Scientsts Create Scotty, The World's First "Teleporter"

Fanghawk

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Scientsts Create Scotty, The World's First "Teleporter"

"Scotty", created by German scientists at Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, can scan simple objects and "beam" them to other locations. Technically.

From tablets to <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/107018-Science-Creates-Glass-Thats-Stronger-Than-Steel>transparent aluminum, real-world science seems dead-set on making the inventions of <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/tag/view/star%20trek?os=star+trek>Star Trek a reality, including <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/107018-Science-Creates-Glass-Thats-Stronger-Than-Steel>a few outlandish ones. But the holy grail of Trek tech has to be the transporter, which deconstructs people and objects into energy patterns <a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transporter_%28Star_Trek%29>before beaming them to another location. Now German scientists have invented a method that makes the object transport part possible... kind of.

The teleporter (which naturally, the creators have called Scotty) consists of two container units that can be placed in different locations. When a simple object is placed inside one unit, the machinery grinds it down one layer at a time and scans each into computer memory. This scan data is than sent to the partnered Scotty, which uses a 3D printer to recreate the scanned object. It's not a pretty process where you can energize the object, and it takes some time to complete (roughly 90 minutes) but it can create general replicas of the object.

I know, I know, I want to cry foul with the rest of you and say this isn't a Trek transporter. But here's the thing: It may be primitive, but that's mostly how they work in the show and movies. Star Trek teleporters don't actually send people and objects across - they dematerialize and scan them before sending a copy of the data, then delete the original data. That's why the Star Trek: The Next Generation had <a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Chances_%28Star_Trek:_The_Next_Generation%29>two Rikers when the process failed. While the Star Trek process is much quicker, thinking of transporters as elaborate 3D printers isn't far off.

Still, I think it's safe to say this transporter is in no way ready for human test subjects. Right, now it's just a very cool idea that, if improved upon, could allow people to copy objects and send them elsewhere to be reconstructed. Energized or not, that's pretty cool.

Source: Raw Story

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ShenCS

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I don't think we're ever going to use the teleporter, once we get there, for live subjects, due to the ol' Prestige problem: you'll never know if you'll be the one materialising on the other side. I think Enterprise did bring this up once and dismissed it as hokey, which I always thought was quite unfair.
Still, the implications for the creation of stuff like this, even if only for non-living goods, is staggering for one very sci-fi reason: space construction projects. Imagine all the space stations and stuff we'll finally get to build because we only have to send one piece of equipment up via rocket and can just beam to parts up for assembly. Won't be done in our lifetime for sure, but still, some day, eh?
 

Ark of the Covetor

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And this is why Transporters as depicted in Star Trek are a nonsense; they don't transport you, they murder you and create an exact duplicate at the target location. To the world at large there may be no difference, but the you that steps in won't be the same you that steps out the other end.

I prefer the Displacer from Iain M Banks' Culture novels - creates something like a wormhole between two locations and instantaneously swaps exactly equivalent amounts of matter and energy from one end to the other, intact.
 

martyrdrebel27

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Ark of the Covetor said:
And this is why Transporters as depicted in Star Trek are a nonsense; they don't transport you, they murder you and create an exact duplicate at the target location. To the world at large there may be no difference, but the you that steps in won't be the same you that steps out the other end.

I prefer the Displacer from Iain M Banks' Culture novels - creates something like a wormhole between two locations and instantaneously swaps exactly equivalent amounts of matter and energy from one end to the other, intact.
of all places, Borderlands addresses this same issue. at one point, i believe an antagonist is well... antagonizing you, and mentions that the real you died the very first time you used the digistruct teleporters.

i remember the first time i had such a thought, was while 13 or so, i was watching Eraser, an Arnold Schwanzenagger movie where when you die, boom another clone with the exact memories. and that's what got me thinking, yeah, you are in the world but YOU are dead, your individual consciousness is no longer there. it's probably the closest scientific proof of a "soul" in the most broadest of senses. even if there's a new you, it's not the you with the youness that made you so you-y.
 

