Topic: inventions

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The Great Stalacpipe Organ deep in Luray Caverns

Not far from Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, deep in the damp Luray Caverns, is a giant lithophone -- a pipeless organ that strikes 37 stalactites with solenoid-actuated rubber mallets in order to produce 37 beau...

The Foldscope – A Paper Microscope that Costs $1

To help make microscopes as accessible and as sturdy as pencils, Stanford University biophysicist Manu Prakash created an ultra-low-cost origami-based microscope. He was inspired by a 2011 visit to a Thailand clinic w...

Madeline the Robot Tamer

Allowing people to easily direct industrial robot actions through human movement, researcher, designer, and educator Madeline Gannon developed a gesture-based communication software, Quipt, as an artist-in-residence a...

Climate Change 101 with Bill Nye + solutions great and small

What is climate change, what causes it, and how do we mitigate its effects? Bill Nye summarizes Climate Change 101 in concert with National Geographic's Climate Change issue and COP21, the December 2015 Paris Climate ...

How does a retractable ballpoint click pen work?

Click. Click. The two clicks that you hear when pressing the top button on a retractable ballpoint 'click pen' are a key to understanding the mechanics happening inside of it: A rotation, extension, and lock of the sp...

How to make a DIY ‘drone’ with balloons & a fishing rod

How do you get a bird's eye view of the surrounding landscape when you don't have an quadcopter or drone? In this episode of Earth Unplugged, Sam Hume cobbles together his own 'drone' for less then £50 (around $76). S...

Can Namib Desert beetles help us solve our drought problems?

Can we pull enough water out of the air to sustain drought-stricken places around the planet? It might help to Think Like A Tree... or a Namib Desert Beetle called the Stenocara gracilipes, who harvests water from the...

Orizuru, a remote controlled origami crane that can fly

A super lightweight, flying symbol of peace, this RC origami crane is made from paper, carbon tubes, 3D-printed nylon filament, and an energy-efficient microcomputer. Its wingspan is 27.6 inches (70 cm), and only weig...

Nat & Lo’s 20% Project – Behind the scenes at Google

At Google, there's a side project/perk/philosophy called "20% time" that encourages employees to spend one day a week working on their own Google-focused ideas and inventions. Googlers Natalie Hammel and Lorraine Yurs...

Exploring the surface of a comet or asteroid with Hedgehog

When you're exploring a comet or asteroid, you've got to contend with a microgravity environment and some seriously rugged terrain, two huge challenges for a traditional rover. Enter Hedgehog, a jump, spin, and tumble...

Step into the Page – Disney animator Glen Keane draws in VR

This is what it's like to draw in virtual reality (VR) -- immersive 3D simulations driven by stereoscopic headsets, additional handheld controls, and a wide range of newly invented software. With VR, not only can you ...

Flying The Swarm – An aerial multirotor “super drone” vehicle

With 54 counter-rotation propellers in a hexagonal arrangement around a single seat, this buzzing aerial "super drone" vehicle was built and tested by a man named Paul, according to a moment of shouting in the video. ...

Ferrolic – A ferrofluid clock prototype by Zelf Koelman

Watch ferromagnetic fluid travel across a blank surface like living creatures: undulating forward, dancing rhythmically, blobbing together in organic shapes to digitally display the current time. Ferrolic, a ferroflui...

The Story of Light – Future Impossible by Bell Labs

This story begins with one little text message from New York to Shanghai, a trip that takes just 1/20th of a second. "That's the time it takes light to traverse 10,000 kilometers." And that's what happens millions and...

A prosthetic system that lets kids make their own LEGO robot limbs

What if you could reimagine prosthetics in a way that lets kids design and make their own prosthetic robot limbs? When IDEO industrial designer Carlos Arturo Torres was a student at UMEA Institute of Design, he asked ...

Can A Thousand Tiny Swarming Robots Outsmart Nature?

How might robotic engineers program a swarm of robots to accomplish tasks together based on self-organizing behaviors? Harvard research scientist Michael Rubenstein was working on that challenge when he designed Kilob...

An animated ode to curiosity, exploration, discovery, & creativity

This stop motion animation by Arts University Bournemouth's Georgina Venning brings visual life to the words of London-based author Ian Leslie. The narration is from a talk based on Leslie's book Curious: The Desire t...

What’s an Engineer? + The Engineering Process – Crash Course Kids

In these two Crash Course Kids episodes, Sabrina Cruz explains how engineers design and build things to solve specific problems, like connecting two separate land masses with a bridge, or communicating with people who...

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