3D Printers continue to advance quickly. For spacecraft use, what is needed is that the aerospace industry starts to use them to make production parts. Well, GE has just announced that they will start using 3D printers to make some complex jet engine parts. GE is going to help develop the supply chain for making these kinds of high-end parts. Making parts for spacecraft would seem a natural next step.
December 1st, 2013
Thanks to commenter Nanard for finding this great video about the Enterprise and inspiration for space exploration.
November 28th, 2013
Hope you have a good one with friends and family. And of course they had Thanksgiving on the Enterprise. Just listen.
November 27th, 2013
Rockets that can be re-used have the potential to greatly reduce launch costs. SpaceX has just such a rocket in the works.
November 22nd, 2013
Are you ready for the humanoid robots to appear? I think within 25 years humanoid robots will become the largest selling consumer product. They can clean your house, do various chores, help care for the sick and elderly, and so on. There will be no limit to the valued services that these human-like robots will be able to provide. People will pay a lot to have robots around to help them in every way imaginable.
Real money has not yet started to flow into developing humanoid robots. Once billions of dollars per year begin being invested into robot development – very rapid technology improvements will occur.
So let’s predict the timeline of important milestones in humanoid robot evolution:
2018 – can walk smoothly and very much like a human (getting close already)
2019 – look of face and facial expressions can pass for a human (getting close already)
2022- all body movements can match humans in appearance
2025 – electric motor sounds no longer heard as robot moves
2028 -robot can mimic humans in conversation so that it can fool an average person 20% of the time
2033 – First humanoid robot appears that can pass for a human enough that in everyday simple interactions with people, where conversations are minimal, most people cannot tell
2034 – international treaty signed to limit robot capabilities such as robot networking to prepare for when robot intelligence approaches human intelligence
2036 - robot can mimic humans in conversation and physical interactions so that it can fool an average person 50% of the time
2038 – humanoid robots become the largest revenue-generating consumer product on Earth
2045 - first major issues with robot civil rights arise; activists declare that robots are becoming conscious beings and thus need protection under the laws
2050 - first major robot terrorist and the issue of robots being a potential threat to humans becomes more real; but despite this, people adamantly want to keep robots around