Elon Musk Revolutionizing 3D Design With Hand Gesture Technology

Hand Gesture Technology

Elon Musk is trying to revolutionize large and small scale manufacturing and design through cutting edge hand gesture and 3D printing technologies.

I believe we’re on the verge of a major breakthrough in design and manufacturing… in being able to take the concept of something from your mind, and translate that into a 3D object really intuitively on the computer.

Musk and SpaceX are partnering with companies like Leap Motion for hand gesture technology that may one day even be used with Oculus Rift virtual reality systemsOculus Rift to develop realistic 3D virtual models.

 

3D printing has gained popularity recently as the cost and time saving potential is being realized by individuals and companies alike.

Musk is joining the likes of NASA in utilizing 3D printing technology and reaping the benefits. NASA who has been printing rocket engines cheaper and faster than ever is among the technology’s biggest proponents.

Let’s hope this trend continues to push the technology to new heights and the cost to new lows.

 

Elevator to the Moon by 2020

A new lunar-elevator to transport robots, people, and supplies to the Moon is currently in development by The LiftPort Group, a private company led by CEO and former NASA researcher, Michael Laine.

The idea is different from other space-elevators in that it will be built on the Moon and not on the Earth. This is beneficial as the lack of gravity and harsh atmosphere means that more readily available and cheaper materials could be used in construction.

Spacecraft would launch from Earth, dock on the elevator platform, and take the rest of the journey via the transport pod. This reduces costs tremendously by eliminating the fuel needed to land and the take off from the Moon’s surface.

“The space elevator, scientists say, will help people build manned bases on the Earth’s natural satellite and organize the extraction of helium-3 there – a raw material that will solve global problems of the shortage of energy resources…” – EnergySafe

What If It Got Stuck?

The company has a Kickstarter campaign they started in order to raise funds and awareness. The first step is to build a 2 kilometer test elevator that will be suspended by balloons. If that test is successful, and everything goes according to plan, construction will begin in 2020.

I am beginning to believe that society is becoming excited by space again. Despite the discontinuation of the space-shuttle program, NASA has persevered, and is keeping busy trying to build a warp drive.

Meanwhile, private companies such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX are making a massive impact on the future of spaceflight and inter-planetary travel that even many countries cannot compete with.

 

 

Personal Jetpacks Approved for Manned Testflights

Anyone who has seen The Jetson’s has dreamed about having their own personal jetpack. New Zealand based company Martin Aircraft is looking to turn that dream into a reality as they begin test flying their personal jetpack with real-life human pilots.

Recently the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAA) granted the company a special permit allowing them to begin manned test flights, although they “may not be flown more than 20 feet above the ground or 25 feet above water.”

The video below shows a higher altitude test flight done via remote control with a dummy pilot. The test was to demonstrate the emergency ballistic parachute safety system.

“For us it’s a very important step because it moves it out of what I call a dream into something which I believe we’re now in a position to commercialize and take forward very quickly.” – Peter Coker, CEO of Martin Aircraft.

The ultimate goal for the company is to begin commercial sales as early as mid 2015 at a projected starting price of around $100,000.Martin Aircraft Jetpack You may actually begin seeing these as early as 2014 as there has been strong interest to utilize these for first-responder and military missions.

There has been a lot of work being done in the future of personal and public transportation. Elon Musk recently revealed details for his supersonic hyperloop concept as an alternative to the high-speed rail project in California, and even NASA has joined the game working with California-based company, Skytran to construct the first magnetically levitating public transport system

South Korea Is Home to First Virtual Supermarket

If you dread your weekly grocery store trip, then you will love this new virtual supermarket concept that just opened South Korea. Homeplus (Tesco) has developed this concept to reduce the time and hassle of shopping, thus freeing up valuable time for whatever your heart desires. It works with your smartphone via a specific app. You simply scan the items you want, and walk to the front to pay where your items are waiting for you, or you can even choose to have them delivered.

“Products will be delivered at a time chosen by consumers, and delivery fees will range from 1,000 won ($0.92) to 4,000 won depending on the hour of the day,” Sunny Jung, an official at Homeplus.

I would absolutely pay them extra if they would put them away for me and straighten up my pantry… just saying.

virtual-store

One of the coolest things is that you can shop anywhere by reordering what you need through your phone. You could search for the item in your history or simply scan the barcode. The smartphone market is booming and this seems like a good fit for the time.

