Topic: biomimicry

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The Festo BionicFinWave, an autonomous underwater robot

The marine planarian, cuttlefish and Nile perch have one thing in common: in order to propel themselves, they use their fins to generate a continuous wave, which advances along their entire length. With this so-called...

Zebro, an autonomous swarming robot built for rescue

In disasters such as earthquakes, sturdy robots might become excellent search and rescue tools. Industrial Design Engineering student Mattijs Otten of the TU Delft Robotics Institute in the Netherlands developed modul...

Learning from leaves: Going green with artificial photosynthesis

Releasing too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thanks to the burning of fossil fuels, isn't a good thing. But what if leaves can provide some ideas for how we can turn this 'nuisance gas' into useful chemicals...

The Exhale Bionic Chandelier: Microorganism-filled ‘leaves’ that ‘breathe’

An air purifier, an art object, and a piece of lighting design all in one living, 'breathing' chandelier. This is London-based inventor and bioengineer Julian Melchiorri's Exhale Bionic Chandelier, a microorganism-fil...

Why do animals form swarms?

When many individual organisms come together and move as one entity, that’s a swarm. From a handful of birds to billions of insects, swarms can be almost any size. They have no leader, and members interact only with t...

How a kingfisher, an owl, & a penguin helped redesign Japan’s Shinkansen

How is Japan’s Shinkansen, a long-nosed bullet train that travels up to 240–320 km/h (150–200 mph), like a kingfisher? Or an owl? Or an Adélie penguin? In this video from Vox and 99% Invisible, we see how these three ...

Cassie, Agility Robotics’ ostrichlike bipedal robot

Untethered, battery-powered, and able to traverse a variety of terrains, these remote-controlled bipedal robots are designed for everything from search-and-rescue situations, to telepresence, to grocery delivery. They...

A window into ladybug wing origami

Beneath a ladybug's red shell, the spotted elytra that it's known for, the beetle's hind wings are efficiently folded until it wants to take off and fly. When it lands, the wings simply fold back up into a protected p...

Octopus, elephant, & human arm robot assistants from Festo

Inspired by an octopus tentacle, this OctopusGripper bionic arm can grab and hold a variety of round objects, both taking and passing it back to a human counterpart. It was designed and built by Festo's Bionic Learnin...

Seashell inspiration: Growing cement bricks with bacteria

Imagine an 8-year-old girl studying a seashell on the sand in Gulf Shores, Alabama in 1985. It's her first trip to the beach and it's a moment that will set the course of her career: “The 8-year-old version of mys...

Why Does Your Cat’s Tongue Feel Like Sandpaper?

If you've ever been licked by a cat, did their tongue feel scratchy like sandpaper? The scratchiness is caused by their keratin papillae, tiny claw-like spines on their tongue that help to clean their fur. Cats (Felis...

Handle, Boston Dynamics’ robot on wheels

Balancing on two legs with wheels for feet, Boston Dynamics' Handle robot looks a bit like it's rollerblading in a science fiction movie. Watch it roll down stairs, carry 45kg of stuff, and leap over hurdles. Yes, it ...

Almost-invisible hydrogel robots that can grab quickly

These almost-invisible robot hands can grab things quickly. MIT engineers have been working to create a durable gel formula that can be 3-D printed and laser cut into soft robotic parts, like flapping fish fins or gen...

The Snail-Smashing, Fish-Spearing, Eye-Popping Mantis Shrimp

The mantis shrimp is a fascinating creature. One kind impales prey with a spear-like appendage and another smashes prey with a built-in club — the fastest attack in the animal kingdom. "At 30 times faster than the bli...

Building a House the Eco-Friendly Way with 3D Printing

Inspired by plant patterns, the reusability of waste materials, and architecture made from the earth in locations around the world, Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello of Emerging Objects studio are exploring the in...

Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot

Need help loading the dishwasher? Maybe an adorable giraffe and/or dino-style robot can help out. This is Boston Dynamics' SpotMini. SpotMini is a new smaller version of the Spot robot, weighing 55 lbs dripping we...

Stanford’s one-of-a-kind wind tunnel for birds & drones

An engineering team at Stanford University, lead by engineering professor David Lentink, built a one-of-a-kind wind tunnel in order to observe, measure, and record the minute details of how birds fly. Their goal: To m...

Stanford’s µTug microrobots can pull a car

Watch six of Stanford's µTug (MicroTug) robots pulling an unmodified 3,900lb (1,800kg) car thanks to special directional adhesive "shoes" and "a very long, very slow, but very steady winching gate." The six microTugs ...

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