Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora
is the best book I read in 2015, and by "best" I mean, "most poetic" and "most thought provoking" and "most scientific," a triple-crown in science fiction that's practically unheard of. I wouldn't have believed it possible, even from Robinson, had I not read it for myself.
Click, point goes out. Click, point goes in. Click. Click. Click. (Engineerguy)
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Inventions are exciting, but the best ones are art.
A fantastic working papercraft model of a V6 engine that runs on compressed air. Read the rest
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory just released a video of their latest adhesion technologies designed for use in space. Read the rest
Jerboas, tiny desert rodents that move like kangaroos, are notoriously hard to film
. BBC Earth was able to film a jerboa's escape from a fox
, and its unique shape has now inspired a robot
Jerboas use their long tails to transfer energy to their legs, allowing them to hop many times their body length. It turns out the hair on the bottoms of their their feet also serves a number of purposes, including insulation, traction, and stealth on the sand.
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Researchers led by Je-Sung Koh created a biomimetic robot that floats using surface tension and can jump from the surface of water like a water strider insect. Read the rest
After Engineer Isis Wenger at OneLogin appeared in a recruiting ad, sexist comments about her appearance (e.g., "you don't look like an engineer") inspired the hashtag #iLookLikeAnEngineer. Read the rest
“The first space colonies will have no coal power plants,” says Rob Rhinehart. “I am ready.”
FliteTest tracked down a father-son team who spent five years perfecting their remote-controlled box kite prototype, a plane/kite mashup. They demonstrate two of them below: Read the rest
Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences released an interesting demo
of blending rigid and soft materials during 3D printing to create hybrid robots with enhanced performance for tasks like jumping and landing. Read the rest
Construction Robotics developed this bricklaying robot SAM
(Semi-Automated Mason) after addressing two key challenges: mortar application and onsite variables that can hinder precision. Read the rest
Researchers demonstrated an early proof-of-concept system in which tiny robots inside your body, controlled by an MRI machine, could self-assemble into a Gauss gun and fire projectiles to clear blockages or deliver drugs. Video below. Read the rest
Aeroacoustics expert Nigel Peake of Cambridge University leads a group of engineers mimicking owl wing feathers to reduce noise on wind turbines. Read the rest
The Slow Mo Guys did a King of Random crossover episode, launching Grant's matchstick rockets recorded on their Phantom. Read the rest
The Eiffel Tower opened to the public on this day in 1899, but it was described as "a simple and useless dark peak in the Paris night sky" until the owners hired engineer Fernand Jacopozzi to light it in spectacular fashion in 1925. Read the rest
The Cannonball Loop originally opened at New Jersey's Action Park in 1985, but then shuttered after a week amid safety concerns (caution trolling more likely). This image is of a 90-foot prototype in testing in Missouri.
"The central challenge facing any vertical looping water slide design is friction - caused by skin, bathing suits or riders who slow themselves down with their hands or feet. Without enough speed, you won’t make it through the loop.
Sky Turtle solved the friction problem by eliminating the human variable. Riders are enclosed inside an aluminum alloy-framed capsule that maintains constant contact with the flume via replaceable foam runners."
The 1985 loop:
Vertical looping water slide, long thought impossible, in test phase [LA Times]
via Seth Porges (@sethporges) Read the rest