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Flexible

When surgeons are trying to operate on hard-to-reach organs, they'll often have to make multiple incisions to get at the area from different angles, or use tools such as retractors to pull other tissue out of the way. A team of researchers from Italy's Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, however, is developing an alternative – a flexible octopus arm-inspired tool that can squirm its way between organs, then hold them back while simultaneously operating.

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It's kind of ironic that while many cyclists ride lightweight bikes, they still carry heavy-duty U-locks that weigh several pounds. In most cases, however, lighter cable locks can easily be defeated with a set of bolt cutters. That's why Prof. Neil Barron, a former aeronautical engineer, has created the Litelok. It's light and flexible like a cable lock, but reportedly stands up to over five minutes of attack from tools such as bolt cutters, jacks and hack saws. Read More
For years now, we've been promised miraculous new flexible touchscreen displays, but the deployment of such technology in big consumer products, like say the LG G Flex, hasn't started any revolutions just yet. That could soon change thanks to a team of computer scientists from Germany's Saarland University who have developed a technique that could allow anyone to literally print their own custom touchscreen displays. Read More
When serious cyclists want a little more vibration damping (or lower weight) in their handlebars, they'll often shell out hundreds of bucks for a carbon fiber bar. French company Baramind, however, wants to extend the concept of shock-absorbing handlebars to everyday commuters, with the not-so-expensive but even-flexier Bam City. Read More
New help may be on the way for healthcare personnel tasked with monitoring multiple patients. Researchers from the University of Tokyo have created a solar-powered arm band, that sounds an alarm if the wearer's body temperature gets too high. Read More
When companies begin to outgrow the office-space they have available, it can be difficult to squeeze everything in. To combat this, Likearchitects has designed an office that can be adapted as required. Sliding partition walls at Kinematix allow the spaces to be easily reconfigured. Read More
Researchers from South Korea have developed a thin, highly-flexible film that could enable a new generation of wearable devices that wrap around your finger or wrist. The multiferroic film even amplified the properties inherent in the bismuth ferrite it was made from, and the enhanced properties were preserved when the film was curved into a cylindrical shape. Read More
Researchers from the University of Manchester and University of Sheffield have developed a new prototype semi-transparent, graphene-based LED device that could form the basis of flexible screens for use in the next-generation of mobile phones, tablets and televisions. The incredibly thin display was created using sandwiched "heterostructures", is only 10-40 atoms thick and emits a sheet of light across its entire surface. Read More
Furnishing a room to be both functional and pleasing to the eye can take a lot of time and effort. Austrian architect firm Heri & Salli has eschewed such a laborious approach in favor of using just a single piece of furniture. Its Viennese Guest Bed offers much of the functionality required in a guest room. Read More
Three years ago, scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) reported success in getting rats with severed spinal cords to walk again. They did so by suspending the animals in a harness, then using implants to electrically stimulate neurons in their lower spinal cord. Although this ultimately resulted in the rats being able to run on their previously-paralyzed hind legs, the technology still wasn't practical for long-term use in humans. Thanks to new research conducted at EPFL, however, that may no longer be the case. Read More
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