The 2014 year has been a good one to us in terms of technology. Many of these devices have not been publicly displayed enough for people to take notice. So I’m here to fill you in! Here is your list of the top 10 greatest feats in engineering!
10. Form-fitting compression space suit to aid in planetary exploration
-Dr. Dava Newman, a professor of Aeronautics, Astronautics and Engineering Systems at MIT, created compression garments that incorporate small, springlike coils that contract in response to heat to improve upon the outdated, clunky spacesuits astronauts currently wear.
9. Simple, cheap, paper test for cancer
-Another research team at MIT has definitely achieved success in this department as they developed a simple, cheap, paper test that can diagnose cancer, in a similar fashion to a pregnancy test.
8. Pocket spectrometer is your personal molecular scanner
-This pocket friendly device uses near IR spectroscopy to identify the materials of the object it’s scanning. It works in partner with your smartphone via Bluetooth and the data from the scan is sent to the cloud to undergo algorithms, before feedback is sent back to the smartphone.
7. Daewoo’s exosteleton that gives its workers super strength
-Daewoo began testing exoskeletons that allow workers to pick up, maneuver and hold objects weighing 30kg with no effort – perfect for their shipbuilders. A backpack carries the power for a system of hydraulic joints and electric motors running up the outside of the legs.
6. We finally have something that can be called a working hoverboard
-An interesting use of electromagnetics and the hoverboard was a front for the new take on the technology which has potential for a lot of other great possibilities.
5. Ridiculous 43 Terabits/sec data transfer
-The High-Speed Optical Communications team at the Technical University of Denmark set a new record for data transmission this year, passing 43 terabits per second worth of data over a single optical fiber. To put this in perspective, Reddit user candiedbug points out: “At 43 terabits per second you could download Netflix’s entire 3.14 petabyte library in 9.7 minutes.”
4. Google Cardboard lets you experience virtual reality with stuff you already have
-With some android software you can create your own virtual reality experience with things possibly lying around your home right now. All you need is some cardboard, Velcro strips, magnets and plastic lenses (and of course an Android device), and you can experience a 3D virtual reality available from numerous apps.
3. Wireless electricity is now a thing
-Wireless electricity has been creeping into our lives with the likes of wireless charging smartphone docks where the handheld devices lay on top of a pad. Now, WiTricity have used resonant wireless power transfer technology to develop a commercially viable product that can charge your devices without the need of them being left on a pad. It also works through wood and metal.
2. SpaceX’s FALCON 9 reusable test vehicle reaches 1000m
-Elon Musk dreams to colonize Mars in the future but this year his company achieved a milestone with their reusable rocket, reaching 1000m. At a time when budgeting for space sciences is at risk, the industry needs more efficient and less costly solutions to continue our exploration beyond our own planet.
1. Solar power can be generated in the dark
-Researchers from MIT and Harvard have created a way for solar panels to absorb and store the energy from the sun’s radiation, which can then be used on demand to create heat.
However, do not forget that we landed on a comet! In my opinion that is the greatest engineering feat! Feel free to look into each one of these great engineering feats yourself!