Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Unusual Machines

What Will They Think of Next?

~ I knew automobile makers build concept cars, but I didn't know airlines build conceptual models too. Airbus has a 2050 vision of a an airplane with some outlandish features, including automated baggage handling (don't we have that now?!) energy harvesting from passenger heat to run aircraft systems, swivel seats, and what is truly an unbelievable amount of passenger room around each seat. The best part, however, is moving beyond merely bigger windows to create a "transparent airplane":

I'd love that view, especially of the stars at night, but it would need to be SPF 200 during the day given the radiation exposure 7+ miles up.

From the same article, there are seven other strange, weird, or intriguing machines, some of which are much nearer to being built and ready to use. I'm particularly intrigued by a 3-D printer that weighs a mere 1.5kg, a lie-detecting ATM already in use in Russia, and a "brewsky robot" that might, to the unwitting tippler, so disturb as to cause one to give up drinking.

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