High-tech marvels

By Hey! Posted 5yr(s) ago Reading Time: A few minutes

Some of NTU’s most impactful technologies, from life-saving medical devices to satellites, were on display at the recent NTU Fest. Lester Kok got a peek at how some of these new technologies will improve our lives in the future

What: Smart electric vehicle
What it can do: Ferry people from point to point without needing someone to drive it and even recharge itself when its battery is low.
What it can do in future: A self-driving electric shuttle could take you from the train station to your home, or between Pioneer MRT station and NTU!

Chua En Lai, in character as The Noose’s Thai reporter Pornsak Sukhumvit, is charmed by NTU’s driverless vehicle. “This is NTU tuk-tuk. I want to go back to Bangkok in this!”

What: Invisibility cloaks
What they can do: Small optical cloaks can hide small objects (like a fish), direct heat around you and even keep sound from reaching you.
What they can do in future: Hide bigger objects like a car from sight; direct noise and music away from you so you can have some peace and quiet; and even keep cities safe from earthquakes and tsunamis by redirecting the shockwaves and energy.

Now you see it, now you don’t: Notice how the middle section of the scissors cannot be seen.

What: Student-built satellites
What they can do: Once launched into space, they can measure climate change, take close-up photos of the earth and test new types of computer chips and other nifty technologies from the yonder side.
What they can do in future: Small satellites can be deployed to do the job of a larger telecommunications satellite, monitor weather and provide location services like GPS.

What: 3D printing technology
What it can do: Consumer-level printers can now print small plastic items like toys. NTU students have even used 3D printing to produce a car’s body parts.
What it can do in future: Print an entire car, a building and even human body organs and food. Need a new heart? Print one. Broke your tooth? Print one. The possibilities are endless.

What: Games and sensors for the elderly
What they can do: Remote sensors can track the movements of an elderly person to find out if he or she is eating well, feeling anxious or has had a fall. Games can also help the elderly keep fit and active and delay the onset of ageing-related illnesses such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
What they can do in future: Monitor the wellbeing of people at home, at work and also in school. Doctors can even prescribe games to keep you healthy. Need an aspirin for your headache? Let me prescribe you a game of Candy Crush.

Story reproduced with permission from NTU’s magazine, HEY!, issue 24. For more HEY! stories, click here.

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