Elowan is a "plant-robot hybrid" that uses its own bio-electromechanical signaling to drive itself around toward light sources. From an explanation by researcher Harpreet Sareen and his colleagues at the MIT Media Lab:
In this experimental setup, electrodes are inserted into the regions of interest (stems and ground, leaf and ground). The weak signals are then amplified and sent to the robot to trigger movements to respective directions.
Such symbiotic interplay with the artificial could be extended further with exogenous extensions that provide nutrition, growth frameworks, and new defense mechanisms.
Earlier this year, Gundam Factory Yokohama announced plans to debut a 60-foot-tall Gundam robot on October 1, 2020. While construction on this epic mech was initially delayed by COVID-19, it seems that things are back on schedule — so much so, that they let the Gundam out for a test walk. Popular Mechanics has some […]
Remember engineer Shane Wighton of Stuff Made Here who impressed the Internet with his robotic basketball backboard that helps the ball into the hoop? Now he’s built a robot that cuts his hair. Using a combination of physical sensors and computer vision, it gave him a pretty great looking mullet! I also appreciate its Flowbee-like […]
University of Washington engineers developed a tiny, wireless, and steerable videocamera that can be worn by insects or minuscule micro-robots to stream live video. The device weighs just 248 milligrams. Evan Ackerman writes in IEEE Spectrum: The system was successfully tested on a pair of darkling beetles that were allowed to roam freely outdoors, and […]
If you ever dropped a quarter into a Space Invaders game, you’ve likely fantasized about having your own arcade cabinet in your house. Of course, you likely thought better of it for several reasons, including the idea that a giant cabinet dedicated to just one game isn’t very practical. Polycade understands the urge though very, […]
Most of us have a love-hate relationship with banks. Okay, it’s actually probably more like a tolerate-hate relationship. We understand their role in holding and securing our money so we don’t have to stuff it in a mattress somewhere. But we don’t trust the bank not to gouge us on fees whenever they can. And […]
If you’ve ever worked on a video project or engineered a podcast and thought you’d make your own sound effects… how’d that go for ya? We assume it was a bigger undertaking than you’d probably bargained for. From using stalks of celery to replicate breaking tree limbs to frying bacon to reproduce the sound of […]