Would You Fly Like Iron Man?

Humans have dreamed of flying since they first saw birds. Determined men and women have made the dreams come true with heavier than air aircraft. Now men and women are bringing the dream of human flight using jetpacks. Would you like to fly like Iron Man? The Dream Seven years before the Wright brothers completed their first manned, powered, controlled flight, a novel called The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896) mentioned a man hovering low with “the look of a pack on his back.” The cover of Amazing Stories featured a man flying with a jet pack in 1928. A year after Lindbergh completed the first solo, nonstop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris.  Over the years, countless other stories and films and cartoons have used a jetpack. I’ll bet you can name one or two you’ve seen portrayed in film or fiction. Early History The Russian inventor Alexander F. Andreev created the first pack design in 1919. Andreev received a patent for the  oxygen-and-methane-powered pack with wings. But there is no record that anyone built or tested it.  In 1956, Justin Capră informed the American Embassy that he invented a “flying rucksack” in Romania. No one was interested.  Project Grasshopper […]

A.I. Surveillance, Are We Ready?

What if with A.I. Surveillance we could find every missing person? There are more than 600,000 persons reported missing in the United States each year.  That’s about 2,000 per day.  Many of those persons are found or identified. But tens of thousands remain missing for more than a year. About 4,400 unidentified bodies are discovered each year in the U.S. Approximately 1,000 remain unidentified after one year.  As appalling as those number are, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates more than 800,000 children are reported missing each year. They know this estimate is low because of under reporting and lack of statistics in many countries.  The Future is Near According to Garner’s Top Ten Tech Predictions for 2019 on and beyond () “By 2023, there will be an 80 percent reduction in missing people in mature markets compared with 2018 due to AI face recognition.” Is this good new or bad? Do you envision a world of the Minority Report or The Matrix? How Good is A.I.? Before you get too freaked out, let’s look at what level this A.I. Might function. Things to Consider The second two, A.G.I. And A.S.I, don’t exist. So let’s assume the facial […]

Do You Dream of the Jetson Life?

What futuristic program(s) have you watched and wondered what life will be like that someday? As a science fiction writer, I can’t help but do that. I dream of the Jetson life. I’ve longed for the Jetson’s flying car and robots and a technology-filled home since I first watched the cartoon. Sadly, we’ve not come that far but there are amazing things on the horizon. Take a look with me. The Flying Car There are four prototypes discussed in this video. One is called Pal-V One. It’s a car-gyroplane hybrid. If you’ve read My Soul to Keep you know why this one appeals to me. One of these flying cars runs on unleaded gasoline but you must be a pilot to fly it. Another one claims that if you can drive a car, you can fly it. And one looks like a miniature space shuttle. It needs only a few hundred feet of flat surface to land. There’s a flying taxi, too. I hope it comes without taxi driver, Korben from The Fifth Element. Home Cleaning Robots Not exactly Rosie the robot, but we already have the Roomba vacuum and its kin. This video discusses eight new robots. Fedor is […]