Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Science of Over the Edge: Hoverbikes Coming Soon to a Dealer Near You

In Over the Edge, characters drive hovercars and light duty trucks and remotely operate "robo eyes" or release autonomous "robo eyes" or "snooper robos" which are essentially drones. These robotic devices are used to gather information, dispense medicine, triage patients, complete basic medical physicals and conduct blood, urine, breath and skin sampling and testing. They can also defend their users from attack or attack assigned targets. Snooper robos are used for spying and forensic purposes.

Robo eyes or snooper robos are spherical and covered entirely by video projectors and cameras. The video cameras not only gather visual information, but transmit what they "see" to projectors making the devices practically invisible to all but the most experienced observers. They can operate autonomously or be remotely controlled via mind control or computer interface. 

Lexus, more commonly known for automobile manufacturing, has recently announced that it has developed a magnetic hoverboard prototype. A short teaser video can be found elsewhere on the web, unfortunately, doesn't show anybody demonstrating its use or I would post the video here. However, a UK company has developed a hoverbike which the US military will soon purchase and employ in a variety of situations. (Videos posted below.)

In Over the Edge, hover passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks navigate either by computer control or by user control in hover lanes above already traveled ground lanes--layered travel lanes. Urban hove vehicles are limited, by law, to designated hover areas (laws are made to be broken, right?).

Hoverbikes featured in the video below and for use here on earth employ the same kind of rider/machine control as a motorcycle. The rider leans to one side or the other to effect a turn. While hovercycles also exist in Over the Edge, hovercars are similar to vehicles found in earth's 21st century in their appearance and seating capabilities, most are outfitted to double as ground automobiles.(Yes, the back-end of two horses is the galactic standard width for cars, trucks and all hovercraft just as it is here on earth for everything from buggies, to Conestoga wagons to automobiles and trucks to NASA's spacecraft.)

Click this link for more: The Telegraph reports: US Soldiers Could Soon Use UK Developed Hoverbikes

Friday, June 05, 2015

Science of Over the Edge: Brain to Computer Melding

In Over the Edge and related novels, Lendar Marl, Captains Reeser Peland, Anwic Dzula and Ystem Aver are fitted with a device called a Kaldesope. While Lendar Marl uses his Kaldescope to become a component of his Cadillac Escalade, the other characters' Kaldescopes cause them to become intimate components of their ships. Using mind power alone, they are able to employ the Escalade or ships' computers, manage their functions etc. via their Kaldescopes. Through their Kaldescopes characters access information files saved on data bases aboard their ships or other vehicles and throughout linked computer networks using only their minds. Though Lendar is not fitted with the full-blown Kaldescope, the Captains' Kaldescopes make it possible for them to record the audio and visual information they gather through their own senses, save it to their ship's data bases and then review it at will, like watching a movie, either in private within their own minds or projected on screens anywhere they have access and the proper equipment. Through their Kaldescopes Captains can spy on passengers, check on cargo and observe activity outside the ship via the ship's data gathering systems--cameras, sensors and so forth. Lendar can drive his Escalade or change any setting remotely; the other characters can also change settings and fly their ships remotely. While the Kaldescope is functioning, the characters essentially become one with their ships, the over-brain and the heart of their vessels.

A company called BrainGate (click here to visit the company website) is working to develop interfaces between human brains and computers and/or robots. Their work is based on research that began in the late 1800's when Hans Berger began researching how the brain communicates and developed the EEG, the electroencephalogram, to record brain waves. He was the first to demonstrate that our neurons talk to one another using electrical pulses. His findings were published in 1929. His work was largely ignored until 1969 when biophysicist, Eberhard Fetz, wondered if, since our brains communicate using electricity, perhaps we can control electronic devices through thought control. His test subjects were Rhesus monkeys who learned to manipulate readings on a meter using only their brains. With the advent of the computerized age, BrainGate can now implant silicon chips in human brains and allows an individual to control a robotic arm or access the internet using mind control alone. This is potentially great advance for disabled people and remote operations. While the BrainGate plug-in is bulky and intrusive, the Kaldescope is barely visible and requires no intrusive brain surgery (of course, the Kaldescope is fictitious, but so were satellites in geosynchronous orbit at one time--nod to Arthur C. Clarke for inventing those).

Check out: The Coming Merge of Human and Machine Intelligence for more.