The science fiction aspect of Bubblegum Crisis may not be science fiction much longer. Recent breakthroughs in technology across the board are paving the way for their development in several ways.
Reuters News Service reports today that AlliedSignal Inc. (NOT Genom) has been successful in creating an artificial muscle. The "muscle" actually has no living components: it is actually a microscopic actuator that, when used with Carbon nanotubes (billionth of a meter thick tubes of pure carbon), bends when an electrical current is run through it, much like a human muscle. The finished product (which is currently hampered by the necessity of being immersed in salt water) will be many times tougher, the researchers report in the Journal of Science.
"We were just flabbergasted that it worked right away," Ray Baughman of AlliedSignal was quoted as saying. "Within hours we had devices that were moving back and forth."
Once development is completed, the finished product (still years away) could be used in everything from jet engines to human hearts. Boomer development is also an option for the future.
Also this week, NASA's Deep Space 1 space craft was sent on a "remote agent experiment" on Monday. The experiment will be to fly the spacecraft for a total of two days, piloted during that time via artificial intelligence with minimal human intervention from ground control. The project is the first of its kind, and is considered a milestone for artificial intelligence research and development.
It is speculated that creative uses of these two technologies could result in mainstream Boomer application by the previously predicted late 2020's.
ANN thanks Jim Rix for his contribution to this article.