Jetman, flying cars, the future

In the news recently was someone called Jetman, who built his own jetpack with four rockets on it.  Supposedly he can go 190 mph.  Here’s a video:

That would be awesome to have.  I wonder if we’ll ever have flying cars or something like that.  There are still companies working on it, and every few years there’s news that it’s almost ready.  I’m thinking it won’t happen until computers are controlling them.  That may seem kinda scary, but even more scary is bad drivers and drunk drivers in a flying car.  Crashes would be even more dangerous, causing much more collateral damage.

He uses a parachute to land, which might seem lame for a jetpack, but I bet landings would be really tricky to maneuver, as well as extremely dangerous.

FYI, computer-controlled cars are already on the road — just not available for purchase yet.  Google has been testing them in certain areas.  So far, with hundreds of thousands of miles, they appear safer than the average human driver.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  I actually enjoy driving; however, if I’m able to do other stuff during road trips, like video games, reading, sleeping, etc., then that would be awesome.

real-life Transformer prototype

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have your own Transformer?  That is, a car that turns into a robot.  The possibilities are, as they say, endless.

We’re still years away from such technology, but at least there are people working on it.  The video below shows a toy-sized prototype transforming car/robot built by Kenji Ishida and JS Robotics.  (Turn the volume down because it’s louder than it should be.)

If we ever get this technology to be life-sized and usable, one obvious benefit would be the need for less parking spaces.  Your car could become a robot and go inside with you, to bring you snacks at work and do chores at home.  (We’re gonna have to be really careful with how much artificial intelligence (AI) we give it, based on movies.)

Oh, and I definitely want mine to have that classic transforming sound from the original (G1) Transformer cartoons in the ’80s!  If it has to be played through speakers, that’s fine.  It just sounds awesome.  Here’s an example.

Get your home fabricator here!!!

Have you ever watched an episode of star trek where they walk up and speak into a little computer in the wall and ask for something… anything… and it generates it for them? And you thought to yourself… man! I wish I had one of those!

Well now you CAN… The future is HERE… well… almost…

The day may not be far off that rather than going to the store and purchasing a new television or remote control that you can have it fabricated in your very own home using a printer-sized factory to download and build it.

Introducing the fabathome fabricator (home page found here)

Unfortunately the technology is still in the development stages but check out this website (here) to see some examples of the things they can currently make.

Be sure to scroll down this page and watch how they print out a flashlight, lego car tires, and house of cheese… THAT RIGHT’S… a house of CHEESE!!! this is just almost too much awesomeness to comprehend… and YES!!! it’s edible. They also fabricate various other things such as a watch band, and stuff made of cake icing. mmmm….

On the popular mechanics website there is a short video clip describing the technology (watch it here) they explain the process and show how they made things like a working flashlight, circuit boards etc… You can print with any number of materials including acrylic or even chocolate~

For $2400, you can buy a Fab@home desktop fabricator that lets you build objects out of acrylic; the company hopes to produce units that can build with multiple materials in the future.

The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology predicts that personal nanofactories will be in operation by 2020. Jamais Cascio, founder of Open the Future and a director at CRN, says nanofactories will have a huge impact: “If it becomes cheaper and more efficient to have something printed out locally instead of made in China, it will have a big effect on things like trade balances, international labor, and…our national economy.”