Aesop, the Ancient Greek peddler of fables, said that necessity is the mother of invention. If that’s the case, then invention’s other parent is imagination. Combined, these two attributes have led to such world-changing innovations such as the electric cars and the printing press.
Innovation is progressing at a rapid pace all over the world, thanks to the advancement of technology. Experts claim that circuits are becoming more and more powerful every two years, doubling the number of transistors.
But not every innovation that may change the world will look as innocuous as a powerful circuit. Some innovations may be really useful but look a little odd.
Below are 4 strange inventions that could potentially change the future.
1. Self-Healing Cement
Cement is the building material of choice for most of the world because its sturdy and easy to shape. However, it’s extremely difficult to repair once heavily damaged and the environmental impact of manufacturing it is astronomical. Scientists have been working on environmentally friendly alternatives to cement and researchers have created one that heals itself.
Labeled as living building materials, these substances are made of sand and hydrogel minerals infused with a bacteria. According to the scientists, the bacteria in the mixture remember the shape the material was cast in and could be induced to reform it on command. Although current mixtures could only maintain their structural integrity for a month, the future could hold buildings made entirely of this substance that can be repaired with a simple command despite any damage.
2. Sonic Extinguishers
Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in forest fires throughout the entire world. Hills burned in California as flames engulfed most of the Australian Outback. Firefighters in these beleaguered environments fought tooth and nail to curb the flames but even with all their resources and manpower, ferrying vast amounts of water over such huge areas was difficult.
Scientists have imagined a different way for agencies to fight fire. Rather than dump water, they’ve created devices that will emit sound. Sound waves alter air pressure which can extinguish fires by causing a decrease of oxygen. If these devices become mainstream, you may see a screaming fire extinguisher in every building.
3. Builder Bats
Infrastructure is key in human development, with highways, roads and skyscrapers being the ultimate landmark of progress. However, no engineer can keep an eye on all sides of a sufficiently large project, and this can lead to building mishaps. These mishaps can cost money, resources and even lives. A team of college robotic engineers has recently come up with a way to revolutionize construction sites: robotic bats.
These light constructs are built to glide and propel themselves in the air like bats. Their lightweight frame supports cameras and other sensors that directly relay information to computers. This will allow engineers and architects to closely monitor the progress of their projects and enhance the safety and efficiency of the construction industry.
4. Robotic House Assistant
Boston Dynamics is one of the leading pioneers of robotic research in the United States. One of their pioneer developments is an attack dog robot designed for military use. Using technology extrapolated from this project, the engineers at Boston Dynamics have created a robotic assistant known as Spot.
The gangly robot looks like a skinless steel giraffe and is capable of impressive articulation. The machine runs completely on electronics and can run for an hour and a half when fully charged. Spot is capable of navigating environments on its own and the arm that serves as its head can manipulate simple objects. With enough advancement, Spot can be a boon to people who require constant assistance such as older adults and the disabled. If the Spot’s programming develops rapidly, you can look forward to your own robotic assistance much sooner than you think.
Innovation takes many forms and some of them can be a little peculiar. But sooner or later, these technological advancements will prove that despite their odd appearances, they can help change the course of human history.