As things continue to progress with technology and it becomes ubiquitous in our everyday lives, I don’t think physical stores will be needed in the future. For the time being though,virtual supermarkets could go a long way to saving space utilized by retail grocery stores. Check out the video below from Homeplus for some interesting tidbits.

UK Scientists’ Plan to Put Humans on Mars

Marstronaut

A recent BBC article details an in-depth conceptual project from scientists at Imperial College London to put the first humans on Mars. This concept is intended to illustrate our current progress towards inter-planetary space travel, as well as the challenges and risks that we must still overcome.

The spacecraft will be designed to rotate in such a way that the 3 person crew of “Marstronauts” could enjoy the resulting artificial gravity. This would help with bone and muscle mass loss, and help the re-orientation of the crew to a life on Mars. The craft could slow its rotation to match the Martian rate of roughly 40% of the Earth’s gravitational  pull.

“There are big, big jumps between a demonstration at one level and putting together the engineering systems for a mission, but they are engineering challenges. They are not fundamentally about making new discoveries.” – Professor Tom Pike

This short video has some great visualizations of the spacecraft design and landing scenario along with some good descriptions of the concepts involved.

“Real life Tony Stark” Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, is working on similar goals for transporting humans to Mars. For Musk, electric vehicles and a Hyperloop super-train are just the beginning in his quest to push the boundaries of science and technology.

His company SpaceX is taking the concept of manned Mars missions to the next level. They envision human exploration and colonization, and quite literally “backing up the biosphere”.

The rockets we’re building right now could certainly send probes to Mars, like the Mars rovers and that kind of thing, but the rockets we hope to build in the future are the ones that could take people and cargo to Mars and establish a Martian base.

Seeing these projects starting to gain legitimacy is an exciting thing to behold. The general public is starting to get behind these ideas, and private space flight is gaining in popularity and capability. There’s no telling what the future holds for Mars colonization, but it should be an exciting thing to watch.

First Successful Auditory Brainstem Implant

First Sound

After receiving the first auditory brain stem implant, Grayson has a great reaction to hearing his father’s voice for the first time. I love the possibility that with rising technology, sight sound and overall health will be a human-born right.

This video does a great job detailing the condition and the implant process, the reaction begins around the 2:15 mark.

The Singularity -The Inexplicable Future of Humans and Technology

The singularity is a term borrowed from physics by Google’s chief engineer, Ray Kurzweil. The meaning in physics relates to the point inside of a black hole at which the laws of physics have completely broken down. Kurzweil’s definition refers to a point in the future at which technology has increased to such a high level that it is not possible to perceive a difference between technology and humanity.

Imagine a time in the future that has changed so much that, like physical laws in a black hole, life as we know it to be ceases to exist, and life begins anew in a completely different context. This is similar to the point in our evolution when language developed… try explaining to a non-lingual, pre-human the verses of Shakespeare, or the verses of Jay-Z for that matter.

The life expectancy was 20, 1,000 years ago, we doubled it in 200 years. This will go into high gear within 10 and 20 years from now, probably less than 15, we will be reaching that tipping point where we add more time than has gone by because of scientific progress.”…Based on conservative estimates of the amount of computation you need to functionally simulate a human brain, we’ll be able to expand the scope of our intelligence a billion-fold.” – Ray Kurzweil

Beginning is Near

The most amazing part is the time-frame that is projected. By Kurzweil’s estimates based on the exponential leaps shown by Moore’s Law, we may reach this tech-haven by 2045. So that’s all there is to it… hold on for 32 more years and it’s all virtual reality gravy. I’ll leave you with this by Friedrich Nietzsche…

“Man is something that shall be overcome…. Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman — a rope over an abyss… What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson – The Most Astounding Fact

This is astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on what he believes is the most astounding fact. Someone shared this with me after seeing this blog and I now feel compelled to share it with all of you.

Tyson’s answer is a mix of like physics poetry with deep philosophical undertones.

When I look up at the night sky, and I know that yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us.

I hope you enjoyed that video as much as I did and gained some perspective and inspiration as well. Three minutes of awe-struck wonder can be refreshing.

Thanks to Ashley, whose nerd crush on Neil deGrasse Tyson made this post possible.