Today is May the Fourth be with you day. Star Wars is usually considered a Space Opera Fantasy and not a source of accurate predictions of the future.
However, there is a significant probability that day to day life could have many similarities to the worlds of Star Wars. I, Brian Wang, actually believe that many aspects of a real-life Star Wars future will come to pass. There will be limitations and constraints that impair any super-AI scenario. However, automating and enhancing our regular world results in day to day life becoming like Star Wars. Here we describe several major ways this will happen.
Elon Musk has said he wants the new Tesla Roadster to hover and fly. Musk said Tesla will offer a SpaceX package that will include cold air thrusters to give the Roadster even higher performance.
I thought maybe we could make it hover but not too high. You make it hover like a meter above the ground or something like that. Something where if you plummet, you blow the suspension, but you are not going to die. Maybe 6 feet. You probably just put a height limit on it…
It’s going to use a super high-pressure air bottle. The standard version will have a back row with two small seats, like child seats in a Porsche or something, or if you get the SpaceX option package then in that place where those two seats is a high-pressure carbon overwrapped pressure vessel, something at around 10,000 psi, and a bunch of thrusters.
This means a low flying car which would be a land speeder.
Boba Fett Flying
Gravity Industries has had a jetsuit since 2017. They can fly for about 10-15 minutes and over 10 miles of range at 80 mph. They are working with the UK Navy and Netherlands SWAT.
Lots of Droids
There are already a lot of robots in Warehouses and factories and there are flying robot drones.
However, there could a massively droid future. Tesla and others make full level 4 self-driving cars by the hundreds of millions by 2030. The self-driving cameras and software are made cheap for ground robots that are safe to mingle with humans. Millimeter precise GPS, power beaming and internet everywhere cover the earth via SpaceX Starlink and follow on satellites. This enables robots to leave the factory to go everywhere in large numbers. A $1000 ATV like system would be able to go everywhere and operate an arm to load and unload packages.
Nextbigfuture has laid a path to a million SpaceX Starship rockets.
SpaceX makes trillions with Starlink internet and cellphone services. They then dominate package delivery with one hour delivery anywhere in the world. This proves safety and then they dominate one hour anywhere passenger travel.
Star Wars had megacities and cities covering the planet of Coruscant.
China is merging cities into unified 70 million to 200 million person super cities. They are spending hundreds of billions for this integration.
Self-driving cars can enable safe travel at 100-200 mph. This will
SOURCES – Star Wars, Deviant Art, Gravity Industries
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.
58 thoughts on “Real Star Wars Future – Droid World 2050”
I missed that story. What's the point of the thrusters? Hovering at 3-6 feet doesn't seem to be terribly useful.
Right. I've heard the term "space western" more than space opera.
Also, in the opening scroll, it says "long time ago in a galaxy far away". There are science fiction aspects for sure, but that's not really the focus. It's still all about the good guys vs. the bad guys and people shooting at each other and making hastily considered decisions.
They just need to give the Spot dog a second arm. I'm not sure why they haven't done it already, seems obviously useful. Maybe it's hard to program two arms to play well together with object manipulation.
It makes sense to me based on transit technologies.
Subways enabled really dense cities because it allowed large numbers of people to flow in ways that surface traffic couldn't, but only within 20 miles or so. Density would be further enabled by PRT or increased tunneling, allowing faster personalized transport in cities, but the infrastructure needs sort of contraindicate this for dispersed developments.
Cars on the other hand enabled suburbs, letting people flow much farther out. They'd have kept going if they could have, but the freeway system had its limits. Surface streets were designed to keep you slow to spare kids/pets from traffic. But flying cars can go several times the speed without traffic stops, so that implies everyone who wants away from the city core will just keep flying and settle down in a cabin on some mountain. Telecommuters can go even further.
Suburbs have been a sort of unhappy compromise for quite some time. You're still crowded enough that other people's loud music, crime, garbage, and barking dogs get in your hair. But the suburban lifestyle of flipping homes and car focused commutes/shopping inhibits community development. Nobody really knows their neighbors, so what they really want is to just not have neighbors. They'd all spread out on several acres if they could.
