PigeonBot is a robotic bird outfitted with real pigeon feathers that move to reshape its wings like an actual bird. Developed by researchers in Stanford's LentinkLab, the remote-controlled PigeonBot demonstrates how morphing wings improves flying agility. (Video below.) Their resulting technical paper is the cover story in the current issue of the journal Science Robotics. From Science News:
Birds can modify the shape of their wings by fanning out their feathers or shuffling them closer together. Those adjustments allow birds to cut through the sky more nimbly than rigid drones....
Researchers bent and extended the wings of dead pigeons to investigate how the birds control their wing shape. Those experiments revealed that the angles of two wing joints, the wrist and the finger, most affect the alignment of a wing’s flight feathers. The orientations of those long, stiff feathers, which support the bird in flight, help determine the wing’s shape. Based on those findings, the team built a robot with real pigeon feathers, whose faux wrists and fingers can morph its wing shape as seen in the pigeon cadavers.
Someone outfitted a Boston Dynamics SPOT mobile robot with a silly fake horse head and suddenly the future of robotics looks a lot less scary. As esteemed futurist Jim Dator once said, “Any useful statement about the future should at first seem ridiculous.”
The critters at the Atlanta Botanical Garden look oddly … metallic? From the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering: Their newly developed SlothBot is built to study animals, plants and the overall environment below them by moving as little as possible. It inches along overhead cables only when necessary, charging itself with solar panels to […]
Built by researchers at Harvard and the University of Colorado, the Harvard Ambulatory MicroRobot (HAMR) is just 2.25 centimeters long. It “comes up to about knee-high on a cockroach,” writes Evan Ackerman in IEEE Spectrum, and can run like hell. Four piezoelectric-driven legs carry it around at 30 centimeters per second even carrying its own […]
You probably have a lot of items in your home that you’d hate to lose to theft or damage. While certainly no one ever hopes to fall victim to a natural disaster or home invasion, you need to be prepared just in case it does happen. When it comes to choosing a reliable renters insurance, […]
The average US household replaces their mattress about every seven years. So if it’s been more than that, or even a lot more than that, it might be time to invest in a new slumber HQ. And most sleep experts will tell you the right mattress really should be looked at as an investment. Because […]
If there’s any knock on most smartwatches, up to and including the industry-leading Apple Watch, it’s probably that the bands aren’t…well, they aren’t usually the greatest. While Apple is certainly making strides in the watchband game, most models are just as black, boring and nondescript as you’d expect from a tech company. And where many […]