Topic: engineering

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Tantalus Mackerel and a School of Fish automata

Automata and kinetic sculpture artist Chris Fitch uses engineering to create repeated moments in time. Named for the Greek mythological figure Tantalus, the fish-themed piece above, Tantalus Mackerel, follows a frustr...

These tiny origami robot transformers use magnetic fields to walk, roll, sail, and glide

This small cube can transform into a walking, wheeling, boating, or gliding bot with the help of origami exoskeletons that fold around it to create a new form and function. These are tiny shape-shifting robots from re...

Liquid Printed Pneumatics: 3D printing stretchy silicone structures

Imagine 3D printing a balloon of sorts, a stretchy material that can expand or contract with the air that's pumped into it. MIT’s Self-Assembly Laboratory, in collaboration with BMW, has developed a new way to print s...

Theo Jansen’s Animaris Mulus Strandbeest

It has an elephant-like trunk, or perhaps a toucan's beak, that helps stabilize its front. Wind-catching sails extend out from the sides like wings. Its front legs walk quickly and smoothly across the sand while its b...

The Mars Helicopter, NASA’s small autonomous rotorcraft demonstration

Launching in 2020 on the belly of NASA's next Mars Rover, this small rotorcraft will be an autonomous asset from above the Red Planet, taking photos of the landscape and scouting for its rover. The pair are scheduled ...

Origami Changes Everything: Mass-producing an ancient art with 3D printing

Can origami, the art of folded paper, be used to 3D-print parts for our cars, pieces of clothing, art that we display, and other products? Can we build machines that can create patterns based on scans, and then cut, f...

The playful wonderland behind great inventions

Music boxes, automatons, harpsichords, typewriters, flutes, fabric-making machines, modern computers. Explore the playful wonderland behind these great inventions from around the globe, the unnecessary but delightful ...

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...

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Pipe Cleaner Bending Robot

Programmed to bend and curve pipe cleaners at just the right points to make shapes, this LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Pipe Cleaner Bending Robot creates colorful magic wands. The machine was designed and built by prolific pro ...

North Carolina’s Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and Museum

In the small town of Wilson, North Carolina, the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and Museum is attracting visitors from near and far. In the video above, UNC-TV's North Carolina Weekend shows off the 31 restored wind-po...

The Cake Server, a delightfully complex food-themed Rube Goldberg Machine

Rube Goldberg Machines are not only made from a series of imaginative engineering marvels, they're also well-known for being overly complex in comparison to the task achieved. In this intricate machine by Joseph Hersc...

Building the Giant Magellan Telescope, the world’s largest telescope

Underneath the University of Arizona’s football stadium are the beginnings of the Giant Magellan Telescope, set to be the largest optical telescope in the world. The Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory is the only plac...

Building a prosthetic arm with parts from a LEGO Technic Air Race Jet

David Aguilar has built with LEGO since he was a kid. At nine years old, he built a prosthetic LEGO arm to augment his underdeveloped right arm, but the LEGO pieces weren't strong enough to meet the needs of his desig...

Falcon Heavy & Starman, a montage of SpaceX’s historic test flight

On February 6, 2018, SpaceX successfully launched a heavy-lift rocket called Falcon Heavy, making it "the world's most powerful booster since NASA's Saturn V." For dummy payload, a Tesla Roadster belonging to SpaceX f...

The longest fidget spinner spin ever + the world’s smallest fidget spinner

With a wheel-shaped fidget spinner that was specially made by 50 people at Mitsubishi over the course of six months, a Guinness World Record was set for Longest Duration Spinning a Fidget Spinner on One Hand. The acco...

The Harlem Globetrotters’ Rube Goldberg Trick Shot Machine

This basketball, simple machine, and mechanism-filled Rube Goldberg Machine is powered by the work of students from Georgia Tech's colleges of Industrial Design and Music, and some signature Globetrotters magic courte...

The rise and fall of the Inca empire

It was the western hemisphere's largest empire ever, with a population of nearly 10 million subjects. Yet within 100 years of its rise in the fifteenth century, the Inca Empire would be no more. What happened? With...

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...

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