What about room temp, superconductors, i am confident that's the key to replacing slugthrowers with laser pistols and gauss rifles!
I don't know, it seems believable to me that the real world early generation "androids" of the future turn out to be centaurs because bipedal robots are just not stable enough.
Does Deep Blue Sea count?
Please. Please rename the megacities as portmanteaus of the orignals per map:
I would definitely live in HouOrleans or BosWash — CharLanta seems pretentious. TorBuffChester seems to roll off the tongue better than expected. AmBrusTwerp delights.
These orbits are big and such contraptions are small (though unfortunately fast) – AI navigators/ helmsmen?
Yeah – truly despise that term 'space opera'. We may as well call it 'As the Galaxy Turns' / The Jedi and the Restless.
Well, I do buy into the notion that nothing is Truly Original, but when someone takes the time to point out the little details of spiritual/ honorable swordsmen (as opposed to the lugs of the Crusades and other such butchering daliances of Europe) being mixed in with quick-shooting 19th century rogues being mixed in with roman/ nazi empires of Grand Order ambitions being mixed in with the guerilla warfare rebel ideologies of Lexington/ Concord in the late 1700s being mixed in with aristocrastic royal-like dynasties -and- can the tie the whole salad plate together into a 90 minute classic in the 70s – Original be damned. Ask not if it was borrowed, but whether it was remixed satisfyingly with authentic references to bygone times. We live in the world of the collage; purity is for the unapproachable snobby artist.
Laughs in Red Kangaroo
The Poseiden Adventure?
There is no difficulty at all in finding an evil ruler seeking to take over everyone when looking through Japanese history. That's not a 20th century invention.
That's the whole point of space opera. You can set it in WW2, feudal Japan, feudal Germany, 21st century London gangsters, ancient Sumeria, whenever and wherever you want.
The whole emperor, restoring the republic, influencing the senate thing from Star Wars is from 1st century BC Rome.
And lets not forget that Star Trek is basically the script from The Odyssey with the script just run through a search/replace macro. Monster/alien_monster magic/alien_technology sword/phaser island/planet.
My robot vacuum is fantastic! Now most of my friends have one as well. Probably the first mainstream tangible AI-Robotics combo.
many speak of gobs and swarms of bases, satellites, habs, docks, etc., at the LEOs, GEOs, GTOs, Lagranges, etc., but certainly there must be some safe carrying capacity for the orbits with a way to monitor and allow for launches and path conflicts. Certainly must be orders of magnitude more complicated than typical FAA path management. By 2050 or 2070: space flight commuter chaos.
there's a good recent one with Kristen Stuart – Underwater.
Hmm. A few submarine epics in the 80s/ 90s. That flipped over cruiseship – can't recall name. Horrors, disasters, and thrillers — seemed like a bunch of James Bond movies has underwater scenes; also Jaws, Leviathan… some Marvel.
maybe hopping. All about scale and mass, i guess. Hopping 100g vs hopping 100kg is a different type of project
suburbs disappearing? That would be unexpected. The great Living Polarization – 40m2 high-rise flat in the heart of It -or- 4 acres with small detached 200 miles from civilization -or- Deep Woods. Maybe northern Cali?
Agreed. Seems like a Tokyo or New York or London in 2050/ 2070 -live, not animated – would be a great setting. But not bombed out or deserted – actually thriving, in the sense of ghetto-ish/ rich mix. Always though that Ellis' Transmetropolitan Graphic Novels could be done as a series – though Dark, Dark. The adaption of Pratchet's The Watch was ok – similar-ish.
