Science Fiction in the News Articles
Related to material in Star Wars
by George Lucas

A young man finds himself and the Force; is there anyone who doesn't know this story? Wonderful characters like the droids and Obiwan Kenobi (and Jabba the Hutt) make this a great story.

Science fiction in the News articles describe real-world events that relate to the ideas and inventions in sf novels and movies. Select a news article:

SPHERES - Mini Satellites Fly In Formation
   Rather than bet all the marbles on one large satellite, MIT undergraduates are trying a different strategy. The SPHERES project imagines lots of small volleyball-sized satellites flying together in formation, working in concert.

Personal Satellite Assistant: Servant Of Astronauts And Jedi
   NASA has been working on the Personal Satellite Assistant for years. With any luck, it should be ready for use soon.

GRACE Robot Specializes In Etiquette And Protocol
   GRACE is a robot created by researchers from Carnegie Mellon, the Naval Research Lab, Swarthmore College and others to enter the AAAI Robot Challenge.

White Box Robotics 912 - Hackable Home Robot
   The White Box Robotics 912 is a rugged, all-purpose, hack-it-yourself robot - just like R2D2.

White Box Robotics 'Apache' - More Punch Than R2D2
   New concept robot from White Box Robotics - the Apache is just the thing to guard the presents under your tree this year.

Universal Whistling Machine - The Future Of Non-Verbal Communications
   Canadian artists Marc Bohlen and J.T. Rinker want to change the way that you interact with your favorite electronic devices. Tired of tiny keyboards, poor speech recognition or incomprehensible interfaces?

Man vs. Machine: Surviving Compaction In A Garbage Truck
   In a classic story of man versus machine that took place right in my own home town, a homeless man in Ann Arbor, Michigan survived compaction in a garbage truck.

Heliodisplay - Futuristic Display Technology
   Films like Star Wars show how images projected into the air might be used. The Heliodisplay from IO2Technology projects images - both still pictures and video - into mid-air. It works with most video sources. It is also interactive, forming a floatin

Space Rescue Technology In Fact And Fiction
   NASA is preparing a backup shuttle and rescue crew in case shuttle Discovery has problems in May. Rescue flights have been become more of an issue since shuttle Columbia broke up in reentry two years ago. SF writers have been working on this since th

Making A Living From Space Junk
   In an unusual act of generosity, the Soviet space program has been showering valuable metal scraps on the villages surrounding the Plesetsk Cosmodrome for more than forty years.

NYC Heliostats And Star Wars Orbital Mirrors
   Three heliostats in New York City will provide much needed light in the planned Teardrop Park South. The park likes in the shadow of three skyscrapers.

Mini AERCam Robotic Space Vehicle
   The nanosatellite-class spherical Mini AERCam (Miniature Autonomous Extravehicular Robotic Camera) is just 7.5 inches in diameter and weighs approximately 10 pounds.

Toshiba Flatbed 3D Display
   Remember when R2D2 and Chewbacca were playing a chess-like game with projected pieces? Toshiba invented a table like that.

StarChase Tracking Tag And Star Wars Homing Beacon
   The Los Angeles police are taking a page from Obiwan Kenobi's book on how to chase suspects; hopefully, they will stay out of asteroid fields.

Astronauts Test Star Wars Remote On Space Station
   Star Wars directly inspired this NASA advanced project; the first testing was successful.

Toshiba Interactive 3D Display Video At SEATAC 2006
   Very nice video on Toshiba's slick 3D display, which now seems to offer additional interactive features.

Whisson Windmills To Water Australia Like Vaporators?
   Inventor from Oz creates windmills that pull water from the air - then you'll really need a droid that speaks the binary language of moisture vaporators.

Dexter Dynamically Balancing Humanoid Robot
   Dexter is perhaps the first bipedal robot that dynamically balances himself as he takes each step.

Star Wars Binoculars A Cognitive Technology Threat Warning
   Come on, you've wanted some of those nifty Star Wars binoculars since about 1977 - admit it.

