If 2020 taught us something, it was the fragility of our societies within the face of more and more international occasions, each by way of local weather change and pandemics. Nevertheless, it has additionally proven us the resilience of human beings and their capability to affix forces within the face of on a regular basis challenges. By no means earlier than had a vaccine been developed so shortly. Nor had a technological transition occurred so quickly because the digitization that has remodeled our relationship with work and other people. Furthermore, regardless of the hostile circumstances, it was a yr wealthy in improvements in lots of different areas.
1. New instruments within the struggle towards pandemics
Along with the good news that arrived on the finish of 2020 with the announcement of a number of efficient vaccines towards the coronavirus, we witnessed the event of recent applied sciences that may assist us face the long run’s viral challenges. Thus, we talked about revolutionary algorithms that enable us to determine patterns within the voice related to illnesses. Or the various functions of blockchain expertise that additionally helped to handle pandemic knowledge extra reliably. The flexibility of 3D printing, which had already proven potential in prosthetics, additionally performed a job within the manufacture of ventilators and different medical parts. In fact, smartphone monitoring apps proliferated that optimized the monitoring of infections.
2. Round Financial system and Sustainability
Ideas such because the round financial system, which had to date remained throughout the theoretical dialogue area, have begun to achieve floor and turn into a rising worth for corporations and analysis facilities. Small initiatives resembling the usage of eggshells for the manufacture of batteries or orange peel to recycle them went hand in hand with extra formidable expertise tasks resembling HISER, aimed toward recycling building supplies. This philosophy has additionally been behind initiatives aimed toward rising economies resembling Trashpresso, the cellular recycling plant that converts plastic waste into building supplies utilizing photo voltaic power.
3. New good textiles
This yr additionally introduced outstanding advances by way of the garments we are going to put on within the subsequent decade. We addressed ideas resembling fibertronics or reminiscence supplies obtained from recycled wool. We additionally talked about new supplies with medical functions impressed by the lotus leaves.
4. Biomimicry: Nature as a trainer
Talking of lotus leaves as a supply of inspiration, we witnessed the facility of biomimicry once more. In different phrases, the applying of nature’s rules of technological innovation. Thus, mosquitoes taught us methods to create drones with collision detection. As well as, we noticed that underwater drones had a lot to study from tuna, one of the formidable swimmers within the seas.
5. Synthetic intelligence multiplied its functions
AI and large knowledge have lengthy been on the coronary heart of technological improvement. Nevertheless, this yr we noticed an actual explosion of their functions. On the one hand, they drove the event of recent self-piloted ships and mining equipment, however in addition they had been behind archaeological and historic findings. By analyzing manuscripts of the Archive of the Indies, AI confirmed that the Spaniards found Australia. New geoglyphs had been additionally recognized within the Nazca Desert. Each discoveries confirmed that AI may assist us face the long run and higher perceive our previous.
6. Robotics dealt with recycling
Nevertheless, robotics didn’t solely stick with the design of autonomous autos but in addition opened up new recycling potentialities. A robotic arm able to deciding on and classifying waste was one of many vital advances.
7. Carbon dioxide, from enemy to uncooked materials
The struggle towards local weather change continued with new expertise tasks that convert carbon dioxide right into a helpful uncooked materials. Thus, we noticed new applied sciences that convert CO2 into fertilizer and even meals. We additionally noticed advances in synthetic photosynthesis with units that produce gasoline from carbon dioxide and different components. Likewise, the foundations had been laid for carbon dioxide to begin getting used as a constructing materials.
8. Wastewater remedy and desalination
Wastewater remedy is a serious ecological problem, as is desalination with the rising wants of ingesting water. Discovering methods to optimize these processes, each in reusing waste and lowering power consumption within the remedies, was one of many cornerstones of this previous yr. We noticed that it’s attainable to make use of wastewater to provide fertilizer and fish feed, that some aquatic bugs may encourage new desalination methods, and that micro organism could possibly be a formidable ally in wastewater remedy. A few of these processes may additionally attain our houses with the emergence of recent home remedy vegetation resembling Hydraloop.
9. A brand new era of renewable energies
Together with the consolidation of conventional renewable energies resembling wind or photovoltaic, we’re additionally witnessing the appearance of a brand new era of renewable energies. A few of them, resembling wave power, will make the most of the seas’ power potential. Others will make it attainable to acquire electrical energy from the ever-present Wi-Fi indicators. And even by resorting to the so-called shadow impact. We additionally deal with the usage of triboelectricity in functions as various as wildfire prevention.
10. Sensory help applied sciences
Lastly, expertise contributed to mitigate the affect of bodily and cognitive disabilities and confirmed its potential as a device to enhance our habits—from gloves designed to offer voice to individuals with speech issues to a robotic hand utilized in faculties in India to show hygiene to college students.
Undoubtedly, technological innovation didn’t cease for a second in these final twelve months. Happily, scientists and researchers labored tirelessly to make the world a greater and extra sustainable place. To them normally, and to medical analysis professionals particularly, we wish to dedicate this annual recap.