Hairless Mammoth

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While they are the same concept as Star Trek's, the fictional variant is at least a little more family friendly than the real life grind-it-down version.

Though, this has been possible for a long time. CMM probes can measure the 3D coordinates of an object with extreme precision (less than .01 mm on some machines) and a 3D printer, mill or lathe can replicate the part with CAM software. I could even do this with my mini mill at home, if I had an extra $200 for the probe. The only benefit of the grinding/milling of the original is it would expose internal structures to replicate.
 

pearcinator

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WOW! A teleporter that takes 90 minutes to travel to a room that takes 5 seconds to walk to! This shit right here is the future!

Honestly, I wouldn't care if I was disintegrated and rebuilt at the other end (if it works flawlessly) I would still use a teleporter! That would be the greatest thing ever in history!
 

The_Darkness

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martyrdrebel27 said:
Ark of the Covetor said:
And this is why Transporters as depicted in Star Trek are a nonsense; they don't transport you, they murder you and create an exact duplicate at the target location. To the world at large there may be no difference, but the you that steps in won't be the same you that steps out the other end.

I prefer the Displacer from Iain M Banks' Culture novels - creates something like a wormhole between two locations and instantaneously swaps exactly equivalent amounts of matter and energy from one end to the other, intact.
of all places, Borderlands addresses this same issue. at one point, i believe an antagonist is well... antagonizing you, and mentions that the real you died the very first time you used the digistruct teleporters.

i remember the first time i had such a thought, was while 13 or so, i was watching Eraser, an Arnold Schwanzenagger movie where when you die, boom another clone with the exact memories. and that's what got me thinking, yeah, you are in the world but YOU are dead, your individual consciousness is no longer there. it's probably the closest scientific proof of a "soul" in the most broadest of senses. even if there's a new you, it's not the you with the youness that made you so you-y.
That was "The 6th Day", not "Eraser"... :) (Eraser was the one with the big baddass railguns, not the clones.)

I... wouldn't actually be worried about the kill-you-and-generate-duplicate thing. That's kinda happening on a long term anyway (your individual cells get replaced over time). I consider myself to be the information pattern of my brain - the structure, if you will - rather than the brain itself. To take a metaphor: I'm the words on the page, not the page itself. Those words can be transferred to a different page, but as long as there's no loss of information, then as far as I'm concerned, it's still 'me'.

And, yes, I probably do spend far too much of my time thinking about this sort of stuff.
 

Pyrian

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ShenCS said:
I don't think we're ever going to use the teleporter, once we get there, for live subjects, due to the ol' Prestige problem: you'll never know if you'll be the one materialising on the other side. I think Enterprise did bring this up once and dismissed it as hokey, which I always thought was quite unfair.
Ark of the Covetor said:
And this is why Transporters as depicted in Star Trek are a nonsense; they don't transport you, they murder you and create an exact duplicate at the target location. To the world at large there may be no difference, but the you that steps in won't be the same you that steps out the other end.
I agree with "Hokey". Or dualism, although I suspect most people who believe in souls would very quickly rationalize that their soul simply found (or snapped into) the new version right quick. I'm sure plenty of folk will refuse to use the newfangled devices, but that's always true, and once lots of people are beaming around non-chalantly, even most of them will come around. Too dang convenient.

The new "you" can't tell it's not the old you, anymore than anybody else can, and the old you is in no position to argue the point. After all, this "you" is an abstraction. If the pattern perfectly fits the abstraction, there's really no reason to quibble about technicalities. Are "you" the particular atoms that make up your form? If so, you're not the same you that you used to be, anyway.

'Course, the technical difficulties are another matter entirely and I don't really see this being used on people any time in even the remotely foreseeable future.
 

