If 2020 taught us something, it was the fragility of our societies within the face of more and more world occasions, each by way of local weather change and pandemics. Nonetheless, it has additionally proven us the resilience of human beings and their capability to hitch 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 reworked our relationship with work and other people. Furthermore, regardless of the opposed circumstances, it was a yr wealthy in improvements in lots of different areas.
1. New instruments within the combat in opposition to pandemics
Along with the good news that arrived on the finish of 2020 with the announcement of a number of efficient vaccines in opposition to the coronavirus, we witnessed the event of latest applied sciences that can assist us face the long run’s viral challenges. Thus, we talked about revolutionary algorithms that permit us to determine patterns within the voice related to illnesses. Or the various purposes of blockchain know-how that additionally helped to handle pandemic information 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 elements. After all, smartphone monitoring apps proliferated that optimized the monitoring of infections.
2. Round Economic 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 develop into a rising worth for corporations and analysis facilities. Small initiatives comparable to using eggshells for the manufacture of batteries or orange peel to recycle them went hand in hand with extra formidable know-how initiatives comparable to HISER, geared toward recycling building supplies. This philosophy has additionally been behind initiatives geared toward rising economies comparable to Trashpresso, the cellular recycling plant that converts plastic waste into building supplies utilizing photo voltaic vitality.
3. New sensible 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 comparable to fibertronics or reminiscence supplies obtained from recycled wool. We additionally talked about new supplies with medical purposes impressed by the lotus leaves.
4. Biomimicry: Nature as a trainer
Talking of lotus leaves as a supply of inspiration, we witnessed the ability of biomimicry once more. In different phrases, the appliance of nature’s rules of technological innovation. Thus, mosquitoes taught us how one can create drones with collision detection. As well as, we noticed that underwater drones had a lot to study from tuna, some of the formidable swimmers within the seas.
5. Synthetic intelligence multiplied its purposes
AI and massive information have lengthy been on the coronary heart of technological growth. Nonetheless, this yr we noticed an actual explosion of their purposes. On the one hand, they drove the event of latest self-piloted ships and mining equipment, however additionally they have been behind archaeological and historic findings. By means of analyzing manuscripts of the Archive of the Indies, AI confirmed that the Spaniards found Australia. New geoglyphs have 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
Nonetheless, robotics didn’t solely persist with the design of autonomous autos but additionally opened up new recycling prospects. A robotic arm able to choosing and classifying waste was one of many vital advances.
7. Carbon dioxide, from enemy to uncooked materials
The combat in opposition to local weather change continued with new know-how initiatives 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 have been laid for carbon dioxide to begin getting used as a constructing materials.
8. Wastewater remedy and desalination
Wastewater remedy is a significant ecological problem, as is desalination with the rising wants of ingesting water. Discovering methods to optimize these processes, each in reusing waste and decreasing vitality consumption within the therapies, was one of many cornerstones of this previous yr. We noticed that it’s doable 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 properties with the emergence of latest home remedy crops comparable to Hydraloop.
9. A brand new era of renewable energies
Together with the consolidation of conventional renewable energies comparable to wind or photovoltaic, we’re additionally witnessing the arrival of a brand new era of renewable energies. A few of them, comparable to wave vitality, will make the most of the seas’ vitality potential. Others will make it doable to acquire electrical energy from the ever-present Wi-Fi alerts. And even by resorting to the so-called shadow impact. We additionally deal with using triboelectricity in purposes as various as wildfire prevention.
10. Sensory help applied sciences
Lastly, know-how contributed to mitigate the affect of bodily and cognitive disabilities and confirmed its potential as a instrument to enhance our habits—from gloves designed to offer voice to individuals with speech issues to a robotic hand utilized in colleges 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 specifically, we wish to dedicate this annual recap.