This Week in the Future

June 17, 2013

FF_Parable-Oxford_English_DictionaryIt normally takes at least 10 years of consecutive use for a word to appear in the Oxford English Dictionary, but like everything else nowadays things happens fast. Last week the word “Tweet” was accepted as both a verb and noun, this may sound insignificant, but it goes along way to proving the case that when innovation strikes it can in an instant change culture, society, business and language irrevocably. Others words included Big Data, Crowdsourcing, e-reader, mouseover, stream as web, geekery, flash mob and BFF.

This was one of the topics I chatted about with ABC radio’s David Dowsett in our regular look ahead.

nasa pizza printerWe also looked at NASA’s commissioning of a 3D printer capable of printing pizza’s in space.

Wearable technology also got a look in this week with smart socks that monitor your body, its exertion and movements and provides real time information to a myriad of mobile devices and spray on liquid fabric that allows you to spray on directly to your body reusable and washable clothes, first aid sterilized bandages, as well providing a vehicle to carry nanotechnology into the skin including vaccinations, UV protection and even provide a fire proof coating to our skin.

Robots throwing the first pitch at a baseball match also made the list, the kicker in this story is it was thrown remotely by a 13 year old suffering from aplastic anemia who can’t be exposed to crowds. Using Google’s Fiber’s a special room was built in which the boy, his friends and medical staff witnessed him throwing the first pitch as did a host of sensors that sent all of his movements to a remote robot that replicated them 1800 miles away and remotely through the ball for him.

Sushi-DroneIf this wasn’t enough, how about flying sushi trays. Yo!Sushi is using iTrays, hovering restaurant trays, to deliver food from the kitchen direct to the guests table.

It’s an incredible world ahead, so have a listen to this weeks segment and as always let me know what what you see ahead.

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Robots aint what they used to be, they’re what they’re going to be…

June 8, 2013

robots antiqueRobot butlers and maids seems to be the most common expectation we have of our new metallic friends. Robots that are lifelike, technically called androids, may still be some time off, but Robots of all other sizes, shapes and complexities are making their debut into the world of work and play.

In this week’s on air discussion James Lush of ABC Perth Local and I had a look at what we can expect to see and have in the world of Robots, Androids, Bots and Nano Bots.

In the world of medicine and health care we will see the growth and surge in telemedicine allowing Doctors and medical professionals to share, consult and even operate anywhere from anywhere, as Doctor’s climb inside a virtual robot and drive themselves around remote hospitals and operating theatres.

In offices and factories we will also have remote vehicle robots jockeying their virtual executives and workers around distant and remote global offices and factories.

There will also be an array of factory robots including Baxter who can learn and replicate any repetitive task in 90 seconds and costs around $22,000 to purchase, giving him an operating cost of $3.52 per hour, the same cost of the average Chinese worker – will this bring back some of the manufacturing to Australia? – stay tuned.

In our homes, we have already seen the march to the automation of lighting, heating, security and appliances as well as robotic washing machines, dryers, vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers, but as they say in the TV ads, wait there’s more…

Our roads over the next years will start to be populated by self driving cars and remote controlled heavy vehicle will continue to grow in popularity, what will this mean for road conditions and safety?

Aged Care, retail, defence, security and all other things Robot were all part of this weeks segment, so have a listen and let me know what you’re most looking forward to about your first Robot.