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Berlin: German scientists have invented a Star Trek-style transporter that can scan an object and ‘beam’ it to another location.
The new machine scans a physical object, destroys it in the process, transmits it over the internet and re-builds it using a 3D printer in a new location. Since it is effectively an early prototype for a Star Trek teleportation machine its creators have named it “Scotty” after the chief engineer on the Starship Enterprise, who Captain Kirk was regularly seen to order: “beam me up”.
The machine scans small objects with a camera layer-by-layer, as a milling machine slowly destroys it. By slicing the object into layers it is possible to get a detailed view of the object, even including any hollow cavities. A detailed model is then encrypted and digitally transmitted over the internet to a second machine which reconstructs it with a 3D printer.
The user only has to place an object into the sender unit, name a recipient and press the ‘relocate’ button, The Telegraph reported.
Its creators, from the Hasso Plattner Institute in Germany, said that the machine effectively “relocates physical objects across distances”.
“Scotty guarantees that a personal, handmade gift remains unique when sent across distances, ie that there is no other copy – an important aspect that emphasises the intimate relationship between sender and receiver,” researchers said.