Topic: engineering

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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...

Magnetic fields make this tiny robot roll, jump, swim, and wriggle

This very small elastic strip is a robot that can walk, roll, jump, swim, and wriggle like a worm. Infused with magnetic particles, it responds to the strength and direction of magnetic fields surrounding it. As scien...

The Engineering of the Drinking Bird

How is a drinking bird like a heat engine? In this video from Engineer Guy Bill Hammack, we can see how this famous drinking/dipping bird toy "exploits a temperature difference to convert heat energy to a pressure dif...

LEGO Mindstorm mecanum wheel vehicles by Yoshihito Isogawa

Mecanum wheels, also known as Ilon wheels for their inventor Bengt Erland Ilon, are wheels designed to move a vehicle in any direction. Japanese pro LEGO builder Yoshihito Isogawa has been building vehicles with diffe...

Red Ball Adventure, a chain reaction marble run on a pegboard wall

Follow a little red ball through this super fun pegboard wall mounted adventure. Inspired by Biisuke Ball and Magnets and Marbles, two instant internet video classics, YouTuber Steve Price of Sprice Machines created t...

A fully functioning Rubik’s Cube made from real ice

This fully functioning Rubik's Cube was made from ice by professional puzzle maker Tony Fisher... eight corner pieces and twelve edge pieces of solid ice, along with six center pieces made from ice, plastic, and metal...

The Silver Swan, an 18th century automaton at the Bowes Museum

An automaton like no other in the world, The Silver Swan floats upon a flowing glass stream and catches a beautifully crafted silver fish while its music box plays. The action lasts for around 40 seconds, a daily afte...

The Courage To Invent: A NASA Roboticist Tells Her Story

When educator, researcher, and innovator Dr. Ayanna Howard was a kid, she decided that she wanted to invent robots. When she grew up, she made that dream come true with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and a job at N...

How does a bowling alley work?

How do the bowling pins at a bowling alley get set up so quickly and efficiently after you've bowled them over with your bowling ball? Ask Matt Bowlin, a Boise State University student and a pinsetter mechanic. In thi...

Cycling, a LEGO Technic creation by Yoshihito Isogawa

A round yellow track made from LEGO's circular gear rack, also referred to as four 'banana' gears, spins as a bicycle rider rides inside of it. This cycling creation was built by Japanese pro LEGO builder Yoshihito Is...

Sounding Shetland’s recently restored Sumburgh Head Foghorn

See what it takes to sound the foghorn at Sumburgh Lighthouse on Shetland Island in Scotland. In the video above, lighthouse engineer Brian Johnson starts up the three Diesel Kelvin engines, powering the compressors t...

Lisa Winter, Robot Builder

When Lisa was 10, she built Doughboy, her first robot. For her, it’s all in the family — her father’s a robot builder and her mother collects them. But she really got hooked when her father came home from a Robots War...

Automata artist Matt Smith and his Curious Contraptions

Born in 1965, Matt Smith spent about six weeks at the Falmouth School of Art before deciding he would rather spend his time "making silly things." He began making automata in 1980 and, in 1986, formed the Fourteen Bal...

Atlas robot jumps and backflips

The last time we saw Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot, it was lifting boxes and being shoved around, a demonstration of its increasingly strong balancing technologies. In the video above, Atlas shows off its stunning jump...

COS & Snarkitecture’s Loop, a 400 meter marble run in Seoul

A follow up to their 2014 interactive marble run installation and their viral ball pit installation The Beach, New York-based art and architecture team Snarkitecture has partnered with fashion brand COS to create 400 ...

Don’t put any coins in this cardboard coin box

Don't put any coins in this coin box. If you do, it may fall apart... or pop apart! YouTuber まこっちノート (Makkochi Note) created this pensive looking coin box from cardboard, cloth, felt, rubber band, string, and s...

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 ...

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