This was the title of the presentation given by Adrian Bowyer of the University of Bath at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute (BRLSI). Dr Bowyer is best known for the RepRap (replicating rapid prototyper), a 3D printer capable, of amongst other things, of reproducing its own composite parts. However, rather than focus on that, this talk comprised a number of ‘problems’ (or at least, situations) where Dr Bowyer offers his particular insights and possible solutions based on currently available technology or understood principles.
Ideas on which he elaborated including translating glasses (based on holography); explosive-metabolising microbes; robots that created photovoltaic cells from desert sand (laying them as they were produced and powering the robots to continue); shoes with inbuilt bellows for cooling and a chemical name capitalisation convention to aid pronunciation.
For those who haven’t yet seen it, Darwin, the first machine released by the RepRap project, is currently on show in BRLSI (Queens Square, Bath): http://www.brlsi.org/
More information on the RepRap project can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RepRap_Project