Agreed, you could write it as a WWII epic. Then Vader could be a real Nazi instead of a space Nazi.
well, the hot planets sure.
was thinking samurai/ninja due to Jedi spirituality
WW2-nazi for empire forces (c'mon the officer hats and bringing 'order') and the epic rebelliousness of special forces 1940s (guns of navarone -and- where eagles dare)
lots of crazy everywhere. Warmer weather and increased daylight (at least in northern lats) should mellow.
slither? maybe a bit more 4+-legged low to the ground and agile – sort of gecko-ish / spiderish
OOoh – or underwater. C'mon. Since the Abyss, what good UW scifi has there been? Must be hard to film and finance aka WaterWorld .. hoho.
more in asia. Less in NA and Europe – its a cultural thing about industrial/ commercial development.
not convinced on 150 aging by end of century – too much testing, clinics, resources, and researchers. Even at 100,000s working on vaccines we accomplished quite modest Covid ends. We would need that kind of 'manhattan project' for decades to the exclusion of many other worthwhile things… healthy to 110 – 120 appeals.
not convinced that those wardogs and bipedal automatons have a future. Great mechatronics PhD(s) exercise with quick and agile miniaturization – but army? senior care? bomb disposal? butlerbot?
The key flaw is in thinking that a 4-legged or 2-legged 'nature' examplar was the model to work from. Fly or slither is better. Hope they can make them smaller, tougher, and faster – but commercialization? unlikely.
populations to stagnate in G7 and china at total of 2.8 – 3.0B in 2070. Not enough crowd concentrating momentum to realize these MegaCs unless you count mall parking lots and industrial parking between suburbs…
meh. the wild west in space is played out. Want a more BladeRunner dystopia with deep city drama
The secret about Star Wars is that it isn't about the future or space ships or aliens. It is basically a western with sci-fi frosting. Seriously, you could re-write the whole thing as a western and not lose much.
more likely lava than ocean water…
i do sense an extra angst in the posts lately
i suppose when the earth floods, we could just float…
each tool serves its own political purpose… GDP for some… carbon footprint for others… availability of netflix for others…
large dense cities are hard to upgrade with infrastructure even though new buildings flyup in no time… possibly mid-size towns (< 200k) to become larger faster than big towns become monstrous??
if only more appreciated the individualist — well, the next 12 months will certainly tell…
so why even come here?
never met a fulfilled person who didn't actively pursue understanding, knowledge, and connection that didn't rely on keeping up with tech, having personal service/ experience ambitions, and didn't need wealth to support these.
I have known poor people who gave up and simply continue to exist with many friends and fair health. I have known worker-drones who are home to see their families every night at 5p with guaranteed pensions who are simply running out the clock with many friends and good health. I see those who are the idle rich and trust fund recipients that have many friends and good health, but otherwise contribute very little. I have seen religious zealots who obsess over the poor and aimless and proselytize their ancient beliefs with many followers and well-wishers. A sane person would not call these people fulfilled. Stagnation, complacency, lack of achievement, lack of personal drive and vision is the opposite of fulfillment. It is these people who parasite and feed off of the individualist dreamers and doers — for which their unending entitlement can never be satiated.
shame about loss of razor crest and that disintegrator rifle — needs a new ride and blaster-alternative
from below as a baseline support? avenues of 'float' like an air hockey playing surface. I mean why not? – when added to a world of hyperloops and sub-terrannean Tesla-ways — seems like a means – though many magnets and 'quantum-locking', etc have been tried on rails and trenches and strips.
IMO The Mandalorian is top tv series about Star Wars. Very well written, each episode is interesting, different. Joy to watch.
GINI is fundamentally useless – doesn't consider shadow markets, how actually poor the lowest level is, and doesn't consider other types of externalities – enviro, health, etc. The GINI of silicon valley is actually worse than some african countries.
keys to great wealth and tech industry creation is being able to slip past regs and NIMBYs
but of course. Intense wealth creation, compelling but narrow tech vision, and army of investor/ consumer supplicants has always been the best way to push progress – the greatest acts of good and evil came this way.
very uneven progress – maybe in the G7 + china top few megacities and their surrounding region – as much has to be over-turned, designed, shoved thru regs, and built. Very likely that the gini coefficients in the countries with these will blast through the upper regions of 70s and higher.
The success of these items depends on a very thin upper-crust of alpha-creators in tech industries to push these through – with its expected first-adopter groupies to throw cash into it.
Sure, you could approximate a speeder bike pretty well today.
