Sci-Fi Tech You Can Find in the Real World

History and imagination have been influencing engineers since the dawn of time. Leonardo da Vinci sketched the designs for a precursor to the helicopter nearly 500 years before the first functional helicopter took flight. Before tablet computers became indispensable to traveling business people, they were a staple in the Star Trek universe. With the recent invention of a functional hoverboard (yes, you read that right) we decided it was time to analyze how science fiction has influenced modern engineering and technology.

5 Sci-Fi Gadgets That Engineers Have Actually Built

  1. sci-fi technology - UFOStar Trek replicator. Okay, we may not be to the point of instantly materializing matter, but with the invention of the 3D printer, engineers have accomplished the seemingly impossible feat of building objects straight from computer code.

  2. The Iron Man suit. It may not be outfitted with Jarvis, but the military has announced that a prototype for TALOS – their version of the fast, strong, bullet-repelling exoskeleton most recently donned by Robert Downey Jr – is projected for 2018.

  3. Hovercrafts are the quintessential invention imagined for futuristic worlds in sci-fi lore. The future arrived this year with the prototype for Hendo, the world’s first hoverboard, which uses magnetic fields to create lift force.

  4. Drone delivery. Instant delivery of your online-ordered goods certainly seems like science fiction, but the technology has already been developed. Amazon is just one of the companies that plans to use drone delivery systems to deliver packages within the hour of each placed order. The drones will feature anti-collision technology to prevent disasters with trees, buildings, and birds.

  5. Remember the robot vacuum cleaner on The Jetsons? Sounds a lot like a Roomba to us.

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