These are too cool to keep to myself. It’s amazing what man’s big brains come up with. There is no fiction stranger:
- A fish that can be used to power a clock. It must be an electric fish (like the Amazon’s Black Ghost. The most familiar is the electric eel), a specific type of fish that produces low-frequency electric fields around their bodies to detect prey or predator.
- A material that can make anything invisible. These are called ‘metamaterials’ and are all the rage in scientific circles right now. Successful tests have been run at Duke University, University of Tokyo and other places to hide an object behind a material that takes on the appearance of the background (thanks to light waves and such). They’re also working on hiding sounds the same way. Think military. Hello Star Trek Klingon cloaking device
- A robot that’s almost human. This is mine: Put Otto’s brain into the mechanical body of a sophisticated robot–wirelessly. Easy if they’re close by. Harder the further away they get. Check out Otto’s page on this blog to find out more about him. Check out my last project with Otto to see how he operates (it’s only an excerpt because the rest is classified)
- A virus (yes, like the flu) that can power a battery. This comes from MIT. They think they’ve developed a technology that can recreate batteries using viruses. They say this could hold the promise of relatively inexpensive, nonpolluting, lightweight powerful batteries—a holy grail for the Green generation
- A device that can read your thoughts. It taps into your brainwaves. No, they don’t stay inside your skull; they seep out like light from a shaded window. The University of Pittsburgh got two rhesus macaques to feed themselves using mentally controlled robotic arms. They used robotic arms controlled mentally—no joystick required. Think: I want that food. The robot gets it for you. How cool is that?
Sounds unbelievable, but it isn’t. The human brain loves solving puzzles. Never tell it something’s impossible. Want more on the excitement of science? Read my post, How to Kindle your Child’s Interest in Science.