Topic: innovation

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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...

A Fold Apart: Origamist Robert Lang’s Incredible Paper Creations

Twenty five years ago, physicist Robert Lang worked at NASA, where he researched lasers. He has also garnered 46 patents on optoelectronics and even wrote a Ph.D. thesis called "Semiconductor Lasers: New Geometries an...

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...

Tents that turn into jackets: Humanitarian fashion by Angela Luna

In 2016, Parsons School of Design graduate Angela Luna designed a utilitarian collection of transformable outerwear to help address the shelter, flotation, and visibility challenges that confront refugees, "people who...

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 ...

The Glass Ribbon Machine

In 1879, Thomas Edison and his research team developed a durable carbon-filament light bulb. In the 1880s and 90s, when glass had to be blown by hand, the skilled Corning glassblowers that Edison hired could produce t...

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...

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...

The toy-inspired Paperfuge, an innovative new tool in healthcare

Bioengineer and Stanford researcher Manu Prakash has developed another inexpensive scientific device. The Paperfuge is a hand-spun, ultra low-cost, paper and string centrifuge that was inspired by the ancient whirligi...

Madeline the Robot Tamer & Mimus

Inventor and designer Madeline Gannon developed a gesture-based robot communication software as an artist-in-residence at Pier 9 in San Francisco. She's now developed something (someone?) new as the next step in her e...

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...

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 ...

The Fungi in Your Future: Mushroom leather, furniture, and more

Mushrooms come in a wide variety of species, they recycle dead plants which helps to create nutrient soil, and they can be turned into food, furniture, packaging, leather, and more. Enter MycoWorks, a team of engineer...

Neil deGrasse Tyson Replies to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

"I got a phone call from the Abraham Lincoln Library Foundation, and they asked me, would I mind composing 272 words of my own reflecting on Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address? I'm going to read you what I wrote..."...

The Rolling Dance Chair, an omnidirectional, hands-free wheelchair

So often, knowing someone who deals with a challenge can help us become more empathetic and more aware of possible solutions for that challenge. Having grown up with a father who she felt was "boxed in" by his manual ...

3D printing ‘hyperelastic bone’ to mend injuries

Hyperelastic bone may be a 3D-printed solution for helping to mend our bones in the future. Cost-effective and customizable, the material is both a "structural element and a scaffold for bone regeneration," as shown i...

Aeroponic vertical farming in Newark, New Jersey

Inside of a former laser tag area in Newark, New Jersey, Aerofarms is growing 250 kinds of leafy greens in huge air and mist-driven vertical farm. This Seeker Stories video shows how their aeroponic technology works: ...

3D-printed Metamaterial Mechanisms

Researchers at the Hasso-Plattner-Institute in Potsdam, Germany are exploring how 3D cell patterns called metamaterials can take on not-seen-in-nature properties based on their shape, geometry, size, orientation, and ...

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