Film and TV

Hyperloops and Sassy Robots: The Technology of Futurama

Good news, everybody! Elon Musk, the philanthropist/buisnessman/mad scientist who founded PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors has announced plans for a new form of transportation: the Hyperloop. The proposed Hyperloop would be a huge tube that magnetically transports capsules within it at speeds approaching 700 miles per hour.

Musk claims that it will become a fifth mode of transportation, joining planes, trains, cars, and boats as a primary means of transporting people to their destinations.

Unfortunately, while the hyperloop sounds great in theory, it might not work out so well in practice. In the opening episode Matt Groening's influential documentary on the technology of the 30th century, Futurama, we see a Hyperloop that is disorienting, painful, and prone to failure. This is typical of the world of Futurama, which walks the line between utopian and dystopian. It shows us a vision of great technological wonders that never seem to improve the lives of anyone using them. To commemorate the end of the show's run next month, here is a review of what Futurama has taught us about several other future technologies.