Technology Inventions to Shape the Future
Inventions have been with us since time immemorial. Humans have always looked for ways to make life easier,
by inventing things that will help our existence. More technology experts keep on emerging every day with great inventions. Humans welcome inventions especially technological inventions because they simplify work, enhance safety and increase the efficiency of services in our everyday life.
Although technological inventions have had their fair share of drawbacks, it is evident that some inventions are helping the world at a high level in almost every aspect, from communication industry, automobile industry to education and research industry, there are a lot of inventions that people can benefit from. Technology inventions have also taken the world of business by storm and have entirely changed the way business is conducted in the 21st century.
Here are some few more great inventions that will redefine our biosphere in the near future.
Hybrid Driving-Flying Robots
Flying robots could have a range of important applications in the future, a new study found. The robots can transition from driving to flying without colliding with each other and could offer benefits beyond the traditional flying-car concepts of sci-fi lore, the study said.
The ability to both fly and walk is common in nature. For instance, many birds, insects, and other animals can do both.
Robots with similar versatility could fly over impediments on the ground or drive under overhead obstacles. But currently, robots that are good at one mode of transportation are usually bad at others, study lead author Brandon Araki, a roboticist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and his colleagues said in their new study.
The researchers previously developed a robot named the “flying monkey” that could run and fly, as well as grasp items. However, the researchers had to program the paths the flying monkey would take; in other words, it could not find safe routes by itself.
Now, these scientists have developed flying cars that can both fly and drive through a simulated city-like setting that has parking spots, landing pads, and no-fly zones. Moreover, they can move without colliding with each other, the researchers said. “Our vehicles can find their own safe paths,” Araki said.
The researchers took eight four-rotor quadcopter drones and put two small motors with wheels on the bottom of each drone, to make them capable of driving. In simulations, the robots could fly for about 295 feet (90 meters) or drive for 826 feet (252 meters) before their batteries ran out.
The roboticists developed algorithms that ensured the robots did not collide with one another.
“The most important implication of our research is that vehicles that combine flying and driving have the potential to be both much more efficient and much more useful than vehicles that can only drive or only fly,” Araki said.
Self-driving “air taxi”
While the rest of us are still waiting for self-driving cars to become available, Google co-founder Larry Page and self-driving car pioneer Sebastian Thrun are already working on the next big thing with Cora, the pilot-less air taxi from the ambitiously named Kitty Hawk Aircraft Company.
Unlike a lot of other flying car concepts, the Cora sports a total of 12 fans spread across its wings that allow it to take off and land vertically, just like a helicopter or Harrier jet. Then, once the plane is in the air, the Cora has a single large propeller for a horizontal flight that can propel the aircraft up to 110 miles-per-hour with at a max altitude of around 3,000 feet.
The craziest thing about all this is that Kitty Hawk is planning to make the Cora fully operational without the need for a pilot or even a pilot’s license. Kitty Hawk is even working with New Zealand’s government to test and certify the Cora for fully autonomous flight before its official launch, which is optimistically slated for some time in 2021.
However, with a wingspan of just 36-feet, the Cora isn’t exactly small enough to play nicely in normal-sized parking lots. Additionally, its electric motors only have enough juice to carry it about 60 miles, though since it can fly directly from point to point, instead of being forced to follow roads like our archaic four-wheeled vehicles, concerns about range may be less severe.
According to Kitty Hawk, this two-seat autonomous air taxi will come with three redundant flight computers that can control the Cora in the event of an equipment failure. If things go really bad, the plane will have an emergency parachute, too.
Kitty Hawk hasn’t provided a figure for how much each plane will cost to build, or how much the company is planning to charge for a flight. But thanks to supporting from the New Zealand government and a partnership with Zephyr Airworks to help operate its fleet, Kitty Hawk might be the closest company to making “flying cars” something people can actually get excited about—only, don’t let yourself get too worked up about it just yet.
Flying cars always seem to be right around the corner, but just in the last few years, we’ve seen vaporware like the Aeromobil get announced alongside other ventures like Uber Elevate’s ridiculous flying taxi project, which has also struggled to get off the ground.
Humans have fantasized about flying cars in one form or another since the 1920s. But here we are—it’s 2018 and we’re still waiting for the tech, infrastructure, and laws to catch up and free the masses from having to cruise around on asphalt.
Wired Roads to power electric cars
A new wireless power system that could help to offer a more efficient way to charge electric vehicles on the go, according to a new study.
Researchers at Stanford University adopted a concept from quantum physics to produce a wireless charger that does something other wireless chargers cannot: automatically tune the frequency of the radio wave — the medium that transfers the power — to account for changes in the distance between the charging pad and the device. In an experiment, the team showed that its system transferred power with 100 percent efficiency up to about 27 inches (70 centimeters).
“The range is perfect for electric cars,” Sid Assawaworrarit, a doctoral candidate in electrical engineering at Stanford University, said. “The floor of a car is about 20 centimeters [8 inches] away from the road’s surface. You could embed the charging pad below the road surface.”
Assawaworrarit and his colleagues reported their research in a study published online on June 14, 2018 in the journal Nature. Although other wireless-charging devices, such as those for phones, already exist, the efficiency drops dramatically if the device is too close or too far away from the charger. This means a phone has to be placed on top of a charging pad to work best, and an electric car needs to be parked directly over a pad to recharge efficiently. As such, electronic devices are still tethered, albeit invisibly, to their power source, according to Assawaworrarit.
Assawaworrarit and his team created a wireless power system that doesn’t use a source for radio waves, nor does it require a tuning circuit. It also works even if the distance between the resonant coils fluctuates, the scientists said.
Earprint to substitute fingerprint?
Thought your fingerprint was secure? Think again. Researchers at Michigan State University last year proved it can be hacked using little more than an inkjet printer. This is what inspired the scientists from Descartes Biometrics to develop a new identification device – the earprint. It sends the sound in your ear which is then echoed back. This echo is different for every person.
If you want to utilize Earprint, you’ve got to download special software called the ERGO software on your phone. (ERGO is a software toolkit providing ear biometric authentication technology utilizing the touch screen and various sensors of a mobile device.)
This software will then use the smartphone sensors to do its job. The process is quick and easy: you just need to press the touchscreen against your ear. Authentication takes about one second, and the company says, improves with use, storing up to ten scans of the user’s ear. So, this device might as well substitute fingerprints in the future. This latest technology invention can bring a new era for the cybersecurity world.