Wolyo

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martyrdrebel27 said:
i was watching Eraser, an Arnold Schwanzenagger movie
It's "The 6th day", the Eraser is also with Arnold but it's about witness Protection ^^
 

Duffy13

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Currently the best definition of a human being is the consciousnesses that manifests when an electric pattern interacts with brain tissue. If you in any way modify that apparatus it can have minor to catastrophic ramifications on the 'consciousnesses' of a person, this indicates that the brain and it's electrical pattern is most likely the sole definition of 'You'.

Currently brain death is when that tissue and pattern for some reason is interrupted or fails. Even if you could 'reboot' the brain in such cases it could very well mean the person that wakes up may be a 'copy'. The original consciousnesses is most likely very much gone. Continuity of existence is very important to the definition of 'You'. A teleporter that breaks your physical form into energy is ripping you apart and recreating you from some other energy, as far as we know human beings' continuity of existence would be severed by such actions, therefore killing the original subject and replacing them with an almost exact copy...that is only a few moments old.

It wouldn't be cool or fun to experience, depending on the quality of the technology you would either feel a brief sensation of pain as you are atomically ripped apart or you would feel nothing as you are instantly disintegrated. Either way, 'you' are gone. What happens next has no bearing on 'you'.
 

Vorpal_Smilodon

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Duffy13 said:
It wouldn't be cool or fun to experience, depending on the quality of the technology you would either feel a brief sensation of pain as you are atomically ripped apart or you would feel nothing as you are instantly disintegrated. Either way, 'you' are gone. What happens next has no bearing on 'you'.
I mean, it would feel cool to step into the teleporter. And it's not like death is a 'bad' thing anyway. Still, I wouldn't be getting into a teleporter. I mean honestly, if we need me over there so badly fine, let's just send a duplicate and not delete the original, thank you very much.
 

Canadamus Prime

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I haven't read the Enterprise's technical manual, but I'm pretty sure that's not how the Star Trek transporters worked. It was my understanding that they converted matter into an energy pattern and then transmitted that pattern to the target location to then be reconverted back into matter. We ended up with 2 Rikers that one time because that energy pattern was accidentally duplicated in a freak accident. That was not part of normal operation.

In any case, this is still kind of interesting even if it's not really teleporting.
 

Ark of the Covetor

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The_Darkness said:
martyrdrebel27 said:
Ark of the Covetor said:
And this is why Transporters as depicted in Star Trek are a nonsense; they don't transport you, they murder you and create an exact duplicate at the target location. To the world at large there may be no difference, but the you that steps in won't be the same you that steps out the other end.

I prefer the Displacer from Iain M Banks' Culture novels - creates something like a wormhole between two locations and instantaneously swaps exactly equivalent amounts of matter and energy from one end to the other, intact.
of all places, Borderlands addresses this same issue. at one point, i believe an antagonist is well... antagonizing you, and mentions that the real you died the very first time you used the digistruct teleporters.

i remember the first time i had such a thought, was while 13 or so, i was watching Eraser, an Arnold Schwanzenagger movie where when you die, boom another clone with the exact memories. and that's what got me thinking, yeah, you are in the world but YOU are dead, your individual consciousness is no longer there. it's probably the closest scientific proof of a "soul" in the most broadest of senses. even if there's a new you, it's not the you with the youness that made you so you-y.
That was "The 6th Day", not "Eraser"... :) (Eraser was the one with the big baddass railguns, not the clones.)

I... wouldn't actually be worried about the kill-you-and-generate-duplicate thing. That's kinda happening on a long term anyway (your individual cells get replaced over time). I consider myself to be the information pattern of my brain - the structure, if you will - rather than the brain itself. To take a metaphor: I'm the words on the page, not the page itself. Those words can be transferred to a different page, but as long as there's no loss of information, then as far as I'm concerned, it's still 'me'.

