Future tech now
SCIENCE, technology and engineering graduates are big contributors to the economic growth of a country as they drive innovation and development.
This is particularly important because a nation’s economy and its application in the fields of science and technology is the deciding factor that determines if it is a developing or developed nation.
Here are some recently introduced technological products.
Many developed and developing countries have either semi- automated or fully automated public rail systems. The Copenhagen Metro in Denmark is an example of a fully automated rail system that can transport commuters between stations, close its doors, detect obstacles on the track and react to emergency situations without human intervention.
The town council of Trikala, Greece, has gone a step further by introducing driverless buses. Part of a European Union- funded trial project called CityMobil2, these automated vehicles are even able to operate on normal roads surrounded by cars, bicyclists and pedestrians instead of on segregated lanes.
Although special laws were passed to make way for the project, it is a good indication of how a fully automated transportation system can be introduced into public infrastructure, possibly reducing the number of road accidents that occur due to human error.
The success of this programme will lead to a large- scale implementation of similar systems around the world.
Japanese construction and mining equipment company Komatsu and United States drone maker Skycatch recently collaborated on a project called Smart Construction, bringing cloud computing and construction to a new level.
In an effort to overcome the shortage of workers in Japan and reduce rising labour costs, Komatsu’s construction vehicles, such as excavators and bulldozers, can now drive and move earth by themselves.
Before the vehicles are sent to work, a Skycatch drone flies over the construction site to take pictures of the ground and stitch these pictures to form a 3D map.
Site planners then enter the information of what earth they want moved, the areas to be left untouched and how the next stage of construction should look like.
A human controller or manager can then supervise the machines on a computer, enabling efficient and optimal construction with minimal labour force. This high level of drone mapping significantly reduces the amount of time needed to survey the entire area compared to the traditional manual process.