August Fascinations of the Month

16 | By Michael A. Robinson

Can you imagine the home of the future?

It now appears that crews will be able to “print” out your home… in a single day… and hey, on Mars, no less, if that’s where you want to go.

See, NASA is now funding a project in the fast-growing field of 3D printers. These are devices that take blueprints and turn them into real objects. The “printer” has a nozzle that spits out special polymers. Once you add a binding agent, you can create everything from replica car parts to human jaws.

Back in March I wrote about these “desktop factories” for our sister publication Money Morning. I predicted that, by the end of this decade, everyone from consumers to big businesses to solo inventors will be able to make their own unique products in just a couple of hours. (You can read that article right here.)

Now, with funding from NASA, USC engineering professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has devised a process he calls “contour crafting.” The prof says the printed home of the future will have it all – wiring, plumbing, and air conditioning. He says this field has the “potential to build safe, reliable, and affordable lunar and Martian structures, habitats, laboratories, and other facilities before the arrival of human beings.”


Like I keep telling you, this is the Era of Radical Change. Soon, we will be traveling to other planets as a matter of course, as part of the New Space Race. So I wanted to keep you abreast of the latest breakthrough in this field.

And that was far from the only fascinating piece of cutting-edge tech I came across this month.

Take a look…

Soon You Can Get a “Fill Up” for $1.25

A car company in India hopes to make tiny urban vehicles that run on compressed air and emit zero pollution.

These “AIRPods” hold 175 liters of air, which drivers can get at a special fueling station or by using an onboard electric motor. The cars go up to 43 mph, and a tank of air – costing only about $1.25 per fill – will last 125 miles.

Now, this three-wheeled vehicle is very small and looks somewhat like an insect. The driver uses not a steering wheel, but a joystick. And don’t expect a lot of creature comforts. The “mid-sized” model fits up to three passengers, but two of them have to face backwards.

The brain child of Motor Development International, this vehicle has been under development since 2000. But now it is under tests by Tata Motors. Tata has announced it expects to release the AIRPod commercially in the near future… for about $10,000.

It’s hard to know just how much of an inroad these AIRPods will make in the market. But vehicles that run on alternative fuel are only likely to become more important in the years to come.

Next up are high-tech, sensor-laden vehicles equipped with the kind of gear that will help us avoid traffic and crashes. A team from the University of Michigan plans to install the needed wireless tech on 3,000 test cars, vans, and trucks.
The team wants the vehicles to be able talk to each other. But they also want them to connect to traffic lights and other road signals. The idea is to use high tech to reduce traffic deaths.

These “connected” autos will almost certainly come to market in the next few years.

New Robots are Self-Aware (and Inflatable)

Nico is a robot who thinks he’s human – well, almost.

For years, experts have predicted that bots would become self-aware like humans. Now, a team at Yale University has programmed one (Nico) to recognize itself in a mirror.

That’s a big deal, because it moves bots closer to human-style reasoning. If robots can’t “think” like us, then they can’t act like us. For example, if an unthinking robot saw an object being reflected in a mirror and wanted it, it would simply smash through the looking glass to try to grab it.

If they are to become true personal assistants, team members say, robots will need to learn about themselves and how they affect the world around them – especially people.

Meantime, iRobot Corp. (NasdaqGS:IRBT) has just released a video of a robot that has a giant inflatable arm. The air-powered arm remains stowed inside the tracked vehicle until it’s needed. Made mostly of fabric and string, the so-called AIRarm can pick up objects that weigh several pounds.

This shows that future bots could become highly flexible, adding or taking away arms and legs as needed for certain jobs.

And then there’s Swimanoid. It’s a robot swimmer being built at Japan’s Tokyo Institute of Tech. Made to 1/2 scale, it contains waterproof motors and is designed to help with sports research, training, and rescue.

“The Rain in Spain” Explained by Your Brain

Scientists have found the precise neurons, cells inside the brain, that determine how people pronounce the sounds we call vowels. They actually can chart a graph of each sound and which region of the brain is used to make it.

This is hardly academic. One of the “biggest” brains on the planet – Stephen Hawking – is almost completely paralyzed due to ALS and relies on a computer to talk for him.

A team at UCLA and the Technion in Israel made the discovery. They say this breakthrough could lead to new technology that verbalizes the unspoken words of thousands of folks paralyzed by injury or disease.

In a separate study, another research group found a new nanoparticle that may help people with brain injuries, including those from a stroke. A team at Rice University says the compound works by restoring normal blood flow.

(By the way, if you missed my recent report on five new brain secrets you need to know about, you can read it here.)

A Supercomputer for Your Smart Phone

You’ve probably heard of Watson. It’s the famous computer from International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) that made headlines last year by competing against trivia champions on the famous game show Jeopardy!… and winning.

See, Watson has a massive array of processors, four terabytes of disk storage, and is equipped with artificial intelligence. That allows “him” to answer questions posed by humans in our natural language, faster than humans possibly can. He sometimes gets confused, particularly by categories with shorter, less wordy clues. But he also learns from his mistakes.