Max Water By Max Whisson
   Dr. Max Whisson is back with more information about his Max Water invention to provide potable water to everyone.

Front Runner Hydrofoil Like Star Wars Podracer
   Who knew that Boonta Eve races were held in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Automated Border Control With NeoFace Face Recognition
   This system is good, but Jabba the Hutt's version was better.

Nissan Pivo 2 Concept Car With R2D2 Companion Robot
   You've gotta love this bug-like buggy, but you'll have to watch the tire wear.

SnoMote Like Imperial Probe Droid
   This clever little autonomous robot can explore the Antarctic ice while looking exactly like something on your ten year-old's Christmas list.

Klimatec AirWater Machine Good News For Moisture Farmers
   This device lets you get fresh water anywhere; at last, an office water cooler that never needs restocking.

Robotic Busboy Like R2D2
   Intel-sponsored research catches up to what we all saw in Star Wars a quarter-century ago.

Element Four Watermill Needs No Droid
   These devices keep adding features. Soon, you'll be saying 'What I really need is a droid that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators.'

Spider Robot Chair Like Star Wars
   Slightly creepy furniture takes you for a robotic ride.

Exact Number Of ET Civilizations Now Known
   Now that an exact number is known, we can begin construction of vast architectural works to bolster the galactic government bureaucracy.

Hover Chair Like Star Wars Landspeeder
   Keith Dixon makes himself a hover chair - it's like floating on a cloud. For $9,600 I was hoping to go find some droids...

Table Robot Balances On Two Wheels
   Very spartan robot balances on just two wheels to carry your tray or bring your drinks; two table robot videos for your viewing enjoyment.

MKV-L Multiple Kill Vehicle Video
   Defensive weapon video shows successful test; video also shows the basic concept for the MKV-L.

Star Wars Force Trainer (NeuroSky, Not Sith)
   Ah, those playful Sith at NeuroSky are at it again. Now, they have a toy for your kids. The 'Force Trainer' is a powerful ally.

BaR2D2 Mobile Bar
   Nifty DIY project by Jamie Price would also look good on Jabba's sailbarge.

RAPHaEL Robotic Hand Air-Powered
   Thumbs up for this unique robotic hand, created by undergraduates. Compressed air is all you need to run it.

Cloud Cities: Our Green Jovian Future
   Updated! It's a little bit round-a-bout, but it's possible that our green future is out there in a gas giant. Now with more science, at reader request.

Negev Moisture 'Vaporators Planned W/ Solar Power
   Hopefully, these devices to condense water out of the air on a vast scale will not require special droids that speak the binary language of moisture vaporators.

Laser Cooling Big Chill
   SF movie goers and comic book fans alike have long been used to the idea of super-fast cooling. Scientists now put the big chill on.

RAPHaEL 2 Robotic Hand
   Luke Skywalker, your new hand is almost ready. Now, with force feedback controls and more durable fingers.

Eigenharp Favored By Mos Eisley Musicians
   Too good to be kept in a galaxy far, far away, the Eigenharp lets you perform complex synthesized music onstage without cumbersome keyboards.

AIDA Affective Intelligent Driving Agent
   This cute little 'dashboard droid' should be familiar to sf movie fans everywhere.

Escape Pods, Refuge Of ISS Astronauts From Space Junk
   Who first thought of the idea of an escape pod? I looked pretty hard, but more research is probably needed.

Robo-Air Jet Fakes The Force
   Very impressive control, young robot. Kudos to Aaron Becker and Robert Sandheinrich from University of Illinois (with video).

AirMule - A Star Wars Landspeeder By Urban Aeronautics
   An interesting vehicle with multiple uses - one day, it might be just the thing for speeding around on desert planets.

PaPeRo Robot Cashier's Helper
   PaPeRo, that lovable little robot, follows in the fictional footsteps of Artoo-Detoo.

Hyperion Robot Walking Chair
   I seem to recall a similar robotic walking chair in a Star Wars movie.

