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.
The University of Maryland Robotics Center's new Robo Raven III V4 soars on larger flapping wings that "have flexible solar cells giving the vehicle an extra 10 Watts of power. This allows this robotic bird to fly longer and recharge outdoors." Read the rest
Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and hundreds of artificial intelligence researchers and experts have signed a letter calling for a worldwide ban on “autonomous weapons.” Read the rest
Researchers are developing a robot made from plastic and ceramic motors that can perform surgery on a patient inside a magnetic resonance imaging machine where metal is a no-no. Read the rest
Here's some fun: "Place hand in dog's cage and hold it there for as long as you dare. Dog pants, dribbles warm saliva and other disgusting things." It's a coin-operated amusement built by Tim Hunkin, and you can see a customer trying it out in this video.
Tim Hunkin is a brilliant cartoonist, inventor, and TV show host. He wrote some great articles for me at Make magazine and I'm always happy to learn about anything he creates. In this video, we get to see Test Your Nerve and some of the other one-of-a-kind coin-operated machines Tim has built for his new-ish mechanical amusement arcade in London.
Some of the machine's at Tim's arcade: MONEY LAUNDERING: Pick up cash from the gutter and deposit it in the city without the regulators spotting MICROBREAK: Sit in the chair and travel on holiday, moved by the magic carpet. ALIEN PROBE: Investigate the captive alien BUT try not to annoy it. DIVORCE: Race to separate, then see the results. PET OR MEAT: Spin the arrow and see where it lands. Then view what happens to the lamb in detail. AUTOFRISK: Stand in position and let the rubber gloves give you a thorough frisk. MY-NUKE: Use the remote manipulator arm to open the fuel box and load the fuel pellets into the reactor. INSTANT WEIGHTLOSS: Watch weightfree nutrients prepared especially for you and then watch yourself lose weight in the mirror. EXPRESSIVE PHOTOBOOTH: Sit inside and the booth activates mechanisms to provoke a wide range of expressions while taking the photos. Read the rest
UC Berkeley researchers have now outfitted tiny RoACH robots with shell-like exoskeletons to protect the electromechanical innards from dust and water and help the bots slip easily through tight, cluttered spaces, just like real roaches. Videos below. 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
Meet Cherokey 4WD, a versatile mobile platform compatible with most microcontrollers, and the heart and soul of your robotic vehicle. By assembling the included hardware and tuning the software, you will construct a rapid, rugged, outdoor-friendly truck controlled by an iOS app on your phone. Learn to install sensors on the robot to trigger specific movements and actions, and take your newfound Arduino expertise onto limitless future projects.Enjoy high-quality micro-speed motors Drive your truck on rough terrain w/ its durable & solid aluminum body Expand upon the highly versatile modular design Easily control w/ your iOS device Write your own code to take advantage of its ultrasonic sensor, BLE-ready microcontroller, IR sensor & LEDs Start your project immediately without the need for an additional motor driver or wireless shield Use for educational purposes, robot competitions, home automation protyping or research projects Read the rest
This is microrobotic tentacle grabbing an ant. Iowa State University engineers developed the spiraling microrobotic pneumatic tentacles, just 8 millimeters long and less than a hundredth of an inch wide, as a delicate gripper for tiny medical robots that could manipulate tissue or even blood vessels inside our bodies. Read the rest