Scotty ‘Transporter’ created

Don’t you wish you could beat the rush hour traffic or be on time for meetings by merely beaming up from one place to another? Wouldn’t it be so much more convenient to order items online and receive them in one go? Though human teleportation is still far from reality, sending items from one place to another has become closer to our reach.

The Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany has developed a computer-generated teleporting system aptly named “Scotty” after the chief engineer of Star-Treks Starship Enterprise.

The institutes six-member team of scientists explained that what they have created relies on the technology of scanning and 3D printing wherein the process allows a small object to be scanned on one end of the system, layer by layer, while a grating machine slowly destroys it.

By letting the object be cut into layers it becomes possible to get a thorough examination of the item, including any cavities. A complete and encrypted replica is then transferred digitally to a second machine over the internet that reconstructs the object with a 3D printer.

The Scotty system is made up of two MakerBot Replicator 3D printers that does the main job while the 3-axis milling machine then effectively cuts through the item being transferred. The micro-controller and camera that encodes and decodes information complete the job of recreating or, in a sense, transporting the object to the designated location.

The device is made easy enough for use, just place the chosen object into the sender section in your end, specify the receiving unit to whom or where you want to send it and then press the button for teleporting.

However, there is the concern regarding original items being destroyed. But “Scotty guarantees that a personal, handmade gift remains unique when sent across distances, i.e. there is no other copy – an important aspect that emphasizes the intimate relationship between sender and receiver,” researchers said.

Though at the moment, there are insufficient real-world applications for the device, it is noteworthy that this development can serve as a stepping-stone for companies who may aspire to sell items via home 3D printing in the near future.

Simon Foster

Author: Simon Foster

I am one of the news editors for trekmate. I have been a trekkie since BBC2 first showed TNG in the UK. More recently I have been trying to convert my wife into a trekkie with mixed success.

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