Maintaining with The Jetsons: Cool tech that is right here however nonetheless out of attain

When the cartoon present The Jetsons debuted in 1962, it amazed the world with its imaginative and prescient of the world a century later — this was a way forward for flying automobiles, robotic housekeepers and sensible properties set within the ozone layer. Over 55 years later, we nonetheless don’t have any tube homes within the stratosphere, and our humanoids can barely stroll.

We’re 3D printing lots of stuff, however there’ nonetheless no magic dinner-maker. And the tech wizardry that has materialized is actually not inside attain of the common govt at a sprocket firm. Right here’s a have a look at a number of the stuff that has made it to actuality, however isn’t commercially viable but.

Nanobots and humanoids

Now we have humanoids that may stroll, discuss, take orders. However none of them can do all three. Those that transfer can’t communicate, those that talk can’t deal with stairs. We’re so far-off from the age of sassy housekeeper Rosie, the sardonic Tars or Jarvis — or certainly the Terminators — that we would as effectively nonetheless be within the 1990s.

In the meantime, the humanoid bots that we do have are so costly, even firms can solely afford to lease them, as promotional gimmicks. 

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As for the nanobots that may be ingested and piloted by means of the human physique with precision, to kill tumors or repair organ harm — effectively, we’ve up to now solely made it to medical trials on rats.

It doesn’t assist that nanotechnology requires gold, silver and cobalt of virtually absolute purity.

Researchers consider we could have injectable nanobots by 2030. We’ve obtained Alexa and Echo et al, for now. Maybe it’s higher gradual than sorry. What we positively don’t need is Hal. “I’m afraid I can’t try this, Dave”.


 On the opening of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, 1000’s of spectators (and tens of millions extra watching on TV) witnessed historical past being made as a person flew in utilizing a jetpack. Prototypes come out yearly, together with one created by JetPack Aviation this 12 months. However they’re loud and heavy… and don’t fly very far.

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A levitating skateboard could be particularly useful with potholes and waterlogging, wouldn’t it? In 2015, Lexus created a hoverboard with highly effective magnets that cooled to -197 levels Celsius, permitting the board to trip alongside a observe hidden within the floor of the skate park. Nevertheless it couldn’t float over common roads. So we’re nonetheless ready. 

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Interstellar journey, properties on one other planet

Or no less than the moon? They promised that by now we’d be a view of Earth from 1000’s of miles away, no less than. We’ve despatched probes, landed rovers, gone past our photo voltaic system. However solely a dozen individuals have truly touched down on one other celestial physique, and none has gone past the moon.  

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With the top of the Chilly Warfare, the house tech race eased and the main focus shifted to communications and monitoring satellites. All of the thrilling stuff on different worlds is now being accomplished by robots.

First Printed: Dec 29, 2018 19:58 IST

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