The 21st century has undoubtedly witnessed some of the best technological and engineering innovations. Many of them made their mark on the world in just a short amount of time, so it is only fair to take a couple of minutes and remember 5 incredible engineering breakthroughs of the century.
Each generation possesses its own set of innovative thinkers who created revolutionary inventions, some of them remembered here, in no particular order:
Invented in 2005 by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim, YouTube is the first and largest video-sharing site on the Internet. “Time” magazine named it as the top invention of the year in 2006 as it revolutionized media by allowing anybody with a camera to create a video and show it to the world. Nowadays, people’s careers are thriving through this platform, using it for entertainment and educational purposes too. There is plenty of knowledge there, and all generations can enjoy the content while learning something new or improving their skills.
The tallest free-standing structure in the world. This tower, located in the UAE, is the tallest of all skyscrapers with its 829.8 m length. What is noticeable about its structure is that it has ground-breaking engineering elements: highest number of stories in the world, highest outdoor observation deck, highest occupied floor, tallest service elevator, and longest elevator travel distance. In fact, trying to engineer a giant man-made structure comes with its challenges; however, the architects, engineers, and designers behind it developed a clever flower-based architecture, and used the desert to their advantage to avoid damage from any potential natural disasters.
For this advanced engineering creation, three technologies deserve the credit along with the human power: sensors, actuators, and AI. And thanks to advances in gaming and VR, graphics processing units are helping robots perform complex computations right onboard the machine, as opposed to in the cloud, which means they can still operate if they lose their connection. It is quite the fast improvement from the first full-scale humanoid intelligent robot created by George Devol and constructed by Unimation in 1967 and completed in 1972!
Developed through a series of engineering innovations, the Internet is now a global communications and information source that has redefined access to data, human networking, and all professional industries. By simplifying communication, the Internet and the use of the Web in all its form, altered the information technology application to the point where all parties: individuals, groups, organizations, businesses, research facilities, and academics are tailoring their messaging on it, particularly on social media networks. Nowadays, the focus has shifted towards IoTs: and according to Deloitte, IoTs have been showing five vectors of progress: security, platforms, low-cost power efficient networks, artificial intelligence, and analytics, which ultimately reduces risks in so many industries such as healthcare, banking and finance, commerce, energy, and of course engineering itself.
Engineering Driverless Cars
Not many people know that the idea behind autonomous cars dates back much further than Google and Tesla’s present-day innovations. It dates back to Futurama, an exhibit at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. General Motors created the exhibit to display its vision of what the world would look like in two decades, and this vision included an automated highway system that would guide self-driving cars.
The list can go on and on, and the more we dive into the world of technologies, the more we realize how fast things are progressing, and even how small projects around us can quickly turn into impactful innovations.
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