Robots Are Social Media, The TED Video
   Fascinating TED video talk on social robots; links also to some of these robots covered on Technovelgy, with more information and video.

Lingodroid Robots Invent Spoken Language
   Robots can communicate quite well with each other, creating their own words as they go.

Gas Mining on Uranus
   Some ideas are just too good to waste.

CFM LEAP Engine Perfect For Podracing
   Just watch out for those wrenches thrown by competitors (I'm looking at you, Sebulba!)

Sony DEV-5 Digital HD Binoculars
   Perfect for looking for Bantha and Sand People.

Nexus S Directs SPHERES On ISS
   Now that NASA has the 'seeker remotes' from Star Wars under control, how about those light sabers?

Airdrop Moisture Vaporator
   'A vaporator sunk securely through sand and into deeper rock.'

Hoverbike Is Stuff SF Dreams Are Made Of
   Perhaps this reminds you of other sf favorites?

BYD Qin Car Has Dashboard 'i' Robot
   Don't fly your X-wing without one.

JAXA's Int-Ball Drone To Follow Astronauts In Space Station
   'I want you to build me some of those.' MIT Professor David Miller, 1999.

NASA Plans Autonomous Robots To Explore Planets
   First step toward... Imperial Probe Droids?

Eole Water Turbine Like Star Wars Vaporator
   'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'

Japan's Android Robot Restaurant
   Giant fembots wait to entertain you.

Hover Bike Like Star Wars Landspeeder - With Video!
   This could be the speeder you're looking for.

Sorry, No Death Star - Obama Administration
   ''But it's too big to be a space station,' Solo objected.'- George Lucas, 1976. (But don't forget Doc Smith, scientifiction fans!)

ISS Smart SPHERES Operated By Remote Control From Earth
   'Hocus-pocus religions and archaic weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side.'- George Lucas, 1976.

Home Made Lightsaber?
   'Instantly the disk put forth a blue-white beam as thick around as his thumb.'-George Lucas, 1976

Starchase Pursuit Management ala Star Wars
   Yes, but does it follow evil doers through hyperspace?

Aldebaran Robot Talks Like C3PO - Almost
   That's a lot of languages - but there's room in our imagination for more.

Robot Kirobo Talks With Astronauts Aboard ISS
   Robots now converse in space. With humans.

HoverBall Bids Farewell To Ballistic Motion
   '...the ball darted in behind him.'- George Lucas, 1976.

GPS Bullets Legal For Cops In Hot Pursuit?
   OTOH, the Jedi homing beacon tracking device allows Obiwan to follow Fett through both hyperspace and heavy asteroid fields.

It's Boonta Eve! You Can Podrace With Drones
   Pretty amazing event from France.

Google Wants To Give Orders To Robot Armies
   Just how many devices are they interested in controlling?

Kirobo Mini - Your Dashboard Droid
   No protocol droid needed for translation!

Crowdfunded Russian Beacon Satellite Is An Orbital Mirror
   'I don't have to tell you about the seven two-mile-diameter orbital mirrors...' - Theodore Sturgeon, 1941.

R2D2's Friend TUG: Hospital Robot By Aethon
   **whistle whee woo whistle** - George Lucas, 1983.

Would You Converse With Your Autonomous Car?
   What's that, Artoo? I shouldn't be driving right now?

Blue Origin Tests 'Escape Pod' Capability
   'I'm going to regret this...' - George Lucas, 1976.

Star Wars Speeder Bikes! On Water, By Jetovator
   'Hey, wait!' Now, you don't need to say that.

Cassie Robot Brings AT-ST Walker To Life
   There's even a log test!

Solar-Powered Moisture Vaporator
   'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.' - George Lucas, 1976.

'Liquid Light' Flows Around Corners
   Light as a superfluid.

How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
   'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.' - George Lucas, 1976.

Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
   What'll you have? Jawa juice?

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
   Did you think of Star Wars?

'Princess Leia Project' Images That Float In The Air
   Help me, Daniel Smalley; you're our only hope.

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Science Fiction
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