Now the good folks at IBM want to put a similar system inside your smart phone. Doing so would give Apple Inc.‘s (NasdaqGS:AAPL) Siri digital voice assistant a run for “her” money.

As IBM sees it, a phone-based Watson would greatly aid productivity in many industries.

Think of a farmer standing in a corn field. He asks his phone when and where to plant. In just a few seconds, an answer comes back based on data about location, historical trends, and scientific studies.

I hope you enjoyed August’s Fascinations of the Month. Don’t forget to share what’s fascinating you this month by leaving a comment below or writing to me at

16 Responses to August Fascinations of the Month

  1. Dennis P. Allen Jr. says:

    You might want to look into a fairly recent patent of the inventor Harvey Fiala, a Cal Tech grad who worked under Richard Feynman (believe it or not!) and who has a working model of a device similar to another one to allow space travel without a rocket exhaust, previously thought impossible.

  2. Matt G. says:

    OK, for Tata’s AIRPod, what’s the EROEI (Energy Return On Energy Invested)? Do you get more energy out of the compressed air than it takes to compress the air itself? I suspect the answer is yes, but I’d like to see the cold, hard numbers.

  3. Scottkees says:

    I hope you can receive controversial replies. Does anyone at eraofradicalchange actually read these replies?

    IMHO much of what you talk about is Hi-Fi hopium and fantasy, not reality, nor a projection of what the near future really holds.

    IMHO it is so-called “technological advances” that have and are currently destroying the world; here’s a few examples: Chemtrails and Chembombs, GMO Frankenstein “food”, Vaccinations of all sorts of poison, Drones, Election rigging. The LIST actually become endless when you really look for the sum total of the negatives of what these things are all about—BAD SCIENCE, or good science “evil applied” by the axis of evil Globalists families.

    Of course most of what you write is science-fiction with limited actual reality in practice. Man has come up with many “witty inventions,” but one thing he cannot do is oust the Creator or go beyond his appointed sphere to any major great degree (the rich are the only ones that go into space.)

    When Man steps beyond God’s limits you can know that He will do his “strange act” — Destroy Mankind. It’s happened more than once in the true history of things of the earth.

    Already, with the Amalgamation of animals with humans; with cloning and other DNA and Gene manipulative “science” we are seeing the same scenario that arrived on the planet prior to the great Noachian flood. Then, God’s wrath went forward; so it is today, his WRATH will and IS stopping all actual progress of ANY reality of the practice of these so called “witty inventions” you report on at this site. If I understand it the Biblical view on this at the end of time, it means that technology will SEEM to triumph, BUT AT THE FINAL END, it will all be turned back on unrepentant mankind’s head and man will be destroyed from the earth. (Read Isaiah 24-26, Zephaniah, Joel, Ezekiel 7)

    IMHO most of what you report on – if workable tech – will only last a few more years at the most. The few that do work will eventually be commandeered for vile and evil purposes by the Elite who wish to depopulated most of the planet so they can survive the raping of the resources of the planet.

    Biblical Prophecy is speaking today; but most will not hear it because they are in continual and constant DENIAL of the reality of a planet thrown out of order (naturally) as well as morally.

    Technology will have it’s place in the final crisis as the Mark of the Beast system comes to it’s moment of ENFORCEMENT. But unfortunately, all that is pertaining to money and “buying and selling” will end in destruction with all technologies that are NOT advanced for God’s ultimate purpose—the salvation of mankind.

    It is the end and you can know it by the plethora of “witty inventions” man thinks is going to make things better on a planet that is doomed because of the thoughts of men’s hearts are continually evil bent on money making and selfish covetousness.

    What good is any good technology given to such creatures as that — who are opposed to the God of heaven and earth, of nature, and his moral and natural laws? What good is any good technology when the PTB seek nothing but war by nuclear holocaust?


    I am keenly interested in the potential you outlined in one of your most recent previews concerning developments in computing, 3-dimensional printing and the utilization of nano-sized measuring units. This will surely have an enormous impact on space age technology, and on either already existing firms, many of them well-known U.S. companies, like IBM and Intel or those to be created to become active in the potentially important field of harvesting inter-planetary resources. My question to you is, what is the best way to become involved? The approx. 12 firms you mentioned showed as yet – understandably – no significant change in value. It will surely take time to put the aforementioned developments into practice.
    I have maintained contact with MATLAB which could help with Optimization or any other mathematical process involved or to be developed. I would be grateful for your comments and directions.

  5. Jeff de zilva says:

    I look forward to your unique newsletter bringing us startling new discoveries that will shape the future.excellent and mind boggling articles.thank you

  6. Lawrence says:

    Very inteligent inovation and purely scientifical discovery, but think of developing countries at to ensure a blend with their low technological attainment.

  7. Courtney says:

    Michael I am constantly amazed by the research reports you provide us. If you had your choice what would be the top 5 technological investments you would use to drive your portfolio in the new era of radical change?

  8. Bob Munro says:

    I read somewhere that the main problem with the aircar is that the air pressure would go down quickly , so it wouldn’t be viable , but it looks like Tata must have some way of fixing this problem

  9. Don Young says:

    Thanks for the facinating and interesting items in this article. It gives us much to think about and what to expect someday.

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