Millions of people around the world struggle every day to get dressed, navigate streets and drive safely. Scientists are looking to rectify that, with innovative inventions that will change lives, minimize road accidents and plumb the hidden depths of the earth.
From the Crabster CR200 to the FingerReader, here are the top three inventions that are illuminating the dark…
1. Crabster CR200
It is said that more is known about the Moon than the deepest darkest depths of the sea, but the time has come for that to change. The Crabster CR200 was invented by marine scientists in Korea, and is currently the world’s largest and deepest underwater robot.
Designed to plumb the darkest depths of the ocean, scientists expect the Crabster will help with underwater scientific exploration, discovery of shipwrecks and will help to fix structures ferrying oil and gas across the waves.
Weighing in at 635kg, the Crabster has 6 legs to support it’s monstrous weight, and will scuttle across the seabed like a crustacean. It’s designed to withstand even the toughest of elements, with the ability to duck its ‘head’ and raise its rear end to steady itself in strong currents, helping us to see an entire new world living under the waves.
2. Neon Roads
In the UK, we’re lucky to have cat’s eyes illuminating the dark roads and motorways. In countries such as the Netherlands however, many have to drive on gloomy stretches of road with the only light source from their headlights and the occasional passing car.
Dutch interactive artist, Daan Roosegaarde has plans to change this, with an idea to illuminate a 500 meter stretch of highway in the Netherlands with glow in the dark paint.
The project is low cost and low tech, as the paint is designed to absorb the sunlight, and omit the absorbed light as a neon green glow at night. Roosegaarde talks about the motivation behind his invention: “When you look at highways, why is it that so much time, energy and money is spent on cars when the actual roads are stuck in the Middle Ages? Why can’t we develop paint that charges during the daytime and gets light at night?”
3. Finger Reader
FingerReader is the name of a wearable gadget that could revolutionize the lives of visually impaired people. Developed by MIT researchers, it’s essentially a ring with a tiny built in camera, designed to be worn on the index finger.
Users can point their finger at a line of text in a book or a digital device, and the gadget will read the words out loud. This handy gadget will negate the need for Braille, which would open up a wealth of new reading options for the visually impaired; the Royal National Institute of the Blind in Britain estimate that only 7% of books are available in large print, unabridged audio and braille.
The gadget is designed to cater for all of visual actuities; it will inform the readers when they are deviating from a line of text, has options to read faster, slower and can even rewind or fast forward. The FingerReader is currently in prototype stage, but this simple gadget has the potential to revolutionize the lives of many.
With technology increasing at such an advanced pace, it won’t be long until everything can be seen with crystal clear vision – be it the seabed, a dark road or a popular book.