Topic: inventions

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The powder that can turn sludge into clean drinking water

When people don't have access to clean drinking water, they can become ill or worse from water-borne bacteria and viruses, disease-causing microorganisms, and other pollutants. In DRINKING NASTY SWAMP WATER (to save t...

Harvesting water from thin air

Can we harvest water from landscapes that are famous for their arid climate? Evelyn Wang and Omar Yaghi, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of California, Berkeley respectively, create...

Mycelium packaging, a biodegradable alternative to styrofoam

Styrofoam makes up 25% of our landfills in the U.S. That is insane. We may only use it for a day or a week to ship a package, but it stays in our environment for thousands of years. I think I've come up with an altern...

How is duct tape made?

What is duct tape and why is it so strong? And is it duct tape or duck tape? From Insider, go inside a busy factory to see how layers of rubber for adhesive, a cotton cloth middle, and a backing made from polyethylene...

Bayuble: Water-soluble fruit stickers

What do you do with the little fruit sticker from your apple? Do you put it in the trash or collect them? They can't be used again and "they're a major problem in composting facilities," so what can we do about this b...

An accidental toy inventor’s shapeshifting designs

What if we could make objects transform in the same way a flower unfolds from its bud? This is what designer, Harvard professor, and accidental toy inventor Chuck Hoberman is trying to figure out. His work, ranging fr...

Gitanjali Rao: Finding solutions to real problems

Colorado seventh-grader Gitanjali Rao wants to find solutions to real problems, so when she learned about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan on the news, she wanted to help. From Rookie Mag: After coming across a...

How can bananas make music?

If you've ever wondered how musical circuit boards like the Makey Makey Invention Kit or the Ototo experimental PCB-based synthesizer work, this video from BBC Earth Lab breaks down the science. Sound artist and d...

iCub, IIT’s teleoperated robot toddler

iCub is a toddler-sized open-source robot by the Dynamic Interaction Control Lab at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT). See the iCub robot walk across the lab and interact with a toy in the September 2018 video...

The Shoe-Tying Robot

What might five mechanical engineering students create with two motors, Arduino, and a $600 budget? How about a shoe tying machine? Winning an annual design competition with Japan's Meijo University, University of...

The Uminami Strandbeest

A new design that hearkens to Theo Jansen's original kinetic structures from the early 1990s, the PVC tube-constructed Uminami Strandbeest doesn't get sand into its joints and requires no lubrication to move smoothly....

A pinned insect manipulator (IMp), the Natural History Museum’s LEGO invention

When you're an entomologist who's trying to help digitize insect specimens—studying them, comparing their details with other insects, and capturing multiple images of them from all angles—it can be a challenge to use ...

Disney Imagineering’s autonomous robot stunt doubles

To level up the animatronic characters in their parks around the globe, Disney Imagineering has created autonomous robot stunt doubles that can perform "extreme aerial maneuvers 60 feet in the air, making real-time de...

3D-printed structures that shape-shift with magnetic microparticles

These small, soft 3D-printed structures can shape-shift—expand, contract, wrinkle up, roll, and move about—thanks to the magnetic microparticles within their silicone-based rubber bodies. This is the latest iteration ...

These tiny origami robot transformers use magnetic fields to walk, roll, sail, and glide

This small cube can transform into a walking, wheeling, boating, or gliding bot with the help of origami exoskeletons that fold around it to create a new form and function. These are tiny shape-shifting robots from re...

The Jankó keyboard, an 1882 replacement for the traditional piano layout

The Jankó keyboard is a musical keyboard layout for a piano designed by Paul von Jankó in 1882. It was designed to overcome two limitations on the traditional piano keyboard: the large-scale geometry of the keys (stre...

Liquid Printed Pneumatics: 3D printing stretchy silicone structures

Imagine 3D printing a balloon of sorts, a stretchy material that can expand or contract with the air that's pumped into it. MIT’s Self-Assembly Laboratory, in collaboration with BMW, has developed a new way to print s...

A Visual History of Light, animated

400,000 years ago, humans and Neanderthals created fire. This ignited a relationship between people and photons that changed the course of mankind—and continues to evolve to this day. Take a tour through the visual hi...

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