I am sure we could benefit from this too. Could you imagine reading a recipe that just contains grams of powder?
When you think of scientists, engineers, and artists, what do they all need most of the time? A strong visual interpretation of their work. This is where Cave2 comes in. Cave2 is a hybrid reality environment that lets its users become fully immersed in their research. The room is a 306-dergree wraparound structure that consists of 72 LCD panels and a 20-speaker surround sound. To top all of that off, it also has a 10-camera motion tracking system.
The room, combined with 3D glasses and a strong IQ, allows the users to experience their work however they wish. They can walk through a nucleus, the skeletal structure, visualise a canvas, and even build a car engine using their hands.
Could you imagine being able to put on an exoskeleton and lift an extra 20kgs? Well the Titan Arm, a creation from the University of Pennsylvania could do just that. The arm was built to help people rehabilitate after suffering serious arm injuries, strokes, or any other aliments that might cause their upper body to lose functionality.
The Titan Arm helps users by providing extra strength when lifting heavy objects. It is also somewhat affordable as it is manufactured using 3D printing to reduce the cost of production.
Bespoke Bionic Arm
Konami, the creators of the Metal Gear Solid franchise have recently teamed up with renowned prosthetic artist, Sophie De Oliviera Barata and her team of engineers, roboticists and product designers, to produce a highly stylised and multi-functional limb for 25-year-old James Young, drawing from the Metal Gear Solid aesthetic.
James tragically lost an arm and a leg when he was dragged on to the tracks, between two carriages of the London DLR as it was pulling in. Despite his loss, James refuses to let it interrupt his life and hobbies of travel and video games. He has become extremely adept at playing games one-handed, and was carefully selected by Sophie as a candidate comfortable with the idea of an eye-catching alternative limb and who would benefit from the capabilities it offered.
The bespoke bionic arm will bring back completely movability to James’s arm allowing him to function normally. The entire process will be documented on the Phantom Limb Project website, in a documentary form. This ties into the latest game in the series that sees Snake, the main protagonist, lose his arm after a tragic explosion which results in him getting his own bionic arm replacement.
M Blocks – The real-life Transformers
These little blocks called, M Blocks, are small cubes that can move around by themselves and assemble themselves into certain shapes. Sort of like Optimus Prime, but on a smaller and simpler scale. Researchers believe that this could be the beginning of giving robots the ability to build solid structures independently.
An example of this would be the ability to fix a broken bridge, or in our case, fill up potholes. The block would detect the areas which need to be replaced, and will fill in the empty parts by attaching themselves to one another. The blocks are currently controlled by a remote, but researches hope that they can somehow incorporate algorithms into the blocks and make the entirely autonomous to adapt to any situation
Virtual Reality Mining In South Africa
Anglo Platinum teamed up with a small SME, The Cyest Corporationto develop a piece of 3D visualisation technology that helps reduce the risk of damage and improve performance in the mining sector. Anglo Platinum is a major company in the mining sector that produces 37% of the world’s platinum.
This technology is being used in the training arena where it is used to emulate the realities of working underground in a hostile environment. This way workers can experience a simulated scenario that produces life-saving improvements in their daily workplace. Anglo Platinum and The Cyest Corporation both agree that gaming and technology can both be incorporated into promoting safety underground:
There is so much that technology can do in empowering people and making them more effective at their jobs. Whether it is advanced visualisation or beneficiating data to make better decisions, we are only touching the tip of the iceberg. Innovation and technology are the bridge to taking companies forward.
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