Launched in 1977, Star Wars was the coolest movie in the cinemas and it was jam-packed full of futuristic technology ideas. But almost fifty years later, did any of those ideas actually become reality? Let’s take a look at a few…
Robots have been around for a long time – especially in the movies. Remember that big silver fella from The Day The Earth Stood Still? He was called Klaatu and he didn’t stand for any messing about – he was like the 1950s version of Tyson Fury!
In Star Wars C-3PO and R2-D2 were the two robots who everybody liked – and the toys based on these two droids were like gold dust. All these years later, Honda has created the ASIMO humanoid robot that can recognise faces, sounds, moving objects and more. Robots have also been created to provide care to those who have suffered from strokes or muscle disease and people who are paralyzed. So, it’s true to say that robots have come a long way since Star Wars. And, in the modern re-make version of The Day The Earth Stood Still, many critics suggested the acting of Keanu Reeves was more robotic than Klaatu’s!
As a Star Wars fan, you might remember that jetpacks were first revealed by Boba Fett in Return of the Jedi. Whizzing around in a one-man flying machine is not only very futuristic, it also looks really cool – especially that landing bit where they hover for a few seconds. But will we all be flying to work with a jetpack on our backs any time soon? Well, there’s a company called Jetpack Aviation who produce these very things. With a wrist-mounted control unit, the reality of jetpacks for everyday use is getting closer and closer. However if you get a kick out of flying through the air, it’s still probably safer for you to join Cirque du Soleil!
For anyone who needs some extra thrust while dodging trees and Ewoks, then a speeder bike from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi is for you. Zig-zagging through the forest has never been more appealing – but can you pop round to Bristol Street Motors and buy one yet? The answer is ‘no’ – not yet. However, there is a company called Aerofex which is currently developing an ‘air-speeder’ which is nearing completion. But, has the most important question been addressed: What happens if you fall off?
These were quite useful in the Star Wars movies and they took orders and actually spared human lives in the midst of battle. Military developers have created their own battle droids of sorts, called ‘BigDogs’.
These are controlled remotely and will probably be involved in wars of the future. They include laser-guided sensors, a complex computer brain utilising animal-like legs and they can climb and walk in pretty much any terrain. The main downside of these robots is that they run on petrol. Have you seen the price of unleaded? Sorry, the war’s off!
Do you remember the bit when Luke Skywalker lost his hand when battling that nasty man Darth Vader at the end of The Empire Strikes Back? A futuristic medical bot gave him a new bionic hand that moved just like it was real. Now, there’s a company called Touch Bionics which has produced the i-LIMB bionic hand. This bionic limb works with any computer and Bluetooth signals. Electric pulses in your arm are sent to the bionic hand which then moves accordingly. Yes, this technology is here, more or less. These bionic hands are meant to be incredible and react within a thousandth of a second. Apparently, Gareth Southgate has ordered a pair for Jordan Pickford.
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