Topic: engineering

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Designing solar panel walls that can recycle & heat greywater

What if the walls of your house could recycle the wastewater from your sinks, showers, baths, and washing machine? Architect Maria Paz Gutierrez is working with environmental engineer Slav Hermanowicz and bioengineer ...

Rainbow Wave LEGO Great Ball Contraption

Featuring a 38 color rainbow of LEGO bricks, this Rainbow Wave LEGO Great Ball Contraption (GBC) was built in over 100 hours by Berthil van Beek. It's his first GBC build. Watch as tiny soccer balls and basketballs mo...

A tiny balloon-powered organ made from paper & cardboard

With the exception of a piece of plastic that allows a peek at its inner workings, and a large balloon that provides required wind through its pipes, this tiny pipe organ is made out of paper and cardboard. It was des...

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...

A 3D-printed candy sorting machine

This machine sorts small candies (M&Ms and Skittles) by color. It was designed and built by Netherlands-based New Zealander Willem Pennings, who is studying Mechanical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology...

An Automaton of Marie Antoinette, The Dulcimer Player

From the 2012 exhibition Extravagant Inventions: The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, take a closer look at a unique piece of automata: David Roentgen's Automaton of Queen Marie A...

The 1,000 year old windmills of Nashtifan

In the small village of Nashtifan, Iran, some of the oldest windmills in the world, with what may be the earliest windmill design in the world, still spin. From National Geographic: Made of natural clay, straw, an...

An origami-inspired model for reconfigurable materials

Metamaterials — materials whose function is determined by structure, not composition — have been designed to bend light and sound, transform from soft to stiff, and even dampen seismic waves from earthquakes. But each...

Barnaby Dixon’s Raptor Puppet

Puppeteer Barnaby Dixon designs highly detailed finger puppets like the one above: a rather adorable raptor puppet. Watch as his fingers control the feet while other hinges, levers, and mechanisms help make the puppet...

Climbing Wind Turbines for a Living

Converting kinetic energy into electrical power as they spin, wind turbines are a growing part of the world's renewable energy solutions. Rock climber and wind turbine technician Jessica Kilroy inspects, maintains, an...

Clearing snow from the cables on the Port Mann Bridge

The Port Mann Bridge is one of the largest cable stay suspension bridges in the world. To keep traffic flowing during winter storms, teams of Rope Access Technicians hang high over traffic to operate the bridge's snow...

Scott Weaver’s ‘Rolling through the Bay’ toothpick sculpture

This nine foot tall wooden sculpture of San Francisco was made with glue and 105,387 and a half toothpicks. It was built by Scott Weaver who, stuck at home at the age of 14 with spinal meningitis, started working in e...

A Journey To The Bottom Of The Internet

The internet is powered by over 300 heavy duty underwater cables that carry 99% of all international data from continent to continent to right at your fingertips almost instantaneously. In this episode of Nat & Lo, Na...

This invention helped me write again – Emma Lawton

Graphic Designer Emma Lawton would draw and write as a large part of her work and daily life, but after being diagnosed in 2012 with early-onset Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative brain disorder, using her hands...

Strain Wave Gearing LEGO Great Ball Contraption (GBC) Module

Behold another excellent Great Ball Contraption (GBC) from LEGO enthusiast Akiyuki, this one with Strain Wave Gearing. Akiyuki explains: Strain wave gearing consists of three components: a wave generator, a flex s...

ChainFORM, robot modules that can transform

Can one system of tiny robo-modules attached together in a line transform into multiple tools, interfaces, and creative opportunities? This is ChainFORM from a team at MIT Media Lab's Tangible Media Group, a hardware ...

Curious Contraptions by automata artist Paul Spooner

Via the new Curious Contraptions exhibition at San Francisco's Exploratorium, meet artist and mechanic Paul Spooner. Within a community of British makers, Spooner created over 40 whimsical kinetic sculptures for The C...

Building Art Machines with LEGO Technic pieces

From The Tinkering Studio located at San Francisco's Exploratorium, enjoy these pattern making art machines built with LEGO Technic beams, gears, and pins. The Tinkering team wrote up a quick art machines experiment g...