There’s likely not a work of fiction as respected in the scientific community as STAR TREK. How many fan conventions have booths sponsored by NASA of all places? The series’ dedication to the importance of science in society and how it can help us reach utopia has inspired generations of actors, writers, and scientists.

CLICK: Want more TREK? Click here for our reflections on Trek’s enduring legacy.

The inspirations that STAR TREK has provided will be the subject of a new Smithsonian Channel series called BUILDING STAR TREK. The documentary series takes a unique look at how Trek has been a muse of inspiration for new devices that have been introduced into our time thousands of years before they’re invented in the STAR TREK universe.

One such device in the series is the medical tricorder, a device that allowed the medical staff of the Enterprise the ability to diagnose a patient with the simple wave of his or her hand. Robert Kaul and Dr. Sonny Kohli took a moment to talk to us about their work on the tricorder and how such an amazing device works.

CLICK: Take a look at our analysis of the classic DEEP SPACE NINE episode FAR BEYOND THE STARS

The series also gives us a new perspective on STAR TREK as a piece of pop history. Smithsonian curator Dr. Margaret Weitekamp is one person helping to forge the STAR TREK legacy for the next 50 years. Part of the new documentary series is an exploration of how the Smithsonian managed to restore the original series’ U.S.S. Enterprise model that was used to make fans believe in the Enterprise’s mission through space and the advancement of human society. Click here to read all about it!

The series is equal parts entertaining and informing and certainly a must see for science fans. But you don’t have to take my word for it, check out the interview above with Cloud DX’s Dr. Sonny Kohli and Robert Kaul as they discuss their tricorder. To find out more about the series BUILDING STAR TREK and the amazing advances that STAR TREK has inspired, check out the show on the Smithsonian channel.

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