Boing Boing 

Inspiring and gorgeous patent drawings

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The best inventions are exciting, new and unique.

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Amazing working paper model of a V6 engine

A fantastic working papercraft model of a V6 engine that runs on compressed air.

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WATCH: NASA JPL tests gecko-inspired grippers in zero gravity

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory just released a video of their latest adhesion technologies designed for use in space.

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WATCH: crazy cute jerboas and the hopping robot they inspired

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.

Kd0l1X

Watch: Tiny floating robot can jump from water's surface

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.

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Women engineers refute sexism with #iLookLikeAnEngineer campaign

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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.

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Soylent's new liquid form is kind of spermy, and the guy behind it is sort of creepy

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Annalee Newitz writes at Gizmodo about Rob Rhinehart, erstwhile “creepy nerd messiah” who today posted a long-ass personal essay to mark the release of Soylent 2.0, “the next version of his sperm-esque food replacement drink.”

We read all of the Soylent guy's essay so you do not have to. As Annalee says, it's basically about “how he’s given up alternating current so he can get ready for his life as a space cyborg.”

There are more than 35 paragraphs in Rob Rhinehart's blog post today. Here's the first.

The walls are buzzing. I know this because I have a magnet implanted in my hand and whenever I reach near an outlet I can feel them. I can feel fortresses of industry miles away burning prehistoric hydrocarbons by the megaton. I can feel the searing pain and loss of consciousness from when I was shocked by exposed house wiring as a boy. I can feel the deep cut of the power bill when I was living near the poverty line. I can feel the cold uncertainty of the first time the power went out due to a storm when I was a child. How long before the delicate veil of civilization turns to savagery with no light nor heat nor refrigeration?

Savagery! Perish the thought.

At Gizmodo, Annalee writes:

Rhinehart has all the hallmarks of a future cult leader. First of all, he’s marketing a pseudoscientific bullshit product, Soylent, which promises to liberate your nerd mind from its analog meatsack. Though actual nutritionists say replacing your food with Soylent is a bad idea, why should you trust them? Rhinehart, an electrical engineer, knows better. If you just drink Soylent, you no longer need to do icky physical things like eat solid food and store rotting items in your house. (Yes, he actually refers to food as “rotting ingredients,” which is not exactly a good sign from a dude trying to sell you things to eat.)

But now Rhinehart has taken it to the next level. He isn’t just trying to sell you on a dubious product from science fiction. Now he’s discovered that the road to enlightenment is slick with Soylent. In today’s manifesto, he’ll sell you on a whole new way of life. Inject your fingers with magnets so you can feel electrical current. Then give up on dirty, dirty alternating current, which uses up so much energy. Use a butane “space stove” to heat water for your coffee. Ride in Ubers to cut down on emissions (that is, if you can’t ride “robot horse cheetahs, or drone multicopters.”) Get your clothing custom-made in China, and stop doing laundry. Drink Soylent warm so you don’t need a fridge.

WATCH: model plane + box kite + LEDs = glow kite

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:

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3D printing blends rigid and soft to improve robot performance

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.

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WATCH: Bricklaying robot ushers in semi-automated masonry

Construction Robotics developed this bricklaying robot SAM (Semi-Automated Mason) after addressing two key challenges: mortar application and onsite variables that can hinder precision.

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Researchers developing tiny robots to travel through body and fire projectiles

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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.

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Engineers mimic owl wings to reduce wind turbine noise

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Aeroacoustics expert Nigel Peake of Cambridge University leads a group of engineers mimicking owl wing feathers to reduce noise on wind turbines.

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WATCH: Matchstick rockets in super slo-mo

The Slow Mo Guys did a King of Random crossover episode, launching Grant's matchstick rockets recorded on their Phantom.

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Eiffel Tower's magician of light, Fernand Jacopozzi

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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.

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It's back: looping water slide returns to New Jersey

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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:

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Vertical looping water slide, long thought impossible, in test phase [LA Times]

via Seth Porges (@sethporges)

Watch Beachbot make large-scale sand drawings

Disney Research teamed with ETH Zürich students to create Beachbot, a robot that creates pre-programmed sand drawing.

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Giant underwater plug


This humongous power-plug is a MacArtney Wet Mate Connector that allows undersea cables for floating windmills to be connected below the water's surface.

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