Moving At The Speed Of Drone: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

There are some interesting technologies coming into the spotlight as of late, and when observed individually, they are quite impressive. But when you take a step back and see where all of this is headed, the outlook for humanity can appear breathtaking. Yet, it only take a couple mouse clicks to have that techno-optimism destroyed. A good example is the coming drone revolution.

Drones are essentially flying robots, and they have been getting alot of negative press lately, what with all the accidental killing of civilians and fears of a totalitarian police-state being able to spy on everyone and everything 24/7. Take this Dragonfly Drone someone spotted at a family barbecue:

The toothpaste is out of the tube: it is now possible for someone to see everything you do. But wait! There’s more! Someone decided to use the simple formula “Drone + Gun = Great Idea” and build an autonomous, Ipad-controlled flying machine gun that literally self-destructs if it gets shot down.

Welcome to hell, right? How does one defend themselves against something like that? A personal laser defense system? Imagine 100, or even 10,000 of those flying into your city.

However, there is some good news. Farmers have started using drones to view crops, saving money on expensive surveillance services normally conducted by plane. But imagine how much more efficient an army of farming drones would be. You could plant crops in places you can’t get to, schedule watering and maintenance, harvest food autonomously, and even have it delivered to a customer’s doorstep. Supermarkets will be a thing of the past. Also, think about construction.

Drones will allow for the construction and demolition of a building within days, if not hours. Combine this with the benefits 3D printing will provide, and it is easy to imagine an entire city migrating to follow resources.

Here’s where I’m going with all this: We are going to need to completely overhaul the economic system. What is going to happen when China begins to use robots because it is economically feasible to do so? Can our economy support ONE BILLION unemployed people? What happens to the construction workers, farmers, truck drivers, and other assorted service people who will be suddenly unemployed? We are heading towards a post-scarcity society with a scarcity-driven economy.

There is a solution, however. Economic models like the Resource Based Economy Principle dictate a world centered around a vast resource management system, a living wage, using the highest levels of technology available to eliminate corrupt profit models. God forbid any of us be judged by how good we are as human beings and what we contribute to society.

These technologies need to happen like, yesterday. Why? Because there’s a great big Brother eyeing the killswitch; who is quickly realizing he will soon be obsolete, and I don’t think he’s going quietly.



How to Print a Building (The Coming Real Estate Revolution)

Printing A Building

Imagine you want to build a new house or office building.  In the past, you would have had to hire an architect, a contractor, a construction company…The entire process would take months – if not years – and construction delays were the name of the game.

A man named Enrico Dini is not only about to revolutionize the way we build houses and office buildings – his technology could potentially cause the largest economic revolution in human history.

Inspired by Gaudi’s architecture, he became a Civil Engineer and, later, began building machines.  Yet he soon found that his imagination was constrained by the physical limits of modern construction techniques.  Concrete and brick buildings require a certain degree of logistics and manpower, and human engineering errors are often  rampant.

Tired of these physical constraints, Enrico invented and patented a full-scale 3D printing method that uses a high-tech glue to bind sand.  Enrico’s general concept is fairly similar, however: The printer is installed at the construction site, and using a 3D blueprint designed by the architect, it systematically “prints out” a building.

Dini's Printer

And get this: the 3D printer could soon also be able to print more 3D printers.  His company, Shapeways, is already planning a full-scale sculpture in Pisa, Italy. So in other words, this is all actually happening.

Enrico is only one of many emerging visionaries working on Earth-sculpting technologies.  Markus Kayser, who studied 3D Furniture and Product Design at London Metropolitan University, is working on another exciting and revolutionary technology. His newest invention, The Sun Cutter, is a solar powered machine that converts sand into glass-like sctructures. In a world increasingly worried about energy production and shortages of raw materials, the Sun Cutter could be installed in a barren desert to build entire structures – all by itself.  This would be hugely important for developing nations or refugees left homeless from a natural disaster.

The Sun Cutter

Once these technologies are refined and begin to enter the marketplace, entire economic models will have to be rewritten.  What will we do with millions of suddenly-unemployed construction workers when machines effectively render them obsolete? This dilemma requires our immediate attention, as it stretches far beyond the worlds of construction and real estate. As more and more human jobs are replaced by technology, the unemployed masses and the world leaders governing them will most likely be ill-prepared for such changes. The economic fallout could be disastrous.

But there is hope. Companies like Organovo are already printing human organs, and even food-printing technologies are next on the horizon.  With these new technologies, the would would have enough infrastructure and natural resources to provide billions a quality of life on-par with the United States. The transition towards a post-scarcity society has begun, wether governments and multi-national corporations like it or not.

To sum it all up, the gap between human imagination and the physical world is shrinking. As the architects become the builders, together we could build a utopia from our collective dreams.  And as Enrico builds his modern day Tower of Pisa, hopefully we will all take a moment to remember that every building needs a strong foundation.