I actually kind of like the velocipods from Incredibles 1, you could probably build that today, too. But you'd never get regulatory approval for a flying circular saw…
many of these are very political:
-new and improved nature? – do the anti-GMO terrorists, GAIA warriors, and 'save the NZ snail' people know about this intervention into 'sacred' nature
-agree on mini-server drones
-hyper dense, high, and service/wealth-filled cities are increasingly subject to NIMBYism, zoning, and affordable housing directives and such — perhaps a bit too free-market that such buildings and facilities will prosper so quick (unless poor and homeless crusaders allow to happen (unintentionally) to allow a BladeRunner type ground-level slum to occur for fear of re-locating the nomadic neighbors.
-agree on dense drone layer of services and maybe transportation at the 40 – 100 ft level above the street — just trying to figure out a localized 'traffic control' for such a region
-not convinced on widespread personal L5 self-driving vehicles – maybe communal transit or for-profit private — too much litigation potential for everyone to have own L5.
– filling the cis-lunar is a function of for-profits leading, foreign govts copying, and then a regulatory structure opening up the whole for the rich (personal and research) – say tourist space for 1000 and that many again workers by 2070
– agreed on first 130 YO (on way to 150) in 2070 though only a few thousand at that time with massive therapy sessions to keep you going – doubling annually after that
I think the world will be way more interesting than Star Wars in 2070+ (not 2050), except for FTL (extra-solar access) and Midichlorians.
-We won't have droids – so clumsy – more likely smaller, smarter, unobtrusive personal tool/ butler drones — puttering around and fixing, analysing, serving, and building as needed under your personal AI assistant.
-Still a large proportion of autonomous-choice (mostly, some or non-self-driving) vehicles for businesses and the masses — though there may be a certain 'layer' of cargo and transportation craft/ tracked/ free-flying vehicles within the zone above people/ buildings and below the normal express flight paths.
-Not convinced that cities will sprawl as much as go high and dense and specialized – people/ regions will start to trifurcate into dense city, super-spread exurban (many-acre properties and common infill), and pure/ thick/ new-and-improved nature — uptowns and suburbs will dwindle and disappear as land is too expensive to have a 60 foot lot — either 300 sq.ft backyard/ terrace -or- 30 acre -or- out in wild(park)erness. 500m high buildings, networks of sub-terranean development, hyperloop-ish connectors.
-Cis-lunar will be gobs and swarms and rings of inflatable habs, the odd artificial-g rings and torii and discs, captured NEOs, and significant lunar commercial and residential base development.
-People will be living healthily to 150 while working on/off in a specialized-gig format – with Professional work meets Turk.
Well yeah, a car that can incidentally hover isn't very Star Wars like. A drone that can continuously hover is much closer. No wheels though. Just fly.
For the one's I've seen the blades don't really seem all that large to me, but they're typically sized for just one person. Sorta like the speeder bikes that storm troopers ride through forests. Come to think of it, Luke's speeder is also pretty small compared to a car.
In order for that to work, the fans have to be so large you're not talking about a car that can incidentally hover anymore, you're talking about a drone that happens to have wheels.
I have long thought things were progressing towards adding rocket thrusters to self-driving cars. Just enough emergency delta-v to avoid collisions that you don't have enough traction on the road to avoid. Mount multiple solid fueled rockets under disposable panels, on gimbles. Solve for the combination of rockets and angles necessary for the desired impulse.
But cold gas is at least a little bit less destructive than chemical rocket exhaust.
As usual, a mix of self serving ideas from the musk and China that for some unhealthy reasons the author finds inspiring. Nothing here that break the old systems, empower people to live more fulfilling life by having more control over their lives and better connection to their communities.
How can you talk about a future of helpful droids and talk about Teslas instead of Roombas and Boston Dynamics?
The whole point of satellites is that you CAN fly forever.
Sorta surprised Brian went with a Tesla and compressed gas. There's already prototype quadcopter bikes you know.
Sure, people fly instead of hover with them. But the safety argument Musk makes can also hold with the bikes. Put in a height limiter and a cage around the blades, and you're good to go.
I, for one, welcome our new droid overlords.
But, I'll pass on the mega cities. They look really awesome when you're flying over them, you cant fly forever.
Those gas thrusters Elon is talking about are for very short bursts. They simply don't store enough fuel to do anything like what a land speeder does.
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