Creator: “Percy LeBaron Spencer” was the creator of the microwave and “he worked on magnetrons — vacuum tubes that produce microwave radiation and are used in radar systems” (1).
Cost: “They range in price from $49.49 for a black RCA compact microwave up to $800 for some of the fancier, over-the-range models.” (6)
General Purpose or Function: “Microwave ovens use radio waves set at a specific frequency…. Food that sits in a microwave oven is bombarded on all sides by the microwaves. Water molecules within the food absorb the microwaves, and the resulting vibrations generate heat and cook the food.” (1)
Positive Impact: The microwave makes life easier as it conveniently heats and cooks food very quickly. “When you cook the food in a microwave, you get to preserve most of the important vitamins and minerals that your food contains.” (7)
Negative Impact: Handling hot liquids from a microwave can be very dangerous causing quite severe burns. “Sometimes, the heating process causes chemicals to seep into the food, thanks to the microwave friendly containers, some of which contain harmful chemicals. Some studies suggest that these chemicals might be carcinogenic.” (7)
Creator: “... Chuck Hall...is executive vice president and chief technology officer of 3D Systems, a company built on his creation: the 3D printer” (2).
Cost: “The average consumer 3D printer costs around $700. The cheapest 3D printers start at around $200. High end consumer 3D printers can cost several thousand dollars.” (8)
General Purpose or Function: “3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.” (3)
Positive Impact: “...a lot of the medical applications catch peoples' imagination; certainly the maker movement, with low-cost machines getting hobbyists interested in inventing and building using 3D printing” (2) 3D printing can can be used in a variety of fields including education, rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing, the automotive industry, aviation, aerospace, construction, architecture, consumer products, medicine, fashion, etc. (3)
Negative Impact: “3D printers consume approximately 50 to 100 times more energy than injection molding, when melting plastic with heat or lasers...3D printers used in enclosed places such as homes can generate potentially toxic emissions and carcinogenic particles according to researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology.” (10)
Creator: “He [Adriano Cavalcanti] is behind designing the architecture of nanorobotic application”. (4)
Cost: “There is a common underlying cost to manufacturing nanomaterials. That cost is embodied energy or the total sum of all energy put into the production of a given weight of nanomaterial.” (9)
General Purpose or Function: “Nanorobots are the nano devices that will be used for the purpose of maintaining and protecting the human body against pathogens. A Nanorobot is an extremely small robot that operates on a microscopic scale” (11)
Positive Impact: Nanorobots have “paramount usage in monitoring environment, cardiac problems, cancer cells, nanosurgery, etc.” (4)
Negative Impact: “Nanoparticles have been shown to be absorbed in the livers of research animals and even cause brain damage in fish exposed to them after just 48 hours. If they can be taken up by cells, then they can enter our food chain through bacteria and pose a health threat…” (5)