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Materials

Getting a grip on ivy's adhesive properties

Anyone who has tried to clear ivy from the side of their house will know the climber is almost impossible to unstick. A team at Ohio State University has studied the tiny particles giving ivy its vise-like grip, with a view to creating better medical and industrial adhesives, and even stronger armor.Read More

Aircraft

Solar Impulse 2 temporarily grounded after hangar accident

Solar Impulse 2 is temporarily grounded in Dayton, Ohio after a minor accident. The next leg of the solar-powered aircraft's round-the-world-flight was scheduled for May 24, but the unexpected minor collapse of its inflatable hangar resulted in the craft being lightly touched by the hangar fabric. Solar Impulse says that the airplane will now spend several days on the ground as engineers search for damage.Read More

Automotive

Wearable clips onto your steering wheel for eyes-free smartphone control

We all know that smartphones can be an addicting distraction, oftentimes drawing our attention away longer than may be considered safe. Team O6 by Fingertips Lab has created a wearable gizmo that offers a way to operate your phone without the need to look at or reach for the screen. The O6 controller is designed to use touch, voice, and gesture input to control apps and listen/respond to messages completely eyes-free.Read More

VR

This sensor can add body tracking to mobile VR – but it's probably better to wait

Once you've used PC-based VR with full-body positional tracking, like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, you start to look at mobile VR, which only tracks head rotation, a little differently. Namely, the high-end tracked stuff makes mobile VR look pretty watered-down by comparison. A crowdfunding project is trying to fill in that tracking gap on mobile VR, but until the big players add tracking of their own, don't expect this kind of thing to go far.Read More

Space

Colossal solar storms may have made ancient Earth habitable

According to a new NASA study, powerful solar storms could have been instrumental in warming ancient Earth, and preparing the planet for the development of complex life. Known as "superflares," the space weather events were thought to be roughly 10 times more powerful than any solar storm that has struck Earth since the advent of modern civilization.
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