David, a Cambridge University graduate who has worked as a computer programmer for nearly two decades, says: “As well as entertaining people over the years, Star Trek has greatly influenced the way technology is designed and made.
“The show has encouraged inventors and engineers ‘‘to boldly go where no one has gone before’ and improve people’s lives through technology.”
So, without further a do, here are David’s seven technologies seen in Star Trek before making it to the real world.
1 Robots that can feel
A key character and fan favourite in Star Trek: The Generation is ‘Data’ – an android which could feel human emotions.
In 2016, GWS Robotics invested in ‘Pepper’ from Alderbaran – a four feet tall robot which can talk, laugh, dance and even ‘feel’.
David says, “Pepper is the first humanoid robot capable of recognising human emotions. This means it can adapt the way it reacts to people, which is an amazing developmental leap.”
While still primitive when compared to the walking supercomputer of Data, Pepper shows robotics is constantly developing.
2 Tractor Beams
Now a common sci-fi trope, tractor beams have been seen throughout the Star Trek universe since its inception in the 60s and were long viewed as some distant futuristic technology.
But a team of researchers from the University of Bristol have shown that anyone could make one for as little as £70.
In a paper published in Applied Physics Letters, the researchers showed that anyone can build a miniature tractor beam using one electrical signal and a passive wave modulator, which can be 3D-printed at home.
Bruce Drinkwater, Professor of Ultrasonics at the university, says, “The process is so simple that we have released a YouTube video with instructions that show people how they can build their own acoustic tractor beam step-by-step with components that can be bought on the internet.”Windows Customer Support
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