Impact Lab


Subscribe Now to Our Free Email Newsletter

» Currently browsing: Engineering


Don’t bug out: Spider-like microbots will get under your skin … in a good way

August 20th, 2018 at 10:22 am » Comments Off

It might sound like the beginning of a nightmare, but researchers are developing a line of small, insect-inspired robots that could one day crawl into your body and help fix broken bits. They’re suspicious in their squishiness. Soft, flexible, and shaped like spiders. But their creators think future versions could be designed to perform tasks […]



The first graphene jacket is here, and it’s magical

August 17th, 2018 at 10:06 am » Comments Off

At 595 euros ($695) a pop, Vollebak’s new graphene jacket isn’t for everyone. But if even half of what its creators promise is true, it could be worth every cent. According to the company, it shares many of the magical properties of graphene–absorbing heat and then warming you up over time, conducting electricity, repelling bacteria, […]



The worker in the robot suit: New industrial orders reignite exoskeleton interest

August 14th, 2018 at 9:37 am » Comments Off

It’s been a technology without a clear customer for about a decade, but wearable robotic suits are finally finding a market in legacy manufacturing and construction. Robotic exoskeletons are back in the news after Ford ordered 75 robotic suits from Ekso Bionics, as reported by my colleague. The relatively small number of orders belies the […]



Cell-sized robots can sense their environment

August 4th, 2018 at 9:33 am » Comments Off

Made of electronic circuits coupled to minute particles, the devices could flow through intestines or pipelines to detect problems. Researchers at MIT have created what may be the smallest robots yet that can sense their environment, store data, and even carry out computational tasks. These devices, which are about the size of a human egg […]



Will Lockheed Martin change the world with its new fusion reactor?

August 1st, 2018 at 10:52 am » Comments Off

TEXAS, USA – JUNE 21: A F-35 fighter jet is seen as Turkey takes delivery of its first F-35 fighter jet with a ceremony at the Lockheed Martin in Forth Worth, Texas, United States on June 21, 2018. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) Lockheed Martin’s secretive Skunkworks laboratory registered a patent in March for […]



Chinese city signs up for hyperloop project

August 1st, 2018 at 8:21 am » Comments Off

The city of Tongren, in the southwestern Chinese province of Guizhou, has signed an agreement with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) to develop the futuristic tube-travel system envisaged by Elon Musk. HyperloopTT and Tongren Transportation & Tourism Investment Group announced the agreement yesterday, saying HyperloopTT would provide technology, engineering expertise and equipment, while Tongren will be […]



Making opaque materials totally transparent

July 28th, 2018 at 11:26 am » Comments Off

Most naturally occurring materials have a disordered atomic structure that interferes with the propagation of both sound and electromagnetic waves. When the waves come into contact with these materials, they bounce around and disperse – and their energy dissipates according to a highly complex interference pattern, diminishing in intensity. That means it’s virtually impossible to […]



MIT researchers create an aerosol spray loaded with nanobots

July 27th, 2018 at 9:26 am » Comments Off

AEROSOLS FOR GOOD. You may have sworn off aerosol sprays in the ’90s when everyone was talking about the hole in the ozone layer, but a team of researchers from MIT has found a use for aerosols that could be good for both the environment and our health. This spray contains nanobots, tiny sensors with […]



DARPA’s insect-sized SHRIMP robots could aid disaster relief

July 22nd, 2018 at 9:43 am » Comments Off

Meet the tiny, versatile robots built to navigate high-risk environments. DARPA’s efforts to propel military technology forward often manifest in a diverse fashion, spanning everything from drone submarine development to a biostasis program that aims to buy more time to rescue soldiers on the battlefield. The SHRIMP program, short for SHort-Range Independent Microrobotic Platforms, is […]



Wind-powered Water Seer pulls 11 gallons of clean drinking water from thin air

July 21st, 2018 at 10:42 am » Comments Off

A new device that relies on simple condensation to collect clean water from the atmosphere promises to provide up to 11 gallons of safe drinking water without an external power source, greenhouse gas emissions, or adverse environmental impacts. What’s more, the innovative Water Seer collection device could potentially run forever, gifting generations of people with […]



Endangered Jobs square