Soft robotics is a rapidly growing field that has a huge amount of potential in applications where traditional rigid robots would be unsafe or unwieldy. But, building a soft robot comes with a number of unique challenges, particularly when it comes to actuation and position sensing. Fortunately, a newly-developed soft robotic finger with its own […]
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3D printing in one piece avoids the weaknesses of welding. It’s a long way from taking on Blue Origin or SpaceX, but UK startup Orbex is confident enough to show off its Prime Rocket’s second stage. Inside the engineering prototype’s shell is what it claims is the “world’s largest” 3D printed rocket engine, which is […]
The genetic-engineering tool could help combat malaria and invasive species. But should we use it? Charles Darwin had no idea what a gene was. If we dropped the father of evolution into 2019, the idea that humans can willfully alter the genes of an entire species would surely seem like wizardry to him. But CRISPR […]
New submersible “tent” lets divers nap, eat, and decompress beneath the waves SINCE THE DAWN of the modern SCUBA age ushered in by Jacques Cousteau in the early 1940s, ocean explorers have been seeking new ways to stay under the sea for longer stretches. Restricted by tank size and human physiology under pressure, SCUBA divers […]
The Airlander 10 in flight at Cardington airfield in Bedfordshire in 2016. UK firm behind plane-airship hybrid says it will ‘rethink the skies’ to build new model. A prototype of the world’s longest aircraft, the Airlander 10, will not be rebuilt but engineers are set to “rethink the skies” with a production-ready model. Hybrid Air […]
Aerial view of the 2017 field trials where scientists studied how well their plants modified to shortcut photorespiration performed beside unmodified plants in real-world conditions. They found that plants engineered with a synthetic shortcut are about 40 percent more productive. Credit: James Baltz/College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Plants convert sunlight into energy through […]
Boeing unveiled a rendering of its first-ever design for a hypersonic passenger plane. But questions remain about how much Boeing is willing to spend to develop the project. Technological challenges remain and costs could be high, which raise questions about the potential profitability of the plane.
A system that uses a technique called constructive solid geometry (CSG) is allowing MIT researchers to deconstruct objects and turn them into 3D models, thereby allowing them to reverse-engineer complex things. The system appeared in a paper entitled “InverseCSG: Automatic Conversion of 3D Models to CSG Trees” by Tao Du, Jeevana Priya Inala, Yewen Pu, […]
Neuroscientists have successfully hooked up a three-way brain connection to allow three people to share their thoughts – and in this case, play a Tetris-style game. The team thinks this wild experiment could be scaled up to connect whole networks of people, and yes, it’s as weird as it sounds.
This graspable haptic device, called Foldaway, is the size of a drink coaster when flat, making it conveniently portable. The user places a joystick where the three hinged arms meet, and the arms offer resistance, to give a sense of the objects being manipulated. (Screenshot of image series by Alice Concordel) Bringing the sense of […]