machines

Showing 64 posts tagged machines

Festo HQ, the engineering team that brought us Aqua Penguins, Aqua Jellyfishdragonfly-inspired BionicOpters, and a robot that flies like a bird can now add Bionic Kangaroo to their list of animal-inspired achievements in technology. From spectrum.ieee.org

BionicKangaroo is able to realistically emulate the jumping behavior of real kangaroos, which means that it can efficiently recover energy from one jump to help it make another jump. Without this capability, kangaroos (real ones) would get very very tired very very quickly, but by using their tendons like elastic springs, the animals can bound at high speeds efficiently for substantial periods of time.

BionicKangaroo emulates this with an actual elastic spring, which partially “charges” the legs on landing.

Bonus fun: wear the corresponding armband and you can control the kangaroo using gestures. Mmmmmmm, biomechanics.

via Gizmodo.

A few marble machines are clickity-clacking in our archives, but never have we seen ones that are designed as laser-cut, flat-packed, wood DIY kits! Hopefully on sale soon from RetroTime.org, a hand cranked Kit2 Marble Machine, above, and a hand cranked Modular Marble Machine - Shield no.2, below: 

There are more kit videos on RetroTime’s YouTube channel.

And in our archives: marble machines and Rube Goldberg machines, including the increasingly-difficult-to-find-on-the-internet Pitagora Suitchi.

via The Awesomer.

Imagine sky writing on the ground using water and a modified tricycle – this is Water Calligraphy Device by French Canadian media artist Nicholas Hanna

Inspired by the water and brush calligraphy of older artists in his local Beijing parks, Hanna converted a Beijing tricycle, called a san lun che, to digitally “paint” (or more accurately drip) Chinese characters onto the sidewalk. The characters write out Dongcheng District Propaganda phrases that are on banners and housing developments in the district.

The trike would catch quite a bit of attention in the streets, as seen in these two 2011 videos by Jonah Kessel. According to Kessel, the tricycle drips:

营造 未成年人健康成长的良好环境
Create a good environment for minors to grow up healthy

文明从脚下起步 奉献从身边做起
Civilization comes from every individual, to contribute from every little thing

树文明新风 做文明市民
Be a civilized citizen and build a civilized new atmosphere for constructing s cultured and civilized city

共建文明城区 共享美好家园
Build a civilized city for everyone to share a beautiful home altogether

做文明有礼北京人 建和谐魅力新东城
Be civilized and polite Beijingers, to build a harmonious charm new Dong Cheng district together

美德贵在坚持 文明重在行动
Virtue shows through long term persistence, civilization reflects by actions

和谐东城 你我共建
Harmonious Dong Cheng District constructed by you and me

建全国文明城区 做东城文明市民
Constructs the national civilized district, to be the civilized citizen of Dong Cheng District

The project was first shown at Beijing Design Week in 2011. Hanna now lives in Los Angeles where he works as an artist and designer.

Related videos in the archives: Robo-rainbow and Osaka City Station’s “water printer” fountain.

This is the battery-powered VC200 “volocopter,” a state-of-the-art helicopter prototype by engineers at German start-up e-volo. From Smithsonian Mag

In the coming year, engineers will continue working on the prototype, which the company boasts will be lighter, safer, quieter and greener than any other helicopter in the world.

That’s because a traditional helicopter uses one rotor to provide lift and a tail rotor to prevent the aircraft from spinning in circles. It maneuvers by changing the pitch of the two rotors. The volocopter has 18 small rotors mounted in a configuration that provides lift without causing the vehicle to spin. It navigates by changing the speed of individual rotors.

e-volo also invented this previously-featured, e-powered multicopter. Related watching: more helicopters, including human-powered ones.