Future Tech: From Personal Robots to Motorized Monocycles

Overview

From machines with the capability of independent thought to cars that drive themselves, technology promises to change many aspects of our lives in the future. In the field of nanotechnology, new research focuses on microscopic robots and computers that can enter the bloodstream, or be woven into clothes. In the emerging science of biomimetics, scientists and engineers study nature to create new products. Understanding how insects' eyes work may result in the design of advanced computer screens. Exciting new ...

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Overview

From machines with the capability of independent thought to cars that drive themselves, technology promises to change many aspects of our lives in the future. In the field of nanotechnology, new research focuses on microscopic robots and computers that can enter the bloodstream, or be woven into clothes. In the emerging science of biomimetics, scientists and engineers study nature to create new products. Understanding how insects' eyes work may result in the design of advanced computer screens. Exciting new things are happening every day, thanks to the researchers and scientists whose talents will make our future bright.

It is National Geographic's mission to explore the world and all that's in it and to bring discoveries and knowledge to the widest array of people possible. National Geographic Investigates introduces young people to cutting-edge techniques of scientific investigation, the most recent research, and the way current discoveries benefit every part of the natural world.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up—Piddock discusses future possibilities in biomimetics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and other fields. The opening message discusses futurology, a "discipline of predicting probable future events based on scientific, systematic, and pattern-based studies of the past and the present," and how it is used. A full-page photo of a man using a bionic hand to play an electronic keyboard and a full spread, illustrated time line of important milestones in technology follow, serving to pique readers' interest in this stimulating subject. The subsequent chapters examine specific aspects of futurology. A look at the existing use of robots in auto manufacturing and police work leads into a discussion of developing machines capable of expression and showing emotion, and some applications of robotics to surgical procedures. Other chapters examine, for example, the development of bionic body parts such as hands, eyes, and even portions of the brain; the copying of useful traits of plants and animals in biomimetics; and how nanotechnology is used in cancer treatments and heart and lung repair. The volume ends with predictions and possibilities for life in 2025. This fascinating book combines an outstanding layout with a well-written and enticing narrative and vivid, detailed photographs.—Susan Shaver, Hemingford Public Schools, NE
Kirkus Reviews
It seems as if people have always longed to peer into the future, although some have made better guesses than others about what may lie ahead. Based on futurology-the discipline of predicting future innovations and resulting lifestyle changes, largely by studying current science and technology and past patterns of change-this effort takes an appreciative, uncritical look at robots, transportation, bionics, nanotechnology and future life in general. It concludes with ten specific predictions for 2025-for example, digital jewelry that automatically introduces the wearer to passersby. Interesting color photographs appear on almost every page and entertaining text boxes with additional related information add appeal but sometimes overstep accuracy: "After World War II almost everyone predicted that people would zoom around in atomic airplanes." While it's at its strongest at presenting potential new technology, the text makes no effort to predict how these innovations may affect the world at large, resulting in a surprisingly wide-eyed,1950s Popular Science-style of reporting. Although not all of the predictions may come true, most of them will likely entertain and provoke thoughtful consideration. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426304682
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 7/14/2009
  • Series: National Geographic Investigates Science Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 1,054,657
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Message From the Consultant 8

Important Milestones in Technology 10

1 Robots With a Human Face 12

Making a more perfect machine

Kismet, Domo, and Leo

Wakamaru

Robot tales

Robot caretakers

Robo-surgeons

Meet a roboticist

2 Cyborg Dreams 20

Building the bionic human

A bionic hand

Bionic eyes

Brain-computer interface

Going organic

Gordon the Frankenbot

Downloaded brains

Which Gordon am I? 20

3 Nature Tech 28

Animals and plants help design the future

The science of biomimetics

Cocklebur science

Sharkskin suits

Snake venom medicine

Gecko science

The adventures of Stickybot

4 Thinking Small 34

Nanotechnology looks ahead

Smart dust

Building from the bottom up

The singularity

Medical revolution

5 Motoring Around 40

A substitute for the gasoline-powered engine

Plug-in electric cars

Jet packs and atomic airplanes

Solar cars

The promise of fuel cells

One-wheeled wonder

6 Living in the Future 48

What life will be like...

Not a dream

Touring the future in 1939

Intelligent walls

Ambient intelligence

Oops! Famous bad predictions

What lies in store?

By 2025

The Years Ahead 58

Glossary 59

Bibliography 60

On the Web 60

Further Reading 60

Index 61

About the Author and Consultant 63

Credits 64

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