technology

Showing 193 posts tagged technology

This magnetically-controlled micro-robot is in charge of gluing things. That magnetically-controlled micro-robot is in charge of placing carbon rods. Together they might build a small yet strong tiny truss that can hold 1kg (2.2lbs). Sounds like cool robot news, right?

How does 1,000 of these micro-robots working together sound? According to SRI International and DARPA, it sounds (and has been proven) possible. It’s called DiaMagnetic Micro Manipulation. Via re/code

The research powerhouse says the bots can construct lightweight, high-strength structures; handle tiny electrical components; carry out chemistry on a chip; and perform many other manufacturing tasks. Eventually, they expect that the machines, the smallest of which are no thicker than a dime, will even be able to build smaller versions of themselves.

“The vision is to have an army of ants under your control,” said Annjoe Wong-Foy, senior research engineer at the Menlo Park, Calif., institute.

File this under Swarm RoboticsHow does it work? Highly-localized magnetic fields help drive the robots speedily over circuit board surfaces so that they can accomplish their individual tasks.

What would you build with micro-robots?

In the archives: Flight Assembled Architecturea swarm of nano quadrotors, and all kinds of swarms. And for extra fun: Micromachines.

via @themexican.

In a mix of artistry, geometry, and technology, San Francisco-based Earthscape artist Andres Amador creates massive sketches in the beach sand – sometimes geometric, and sometimes more abstract and serendipitous – using rakes and ropes. The designs are temporary; where the waves don’t wash away his work, walking beach visitors and the wind will naturally muddy and dissolve the precise lines.

Amador has become keenly aware of how impermanent his work is, and has embraced nature’s tidal rhythm, starting one hour before low tide and continuing to work until an hour afterward. In this KQED Arts video, he explains: 

People are really… they’re enthralled that i would do something that is destined to wash away. That really strikes a chord with people because really, truly, it’s the story of our lives. Our lives are impermanent, and the tide is unstoppable.

And though this art form is tied directly to nature, Amador makes great use of modern technology. The designs can be both checked and appreciated-in-full from high above the beach using a remote controlled helicopter.

To see more from high above, visit AndresAmadorArts.com or view more photos here.

In the archives, two other incredible beach art videos: One Plastic Beach and Theo Jansen’s wind-fueled Strandbeests.

From KQED.

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.

Shape, a film about design and how it can change our experiences in the spaces that we live. “If for one day you had the power to make your world work better, what would you change?” Presented by Pivot Dublin and Dublin City Council, directed & designed by Johnny Kelly, and written by Scott Burnett. Explore more at MakeShapeChange.com, think design.

Related watching: design.

via Vimeo.

If you’re a two year old, injured snowy owl in need of some new feathers, you’ll be lucky to find yourself at a raptor center like the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota. There, someone like Avian physiologist Lori Arent can perform the modern version of an old falconers’ procedure called imping – when a bird’s damaged flight feathers are replaced with a stronger ones. From National Geographic:

“I have a whole freezer full of harvested feathers, of different types and sizes, and I wanted to choose the right ones for this animal. I picked feathers from a male the same age as this bird and they fit perfectly…” 

She then whittled small sticks of bamboo so that one end poked into the shaft of the new feather and the other into the shaft still attached to the bird (where the burned feathers had been carefully sheared off).

With a little drop of quick-drying epoxy, she cemented each new feather into place. “If attached right, the new feathers are just as effective as the old ones” in letting a bird do all of its aerial maneuvers, she said….

Eventually, the owl will lose the borrowed feathers—in a process called molting—and grow its own new ones.

Snowy owls are amazing animals that travel long distances every year. Watch Snowy Owl Invasion.

And another lucky bird: Rocky the Bald Eagle is released from the Eagle Valley Raptor Center.