Yesterday's Failed Ideas Are Today's Great Inventions

A look back at when today's technologies were way ahead of their time

1 min read

Photos: Left, Ron Case/Keystone/Getty Images; Right, Intuitive Surgical
A pair of remote-controlled robotic hands, used for handling dangerous substances, was also sensitive enough to shave a man back in 1959. Now the concept has been applied to surgery in the da Vinci Surgical System.

When a new idea comes along, people often don’t know what to make of it. That's why so many inventions begin as light diversions and reach the development stage only much later, when applications finally suggest themselves. In this view, though necessity is still the mother of invention, whimsy is just as assuredly its father.

The Conversation (0)