6 March 2013

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The Most Awesome Science Fiction Machines

Science fiction plays on the gray area between scientific possibility and impossibility, often describing technologies and machines that could exist in the future, or that only slightly bend our current rules about what’s possible. Science fiction authors have also been responsible for imagining some of the coolest gadgets, and these are just plain fun. Here are some of the most iconic machines and devices to come out of science fiction.


Science fiction plays on the gray area between scientific possibility and impossibility, often describing technologies and machines that could exist in the future, or that only slightly bend our current rules about what’s possible.  Science fiction authors have also been responsible for imagining some of the coolest gadgets, and these are just plain fun.

Here are some of the most iconic machines and devices to come out of science fiction.

Delorean Time Machine
Delorean

This was the dream vehicle of every boy who grew up with the Back to the Future movies. Part hot-rod and part time machine, there was nothing cooler than the trail of flaming skid marks this machine left behind when it jumped into the space-time flux at 88 miles per hour.

Phaser Pistol
Any Star Trek fan, or Trekkie, can tell you about the phaser, a weapon that can be set to either “stun” or “kill”, depending on the situation. Phaser weapons came in a range of sizes, from the hand-held two-function pistol to the Starship-mounted heavy cannon, capable of taking out errant asteroids.

Lightsaber
Lightsaber

The Star Wars lightsaber needs no explanation. The buzzing sound as a lightsaber swoops in combat is one the most iconic in movie history. The Jedi knights also knew a thing or two about convenience, making the blade collapsible into a pocket-sized hilt that’s easy to carry and to conceal.

Memory Eraser
Who wouldn’t want a go with a Men in Black memory eraser? Flashing this pocket-sized device to erase memories would be a quick and efficient way to get out of all sorts of trouble.

Teleportation Pods
Seth

David Cronenberg’s sci-fi epic The Fly is one of the most iconic metamorphosis movies ever made. In the film, Geoff Goldblum’s character invented an awesome looking pair of transportation pods. A passenger would be broken down into his or her most basic parts in the first pod, and then reassembled in the second pod. Unfortunately for Geoff’s character, he got himself reassembled with the molecular structure of a fly that found its way into the pod with him.

Iron Man
Iron Man is part man and part, well, iron. Tony Stark is only a millionaire with pent-up anger until he dons the Iron Man suit he invented, giving him the ability to fly, shoot laser beams from his palms and swat away bullets like flies.

T-800
T-800

The T-800, otherwise simply known as “The Terminator”, wasn’t all bad. Although he was initially sent back in time to kill John Connor, he was reprogrammed to be a more compassionate, human-friendly machine, beset on protecting John from other nasty robots. He’s also the only robot awesome enough to beat up thugs at a biker bar butt naked.

Sonic Rifle
Minority Report was the source of many awe-inspiring gadgets and machines, including vast holographic touch-screen devices, self-guided cars and the sonic rifle, an ingenious form of non-lethal weapon that pushes back assailants by propelling low-frequency sound at them.

HAL 9000
HAL9000

HAL 9000, or the Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer, controlled the spacecraft “Discovery One” in the Space Odyssey series. This amazing computer developed its own form of artificial intelligence, to become self-aware. The fact that it used its awareness to kill two astronauts who were thinking of unplugging its cognition circuits is not so awesome.

Telectroscope
Twain

The telectroscope was conceived of longer ago than you may expect. It was an idea of Mark Twain’s, who wrote it into a sci-fi story for a magazine in 1898. The telectroscope was a way of networking telephones, allowing for “the daily doings of the globe [to be] made visible to everybody, and audibly discussable too.”  So it can be said that Mark Twain predicted the Internet and the subsequent proliferation of social media over 100 years prior to its invention.

Featured images:
 
License: Creative Commons image source
 
License: Creative Commons image source
 
License: Creative Commons image source
 
License: Creative Commons image source
 
License: Creative Commons image source
 
License: Creative Commons image source


About Today's Guest Writer:
This is a guest post by Sci-Fi geek Jeff who writes for Hans Von Der Heyde – an industrial engineering company who design custom, cutting edge machines (more here).

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