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Star Wars was ahead of its time and, obviously, Mr. George Lucas is the ish! He imagined an awe inspiring sci-fi world that has become embedded in our memories forever. We all ooohed and aaaahed at all the high-tech gadgets throughout all of the films, wishing we could all play with lightsabers and have our own R2-D2s. Turns out, some of the Star Wars tech can be found in our universe today and some might come to fruition in the near future. And some have, or close to, as seen in our Star Wars gift list.
Battle Droids were quite useful throughout the Star Wars movies. They were plentiful, took orders and spared human lives in battle. The military has taken some cues from Star Wars and are now creating their own battle droids. Named the “BigDogs,” these remotely-controlled robots will be fighting the wars of the future. The robotic war monsters feature an array of big guns, the ability to climb and walk any terrain and features loads more of functions developed for warfare. It also features an extensive and complicated computer brain with animal-like legs, a laser-guided senors and state-of-the-art shock-systems and articulating legs and feet. It normally runs on gasoline but plans in the future are for it to be able to deploy solar shields and powerup using the sun should its gas supply run low.
At the end of Star Wars, Luke doesn’t want to use the heads-up display (HUD) that’s in his X-Wing fighter. Turns out modern fighter jets use these displays to help navigate and attack, but it’s also now being incorporated into cars. BMW and GM actually have these head-up displays in their cars. The one that the BMW 7-Series has allows you to see your speed and navigation, which emanate off of the nose of the car. Pretty soon, all cars will incorporate this technology. GM is actually working on a full HUD for the windshield that will show speed, navigation and more! Who would have thought, right?!
When Princess Leia sends a holographic e-mail to Obi Wan-Kenobi, we all wished we could send messages in such a high-tech way. Well a professor at the University of Arizona actually created the first real holographic message. It worked using 16 cameras to create the source material, then two lasers were used to transmit the message onto a piece of plastic to create an “interference fringe pattern” (one for dark tones and one for light) that appears to hover in space.
When Luke Skywalker loses his hand when battling Darth Vader at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, a medical bot outfits him a new bionic hand that moves as if it were real. This Star Wars tech is now a reality, thanks to new technology from Touch Bionics , the company behind the i-LIMB Pulse bionic hand. It works by reading myoelectric signals that are tiny electric pulses in your arm and then sends tom to the hand, movin it accordingly. The coolest part about it is that this bionic hand works with any computer and Bluetooh signals, allowing users the ability to tweak the algorithms for sensitivity and control five fingers independently for grabbing objects.
The Galactic Empire used an armored hover train to transport prisoners and cargo acres the spice-mine, asteroid-shaped planet Kessel. It ran along was was a magnetic levitation track. Seems like this sort of tech is catching up with us as China has started construction on what it hopes will be the world’s first commercial train that uses magnetic levitation. The new train is supposed to reach speeds of up to 250 mph between Shanghai’s new financial district and its new airport. But this is probably just the beginning of transportation of the future using magnetic levitation!
C-3PO and R2-D2 were the coolest robots on the Star Wars block and everybody wanted their own droid after watching the Star Wars movies Thanks to new technology, we now have robots similar to the robotic duo in the movie. Honda created the ASIMO humanoid robot that can recognize faces, sounds, moving objects and more. There’s also a care-providing robot FRIEND that’s a semi-autonomous robot that can help people in had strokes, are paralyzed or suffer from muscle disease.
In the OG film, there was a scene where Chewbacca and C-3P0 played a friendly game of 3D Chess. Of course we all thought that was cool, but it’s actually become a reality. In 2010, Sony created a PlayStaion game called EyePet that allowed players to interact with animated characters. Sort of like an “augmented reality game,” the cool system consisted of a video camera that captured players and then showed it on a live feed on any HDTV, allowing players to play within the game and its animated characters.
The Star Wars LandSpeeder Hovercraft was a cool way to get around, sort of like a flying car that just hovers over land. Well, turns out that this idea has actually become a reality thanks to Moller International who created a red flyingcar they call the M200G. the machine can hover 10 feet off the ground and cruises at a speed of 50 mph. Because the M200G is classified as a recreation device and not an aircraft, it is not subject to FAA regulations and anybody can operate one. But the price is quite insane, starting at $90,000-$125,000.
The fact that you could kill someone or cut them in half by the use of a simple light still boggles us. Lucas’ lightsaber weapon has to be one of the coolest weapons in all of movie history. Sure, there’s an abundance of plastic and pretty movie-quality replicas, the real thing seemed as if it would never become a reality. Physicists and scientists say such a weapon can never be created because light can never stay frozen in space since it has a tendency to scatter. However, laser weapons are being researched for military purposes. There’s a flying lightsaber called the Airborne Laser that’s a 747 that has been modified to emit a continuous beam of light. There are also several companies working on portable laser weapons for the U.S. Army like the PEP (pulsed energy projectile) that may replace the stun gun soon. It’s more like a plasma pistol, but technology is getting damn close to an actual lightsaber.