Topic: problem solving

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How A Children’s Toy Led To An Essential Medical Device

"We were out in a primary health center talking to health care workers [in Uganda] and we found a centrifuge used as a doorstop because there's no electricity." The workers said that they really needed a powerful cent...

Catching fog to help combat Peru’s water shortage

Along the foggy coasts of Peru, where millions of people don't have access to clean water, Abel Cruz Gutiérrez helps catch 200 to 350 liters (around 50 to 100 gallons) of water per day with each 'fog catcher' he sets ...

Can you solve the fish riddle?

As the cargo director on the maiden voyage of the S.S. Buoyant, you’ve agreed to transport several tanks containing the last specimens of an endangered fish species to their new aquarium. Unfortunately, the boat is ba...

The power of creative constraints – TED Ed

Imagine you were asked to invent something new. It could be whatever you want, made from anything you choose, in any shape or size. That kind of creative freedom sounds so liberating, doesn’t it? Or ... does it? if yo...

Chaser, the Border Collie that can understand 1022 words (or more)

Border Collies are known to be super smart and disciplined dogs that can take detailed verbal commands while herding sheep and performing other helpful tasks. How many verbal commands can they understand? This demonst...

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...

Can you solve the hardest logic puzzle ever created?

You've crash landed on an alien planet. The only way to get home is to give the correct artifacts to the planet's three alien overlords: Tee, Eff, and Arr. The challenge: Which alien overlord is which? You can fin...

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...

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...

Goffin’s cockatoos try to create tools to reach a treat

Are cockatoos as smart as a human 3 year old? Watch these four Goffin's cockatoos attempt to create their own tools from a twig, larchwood, cardboard, and beeswax, an experiment by researchers from the University of V...

What’s the fastest way to alphabetize your bookshelf?

You work at the college library. You’re in the middle of a quiet afternoon when suddenly, a shipment of 1,280 books arrives. The books are in a straight line, but they're all out of order, and the automatic sorting sy...

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 ...

Can bumblebees teach each other to pull a string?

This worker bumblebee has been taught that if she pulls the string, she'll be able to get to the artificial blue flower's sucrose solution center. Scientists from the Bee Behavioural and Sensory Ecology Lab at Queen M...

A Slaton Co-op Gin truck easily flips 20,000lbs of cotton

Cotton may look like a cloud, but an eight foot or 2.44 meter square cotton bale is heavy: around 5,000lbs. When you put one (or four) in your truck, it's probably best that the bales don't roll around on their sides,...

Can you solve the frog riddle? – TED Ed

You’re stranded in a rainforest, and you’ve eaten a poisonous mushroom. To save your life, you need an antidote excreted by a certain species of frog. Unfortunately, only the female frog produces the antidote. The mal...

Is this the largest Rubik’s Cube in the world?

British puzzle maker and collector Tony Fisher might have made the largest functional 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube in the world. It measures 1.56 meters (5.11 foot) on each side, weighs 100 kilos (220 lbs), and can be solved by...

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