The future is coming, and sooner than you think. These emerging technologies will change the way we live, how we look after our bodies and help us avert a climate disaster.

Technology moves at a rapid pace these days. It can sometimes feel like every single day there is a new technology that is going to revolutionise the future. But with so many massive technological upgrades happening all the time, it is easy to lose track of the amazing ways the world is progressing.

There are artificial intelligence programs writing poems from scratch and making images from nothing more than a worded prompt, there are bionic eyes, massive holograms and food made in labs. All of this just scratches the surface of what is out there, so we’ve gathered the most exciting future technologies, listing them all below.

Necrobotics

© Preston Innovation Laboratory/Rice University

Sometimes new future technologies can offer amazing development, with the possibility of changing the future… while also being incredibly creepy.

This is one way to describe the idea of necrobotics which, as the name suggests, involves turning dead things into robots. While this sounds like a plot to a creepy horror film, this is a technology being explored at Rice University.

A team of researchers turned a dead spider into a robot-like gripper, given the ability to pick up other objects. To achieve this, they take a spider and inject it with air. This works because spiders use hydraulics to force their version of blood (haemolymph) into their limbs, making them extend.

Right now this concept is in its infant stages, but it could mean a future where dead animals are used to further science… it all feels very Frankeinstein-like!

Sand batteries

© Edwin Remsberg
© Edwin Remsberg

Not every technology bettering our future has to be complicated, some are simple, yet extremely effective.

One of these kind of technologies has come from some Finnish engineers who have found a way to turn sand into a giant battery.

These engineers piled 100 tons of sand into a 4 x 7 metre steel container. All of this sand was then heated up using wind and solar energy.

This heat can then be distributed by a local energy company to provide warmth to buildings in nearby areas. Energy can be stored this way for long periods of time.

All of this occurs through a concept known as resistive heating. This is where a material is heated by the friction of electrical currents.

Sand and any other non-super conductor are warmed by the electricity passing through them generated heat than can be used for energy.

Exo-skeletons

© Huffington Post

Exo-skeletons have existed for years, both in popular science fiction and real life. But as the years have gone on, the technology has rapidly become more impressive.

Most notably in recent years, we have seen the technology now become more readily available for the young. The Atlas 2030 is described as the most advanced mobile medical exoskeleton designed specifically for children.

While it is not commercially available yet, this technology could aid children in the future, offering a pediatric lower-body medical exoskeleton. This could help children with severe neuromuscular diseases, cerebral palsy or spina bifida walk.

Launching satellites into space

© Spinlaunch

Who would have thought the best way to get satellites into space was with a makeshift catapult! Okay, it is a lot smarter than a catapult but the technology exists in a similar way.

SpinLaunch is a prototype system for getting satellites or other payloads up into space. It does this by using kinetic energy instead of the usual technique of using chemical fuel found in traditional rockets. This technology could be capable of spinning payloads at 8,000km/h and 10,000G, then launching them skyward through a large launch tube.

Of course, small rocket engines will still be required for payloads to reach orbit, but SpinLaunch has claimed this system cuts down on the fuel and infrastructure by an impressive 70 per cent.

The company has signed an agreement with NASA and is now testing the system.

Underwater gloves

© Virginia Tech
© Virginia Tech

Plenty of technological developments have come from copying the attributes of animals, and the ‘octa gloves’ are no exception.

Researchers at Virginia Tech have created underwater gloves that mimics the suction abilities of an octopus for a human hand.

The team behind these gloves re-imagined the way that an octopus’s suckers work. This design was created to perform the same function as said suckers, activating an attachment to objects with light pressure.

Through the use of these suckers and an array of micro-sensors, the suckers on the gloves are able to tighten and loosen to grip objects underwater without applying a crushing force.

This could be used in the future for rescue divers, underwater archaeologists, bridge engineers, salvage crews and other similar fields.

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