This 8cm long chameleon may look lifelike, but it’s actually made from paper, gears, a magnet, and a bit of professional watercolor work, all by papercraft artist Johan Scherft. The video above, featured at The Automata Blog, walks through how the automaton moves. Bonus wow moment: there’s a mirror making the build possible.
If you happen to spot a Nine Armed Sea Star under the sand, perhaps it’s kindest to not disturb it. But you know, since this one has already been disturbed, watch how it flips itself over from being on its back… and then proceeds to leave. (Wouldn’t you?)
Rounding out the rest of the DRC results, Tartan Rescue (Carnegie Mellon + NREC) came in third with its CHIMP robot, picking up 18 points, and MIT came in fourth with an Atlas. NASA’s Valkyrie sadly scored zero points. A full break down of the contest and the results can be found on the DRC Trials website. Some cool videos from the event can be found on DARPA’s YouTube channel.
Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology explain that these ants can link their bodies together, forming waterproof rafts that behave much like an active material capable of changing state from a solid to a liquid. The ants can drip, spread and coagulate; and this transition helps them survive rainfall and crashing waves.
In a statement, the APS compares the structure’s behavior to Jell-O and toothpaste, stating that they are all “viscoelastic” materials capable of resisting flow under stress and reverting to their original shape like rubber bands. The fire ant rafts do not behave exactly like solids or liquids, but as a kind of hybrid of the two.