The Technology Of Science Fiction Is Here Now

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:26 pm,

Iron Man In Real Life

In the Terminator franchise, Cyberdyne is the Sunnyvale, CA company that ends up creating Skynet.  In Japan, a company was started in 2004 using the name Cyberdyne.  At first I was suspicious until I found an MSN Tech Gadgets and CNET article talking about Cyberdyne’s product called HAL.

HAL stands for Hybrid Assistive Limb.  It is an exoskeleton that can help elderly folk get around and is a commercially available product from Cyberdyne.  This exoskeleton is one of the closest things I’ve seen to a real life Iron Man that looks halfway decent.  It helps people walk and has the ability to make it so people can lift more than they are normally capable of.  Check it out:

hal for real The Technology Of Science Fiction Is Here Now

iron man hal comparison The Technology Of Science Fiction Is Here Now

Pretty cool.  Is there a boot-jet option on HAL?

What Is Coming?

One example of what is coming around the corner is some work that Honda Research Institute Japan Co., Ltd. is doing. Together with Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International and Shimadzu Corporation, they have put together the first ever Brain Machine Interface (BMI) technology that uses EEG and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) along with newly developed information extraction technology to enable control of a robot by human thought alone.

It’s surprising to me how much is coming out of Honda.  Up until now, I thought Honda made cars that lasted longer than time.  It’s impressive.

Wrapping This Up

Do I even want to go near the “science” of Star Trek?

Right now we think that we cannot exceed the speed of light because of physics.  Or is that the physics we’re only aware of?  We have lasers that I’m sure will become something like phasers, and we’ve seen how well transporter technology can go if not done right, IE: The Fly.

I could go on and on with this article and maybe I’ll delve into Star Trek another day.

As it is, I’ve only grazed the surface of what’s out there.  I can’t count how many sites and bits I’ve left out of this article.  It’s astounding.  From tiny robots that work together to airplanes whose computers modify their wing surfaces to counter air turbulence and hovercrafts.  Heck, my company is building machines that can climb any type surfaced walls exactly like Spider-Man – it’s crazy what’s out there, and that’s just in the public sector that we know about.

sf f117 sr71 p The Technology Of Science Fiction Is Here Now

I specified the public sector.  We can only imagine what research projects the government has going on now that we don’t know about.  And I don’t mean the noise that people think they know.

An example of what could be is the F-117 Stealth Fighter went public in 1988.  I was part of one of the many contracted developers that worked on that baby. Its first “successful” flight was in 1981 and the research for that accomplishment started in 1964 and then realized in the mid-70′s due to the advancement of computer developments. The SR-71 went into service in 1966, after the technology started being refined in the 50′s.

Looking at these numbers, I bet some of you have to be wondering just what is in the pipe to go public 20 years from now.  It’s crazy, I’m sure.

Movies are a cool realization of what could be and we’re lucky to be able to experience the decent special-effects that computer technology has made possible for us.

So, are we headed to a Matrix existence?  (Unless we’re in it now.) And will the Terminator nightmare come to be?  It’s an old story, but as science catches up to our science fantasies, it can’t be helped but thought about.  I just hope you don’t lose sleep worrying about it!

Sources:  Honda ASIMO, World Honda, DARPA Grand Challenge, Cyberdyne (The real one!), CNET, igargoyle exoskeleton reports

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  1. @JESSIE: Thanks for the kudos. Appreciate it. It was fun to write…

    GREENKNIGHT333: Don’t you DARE diss one of my favorite bands!! Grr, Argh… … ouch, I think I just hurt myself.

  2. Eh too, Kahless,,,
    Aarrrgghhh. ;-)
    Who wants to live forever (electronically) on this rock ???
    Lol, Styx reference. ahhh,,, come sail away with me lad!!!
    Its a Starship ,,,

  3. I guess we’re all just “Renegades” with “Too Much Time on our Hands.” LOL. :P

  4. Welcome to the Grand Illusion, Andy…

  5. Oh lord. What have you started? My brain hurts.

  6. As I found myself oddly humming the lyrics to Come Sail Away, I remembered a Navy friend of mine told me that (the Navy) has a completely automated battleship. Of course its controlled by humans on shore but if supposedly if its attacked it can act on its own and is really pretty much controlled by a powerful on board AI system. Its big too, Destroyer size.

  7. My father (R.I.P.) used to ride solo shotgun if F102 Delta Daggers just to be in the cockpit in case anything went wrong from the ground.

    Do the math on that one, as I blast myself with Half-Penny, Two Penny.

  8. 790( you renegade) you may not want to live forever electronically but I’ll be Rockin the Paradise from AD 1928 until someone SHows Me the Way with a Crystal Ball how to download myself to a hard drive.. I know I’m fooling myself but I’m an angry young man.. :)

    Geez that was bad but I think we have quoted all of Styx’s best songs anyway

    Love the band too Bruce!! Don’t let it end…

    ANyway I’ll stop now because I’ve got too much time on my hands!!

    I promise that’s it!!

  9. LMAO GK333, very clever,,,

    These are the Best of times,,, however nothing ever goes as planned. Some say I’m the great white hope but I’m Ok, I’m just a blue collar man. Living on borrowed time, Working for the pieces of eight.
    Gotta go see my lady, before I get heavy metal poisoning. I’m already leading a double life and she cares,,, :-)
    Show me the way, crystal ball…
    I just want to say why me this is all GK333′s fault!!

  10. Excellent article Bruce.
    what I am curious about Is
    Will the human mind be able to interface with computers one day?
    Today, Computers are minaturized .
    They can fit into your cellphone.
    Computers have mastered the external world.
    The internal world is next .

  11. Just wanted to clarify ,
    the BMI Technology was kind of what I was talking about but I
    was really thinking about interface with a massive computer system.
    Like Skynet ,but we would be interacting with each other.
    BMI does have some intruiging possibilties though .
    would we someday be able to transfer human consciousness into a robot body?
    or at least imprint a human personality onto a robot?

  12. @Gary I think that’s a big YES to your question. The air force already uses neural interfacing.

    Just today I was reading about a company called “Proteus Biomedical” that has developed a edible microchip that’s activated by stomach acid and uses exterior equipment to monitor medication levels in the body…

    The problem with the technology is that its developing too fast. A lot of this technology, in the long run could cause heath damage. We have yet to see the full impact of cell phone use on teenage women…
    Cigarettes weren’t considered unhealthy for years…

  13. 790,
    interesting about the Air Force and the use of neural interface .
    DEFINITELY Moving too fast .

  14. Interesting Gary yeah I’ve never been interested in that field but I’m sure they’re working on it in some underground lair.
    I read some info on James Cameron’s Avatar film and there’s some of that tech in the story.
    (Don Fontane voice impersonated)
    “In the future mankind uses technology to create clones and then downloads the memories of other people into them…”
    Avatar,,, rated PG-13 !!!!!!

    Personally with the way things are headed I’m not sure that ordinary people are going to see that benefit as long as elites run things. The treatment would be more than liky kept under military secrecy.

  15. Yeah gary the Air force has some exotic stuff that is controlled by neural implants. As the human brain is the perfect quantum computer… Yeah Borg!!!

  16. This is so wicked! I love robots, technology and stuff!!!