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Insect

Drones

Bees' supreme obstacle avoidance to make for smarter drones

For more than a century, aeronautical visionaries have turned to the natural world for inspiration and those working with modern-day miniature aircraft that fit in the palm of your hand are no different. By learning how bees safely zip through thick rainforests in spite of their poor vision, scientists say they can endow flying robots with similar capabilities, promising exciting new levels of autonomy for small drones.Read More

Insect communications device is kinda buggy

Fireflies are certainly fascinating to watch as they signal to one another with their bioluminescent abdomens, but have you ever wanted to join in the conversation? Well, you apparently should soon be able to do so, with a little help from the Firefly Communicator.Read More

ZappLight bulb turns ordinary lamps into bug-killers

Thanks to the Zika virus, mosquitoes are back in the news and as feared as ever. While getting a dedicated bug-zapping light could help keep the little beasts at bay, not everyone wants to bother buying such a device. Well, that's why the ZappLight was created. It's an LED light bulb that goes into a regular socket, and it reportedly kills mozzies.Read More

Robotics

Search-and-rescue robot could give locusts a better name

Despite the fact that locusts are held in fairly low regard by us humans, there's a chance that you may one day be rescued by one … or at least, by a robotic locust. Working with colleagues at Israel's Ort Braude College, researchers from Tel Aviv University have created a tiny locust-inspired robot that can reportedly jump over twice as high as other similarly-sized devices. They say that it could ultimately find use in search-and-rescue operations at disaster sites.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

High-tech comb uses plasma to kill lice

As some parents will already know, head lice infestations can be very difficult to treat. Typically a toxic shampoo or lotion has to first be applied to the sufferer's scalp, after which the lice are removed by pulling a specialized comb through their hair. Louse eggs aren't harmed by such shampoos, however, so the treatment needs to be repeated once they've hatched. This means more nasty chemicals, and more discomfort for the child (or adult). That's why researchers at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films have developed an alternative, in the form of a comb that zaps the pests with cold plasma.Read More

Environment

Nanotech could rid cattle of ticks, with less collateral damage

If you've ever used tick medicine on your dog, then you're probably aware of how toxic the stuff is. Well, it's used on cows too, and it can end up in their meat, milk, or the surrounding environment. Fortunately, however, scientists at the National University of Mexico have developed a new type of tick treatment for cattle that is reportedly much less toxic than what's currently used.Read More

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