And, yes, I probably do spend far too much of my time thinking about this sort of stuff.
While you're technically correct, the key difference is continuity. While your body is continually replacing cells, and although that happens to an extent within the brain(not all brain cells regenerate/replace themselves), at no point does your neural activity completely cease - even while you're sleeping(or otherwise unconscious) and not fully aware there is still something going on in some part of your physical neural structure.

The problem with considering the individual consciousness as being just the information is exactly the scenario mentioned in the original article when it brings up that Riker episode of 'Trek; you can use the information to create more than one copy, and while they will all begin as perfect duplicates, they necessarily all begin to develop along distinct lines from that moment on, because multiple individuals cannot have exactly the same experiences even if they remain together at all times and experience exactly the same sequence of events, because each will have tiny fractional differences in the way they perceive each experience. "You", therefore, are not the information per-se, but rather the emergent process that the physical incarnation of that information enables, and it follows then that there is a distinction between "you" and "the entity which begins as an exact duplicate of you" - had "new you" been duplicated in a way that did not destroy "you", not only would both exist concurrently each with their own individual sense of self, but after even a short passage of time you would be as distinct from one another as brothers or even(if your experiences were sufficiently different) as distant as merely people who grew up in the same geographical region.

It's the same problem I have with the whole "uploading" idea; if you completely map your neural structure and activity and can simulate it with 100% accuracy in a computer, that still isn't "you", because the neural activity that comprised the original "you" would still cease when your body died. That one can be solved though, if we could invent a technological replacement for all the biological components within the physical brain and use nanorobotics to slowly replace biology with technology over an extended period in a way that ensures continuous neural activity; the result would be a functionally-immortal "brain" that would still also be "you".
 

Kopikatsu

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It was hinted at in this thread already, but none of your cells are permanent. Even brain cells die and are replaced. In 20 years, every cell in your body would have changed. If going through a teleporter that broke you down and created an exact replica 'killed you', then you die every 10-20 years simply as a matter of biological growth.
 

Pyrian

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Ark of the Covetor said:
I think you're throwing a whole lot of significance into this "unbroken continuity" that it simply cannot hold. A break in the continuity is no big deal. The vast majority of your neurons are not firing at any given moment, and it is not all that significant that a handful still are in deep sleep. There's no magical continuity that is instrumental in making you, "you". It's an abstraction, not a real thing.
 

CelestDaer

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All I can think of now is the first person to go through one of these, realizing they're getting slowly ground down a layer at a time, and trying to move down away from the grinder, and coming out the other end like those horrible panorama pics you see on Imgur.
 

Maze1125

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Smilomaniac said:
Teleporters convert matter into energy (or even data, according to that one DS9 episode where they're stored in the holodeck), then send or "beam" (hence "beam me up scotty") that energy to the target location, reconstructing you. There's no basis for saying that it kills anyone and makes a copy.
Trust me on this. If I converted all your matter to energy. You would most definitely be dead.
 

Ark of the Covetor

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Pyrian said:
Ark of the Covetor said:
I think you're throwing a whole lot of significance into this "unbroken continuity" that it simply cannot hold. A break in the continuity is no big deal. The vast majority of your neurons are not firing at any given moment, and it is not all that significant that a handful still are in deep sleep. There's no magical continuity that is instrumental in making you, "you". It's an abstraction, not a real thing.
We're talking about an emergent process resulting from a physical substrate, it is in no way an abstraction, nor is it "magical". The permanent cessation of all neural activity is, given all the presently available evidence, the best definition of "death" we have - maybe in some far off future we'll discover there's some deeper physical substrate that exists on the quantum rather than biological level, and that such a substrate would survive the process of matter-energy-matter conversion(or uploading etc) that a 'Trek-style transporter uses, but there's no real indication of that at present(it's been hypothesised that there's some presently unseen quantum-scale component to consciousness, but it's never been indicated in any data I've seen or heard of, and it's certainly not been demonstrated experimentally).

Based on all the knowledge we currently have, continuity of neural activity is not just significant but in my view required in order to keep considering a conscious being to be the same entity.