In Japan, earlier this year before the earthquake and tsunami hit, a new product was released that would enable those who ride bicycles to purify contaminated water sources making them palatable for drinking. However, new hybrid designs are coming online, and with an ever increasing eye toward fuel efficiency, this technology may yet find its proper niche. At a current cost of at least several thousand dollars per pound to put an object in orbit, SPSs, despite their other advantages, would remain economically unfeasible in the near future.
Genetic engineering is the technology for manipulating the genes of organisms to change their characteristics. We doubt the Nori will be parked next to Corollas in dealer showrooms, but we bet a derivative of this technology could reach future Prius models by 2020.
However, in the more distant future (or on alternate science-fiction worlds) where advanced materials and engineering techniques are more readily available than today, ornithopters may come into their own. This lesson explores some exciting technologies that will greatly affect classrooms in the future.
Using UAVs for the same purpose would likely take even longer, at least with current or near-future technology. The technology has gone through a tremendous amount of refinement and advancement since it was first introduced decades ago, and it seems poised to undergo another major change with the advent of artificial machine gills.
The conventional tube-and-wing aircraft has served aviation well, but researchers looking 20-40 years into the future see limits to the configuration’s ability to continue delivering efficiency improvements. Fly-by-wire is making its way into smaller aircraft, bringing flight-envelope protection, and this will accelerate with future electric light aircraft.