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Biomimicry

Science

Spider-inspired discs could be the new glue

In recent years we've seen a number of attempts at artificially replicating the strong-yet-light characteristics of spider silk. It turns out that the silk itself isn't the only thing that's inspiring scientists, however. Researchers from the University of Akron have recently created their own version of the "attachment discs" that spiders use to secure their silk fibers to surfaces, when building webs. These man-made discs could conceivably prove superior to conventional glues as a form of adhesive. Read More

Robotics

Run, robot, run – here comes the OutRunner

So, you already own little remote-control cars, planes, boats and submarines ... what else could there be? Well, how about something that runs? That's just what the OutRunner does. It's being billed as "the world's first RC running robot," and hopefully you'll soon be able to get one for under $250. Read More

Drones

Foam-squirting quadcopter becomes a flying 3D printer

The swiftlet may not look much different than other little birds, but it has one unique ability – it builds its nest out of its own saliva. Inspired by the swiftlet, scientists at Imperial College London's Aerial Robotics Lab have created a robotic quadcopter that can extrude polyurethane foam while in flight. By targeting where that foam goes, it can build up simple structures, essentially becoming a flying 3D printer. The technology could have some very important applications. Read More

Science

Praying mantises outfitted with tiny 3D glasses

Although us humans take 3D vision for granted, it's not a standard feature throughout the animal kingdom. In fact, praying mantises are the only invertebrates known to possess it – a fact which makes them excellent hunters. Scientists at Britain's Newcastle University are now studying the insects' ability to see in 3D, to determine if it could be copied in human technologies such as robot vision systems. As part of that study, they're equipping mantises with the smallest pairs of 3D glasses ever made. Read More

Science

New-and-improved gecko-inspired adhesive sticks to more surfaces

A couple of years ago, we first heard about a gecko-inspired reusable adhesive known as Geckskin. According to its creators at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, it could be used to hang objects weighing up to 700 pounds (318 kg) on smooth surfaces such as glass. Now, however, they've announced a new version that also works on rough surfaces, like drywall and wood. Read More

Automotive

Lamborghini uses an intimate Manhattan event to debut its 610 hp Huracán

Last week Lamborghini’s Huracán LP 610-4, the 610 hp, all-wheel-drive successor to the outgoing Gallardo made its North American debut at a small and intimate event as part of the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) and Gizmag was there. The Huracán, currently in Beijing for the China Auto Show, is on a tight schedule as part of a 60 city, 130 event world tour, with North America being one of the manufacturer's key markets. Read More

Robotics

Researcher uses Cyber Rodents to study evolution

A study has used rodent-like robots to look at the evolutionary development of different mating strategies over an extended period of time. In contrast to direct studies of nature, the observation of robots allows researchers to avoid inherent time-based difficulties of studying evolution, with the results suggesting something a little more complex than the classic one-beats-all natural selection hypothesis. Read More

Robotics

Festo's BionicKangaroo gets the hop on energy-efficiency

Festo’s BionicKangaroo is yet another impressive addition to the company’s already mind-blowing bionic zoo that includes, among other things, bionic seagulls, dragonflies, flying penguins, elephant trunks and a whole selection of robotic marine critters. Just like its animal cousin, the robo-marsupial developed by Fasto’s Bionic Learning Network is able to store energy from the landing phase of a jump and reuse it efficiently on subsequent jumps. The technology developed for the BionicKangaroo may hold the key to more energy-efficient machines based on both pneumatic and electric drive technologies. Read More

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