Future Tech: The world’s longest-lasting battery & the strangest little robot that can perform cataract surgery.
Incredible transformation of 60 separate pieces into a flat-bed truck
FAMED FORMULA 1 designer Gordon Murray has created another cool vehicle, but it’s not a race car. It’s a big, boxy truck that ships in pieces that go together just like that bookcase you bought at Ikea.
Murray designed the flat-pack truck, called the OX, for philanthropist Torquil Norman and his company, Global Vehicle Trust. The first prototype appeared in 2013. Three years, $4 million, and two prototypes later, the Trust has revealed a tested, more complete version.
Inspiration for the OX came from the Africar, a lightweight, all-terrain vehicle that came and went in the mid-1980s. The flat-pack construction, however, is a first. “No one has done a flat-pack truck before, so the problems you need to solve are very different from anything like housing or furniture,” Murray says. “We really had to start from scratch.” That meant designing the truck in CAD and then iterating again and again on how to break it down and economically pack it together. The final OX prototype comes in about 60 pieces, Murray says.
A battery made from nuclear waste & diamonds that lasts 10,000 years
Nuclear waste is normally a major environmental headache, but it could soon be a source of clean energy. Scientists have developed a method of turning that waste into batteries using diamonds. If you encapsulate short-range radioactive material in a human-made diamond, you can generate a small electrical charge even as you completely block harmful radiation. While the team used a nickel isotope for its tests, it ultimately expects to do this using the carbon isotope you find in graphite blocks from nuclear power plants.
The batteries wouldn't generate much power, but their longevity would be dictated by the life of the radiation itself. Researchers estimate that a carbon-based battery would generate 50 percent of its power in 5,730 years. Most likely, the batteries would be used in high-altitude drones, pacemakers, spacecraft and anywhere else replacing the battery is either very cumbersome or impossible. You could see interstellar probes that keep running long after they lose solar power, for example.
Check out this robot with freaky tentacles perform eye surgery
Watch this tiny robot uses its pincers to perform a cataract surgery and — oh my god, stop, keep it away from my eyeballs!
If you can stand to watch it through your laced fingers, it’s a pretty amazing little dude. Called Axsis, the robot was designed by Cambridge Consultants and showed off earlier this week. Its body is the size of a soda can and its instruments measure only 1.8 millimeters in diameter. It’s made to perform one of the most common surgeries —cataract correction.
This miniature eye-probing bot is meant to provide greater precision and less human error than a doctor’s fleshy fingers, but it still relies on a human surgeon controlling it using joysticks, with some help from motion-sensing algorithms. “That computer can recognize when the surgeon’s about to make a motion that’s gonna go outside and puncture the lens, for example, and stop that motion,” Chris Wagner, head of advanced surgical systems at Cambridge Consultants…
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