So apparently this aerogel technology is 83 years old and it has certainly evolved during this timeframe.
Future state and potential unconventional uses for the aerogel. I am thinking of a couple of ideas here and in random order.
This is definitely future state. Maybe 10, 15 or 20 years out.
Some of these thoughts and then some more, were inspired by this book I am reading. 'The Visioneers', written by a gentleman by the name of W. Patrick McCray. Who, by the way, was very kind in responding back to one of my tweets and even ended up retweeting one of them.
Halfway through this book, I started thinking of a somewhat new form of transportation and perhaps a new mechanism and method for manufacturing. Not so new, if you read the book, as a significant majority of the content revolves around the fine work done by Eric K. Drexler. What a great guy!
Then, I started thinking of lighter than air particles and eventually lighter than air machines. Or a combination of the two. Then I happened to be looking at some basic research being done when it relates to self-assembling nano-machines. And I thought to myself, could all of this be combined together? So that a million different individual components could come together to form a bigger structure?
Next, I literally got this idea of injecting stuff in space, over the more conventional approach of using rocket based technology. Don't get me wrong, I love the advances that have been made when it relates to rocket based technology. But in order to colonize space, we either need to build an elevator that goes into space or we need to come up with another mechanism for getting huge amounts of materials into space and back.
Hence the idea of a giant space needle, the kind that injects stuff into space and sucks it back. During that brief moment, when I started questioning my sanity. I happened to be looking out the window and saw the sun shining on a set of puffy clouds.
That's when I got my Eureka moment! Thinking, wondering if what I had envisioned in terms of swarms of machines that we can ride atop lighter than air material. Then we could theoretically transport them onto a different level of elevation. So again, clusters of machines, sitting atop clusters of aerogel. Picked up by a charge of static electricity. Taken to a higher level of elevation. Eventually transported into space. That is where the machines break free from their aerogelly mould and would then come together.
I admit, this is one of the craziest idea I've ever thought of. But, it is theoretically possible, specially with the advancements being made with certain technologies and how they will evolve in a relatively short amount of time.
These ideas compliment part of my vision for the future. Where objects move seamlessly, in a very stable method, without any noise and with very little to no human intervention. Poetry, must possess multiple forms.
A 2.5 kg brick is supported by a piece of aerogel with a mass of only 2 grams. (Source: Wikipedia)
Could this be the future of building settlements? Here on earth, in space: any other terrestrial planet and any other natural satellite that possesses a sandy surface. (moons)
Imagine, an enhanced and much larger version of this machine pumping out entire structures.
If we are going to colonize other worlds, then we need to use as much of the local resources as possible.
Update: June 20, 2014:
I just noticed this on Twitter. NASA is working on a 3d printer that is designed to print structures using dirt.
Originally published on Feb 14, 2013
One of my childhood dreams, to see the creation of vehicles, that can levitate. That includes most land-based vehicles. Trains, automobiles and even skate-boards like they show in "Back to the Future". Marty McFly's skateboard. In-fact, I think that's where I got the idea from the first time I saw that movie. I wonder why we don't make movies like that anymore.
Anyhow, I decided to collaborate with an artist. The scope of this particular project of our, was to envision a world where:
- Clean energy is abundant and over-flowing
- We have cars that can levitate. And all the (efficient) benefits derived from such a model.
Here are some of the conceptual designs that we came up with: