Books

Articles

The TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation introduced millions of people to the idea of a holodeck: an immersive, realistic 3D holographic projection of a complete environment that you could interact with and even touch. In the 21st...

Combining Homer’s addiction to television with Professor Farnsworth’s love for outlandish gadgetry, ingenious fans are taking love for Matt Groening’s content to the next level – and well into the twenty-first century – by 3D printing their own custom...

Scientists from the University of Manchester have developed a material stronger than concrete and suitable for extra-terrestrial construction. The material is made from space dust and the waste body fluids from astronauts. If humanity is to establish permanent colonies...

Réunion, a French island in the western Indian Ocean, is like a marshmallow hovering above the business end of a blowtorch. It sits above one of Earth’s mantle plumes — a tower of superheated rock that ascends from the...

Researchers in the US have developed new indigo dyeing technology that, they say, is an eco-friendly alternative to current methods. Dyeing denim jeans is one of the top sources of pollution within the fashion industry. That is why researchers...

Turn Any Surface Into a Touchscreen

Since the advent of the smartphone, the use of touch to interact with digital content has become ubiquitous. So far though, touchscreens have mainly been limited to pocket-sized devices. Now researchers have come up with a low-cost way to...

In a vast warehouse-style room, two humanoid robots are taking on an obstacle course. Their barrel-shaped torsos, stuffed with processors and batteries, make it look as if they’ve been going to the gym a lot but have neglected leg...

In 2018, the Japanese space agency’s Hayabusa2 probe visited the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu, which occasionally traverses our world’s orbit (but has yet to come dangerously close). It extracted a tiny fragment of that hurtling space rock and in December...

China launched the Gaofen 5 (02) hyperspectral Earth observation satellite on Tuesday as the country races towards carrying out 40 missions in 2021. A Long March 4C rocket lifted off from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center at 11:01 p.m. EDT...

The Eurasian beaver, once a common sight across Europe, had disappeared almost entirely by the end of the 16th century thanks to hunting and river modification for agriculture and engineering. But beavers are making a comeback across the UK...

For stick-on displays, smart bandages, and cheap flexible plastic sensors to really take off, they’ll need some way of storing data for the long-term that can be built on plastic. “In the ecosystem of flexible electronics, having memory options...

Researchers have mass-produced meters of fiber-shaped lithium batteries using standard industrial equipment (Nature 2021, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03772-0). The high-performance fiber batteries pack over 80 times more energy by weight than previous ones. Textiles woven from the batteries safely charged devices...

Robotics Type News Topic A body-powered design that hinders incorrect posture to prevent injury 10 Sep 2021 3 min read SNU Biorobotics Labs exosuit exoskeletons wearables lift-assist device biorobotics New advances in robotics can help push the limits of...

Reachy is an expressive open-source humanoid platform programmable with Python. He is particularly good at interacting with people and manipulating objects.

Scientists have discovered how a single ingredient can create glossy, tasty, melt-in-the-mouth chocolate without having to go through the complex and lengthy tempering process. One of two phospholipids added to cocoa butter or molten chocolate in miniscule amounts promote...

Agility Robotics’ Digit humanoid has been taking a bit of a break from work during the pandemic. Most of what we’ve seen from Agility and Digit over the past year and a half has been decidedly research-y. Don’t get...

China is investigating how to build ultra-large spacecraft that are up to 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) long. But how feasible is the idea, and what would be the use of such a massive spacecraft? The project is part of...

NASA has cut a 10 cent check to space startup Lunar Outpost in the first-ever payment to a company to mine the moon. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson presented Justin Cyrus, CEO of Colorado-based space startup Lunar Outpost, with the...

Biologist Jeff Sikich has worked at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area since 2002. He has dealt with a lot of odd things, including, on one memorable occasion, a call to bring his dart gun to tranquilize what...

The field of automated precision agriculture is based on one concept—autonomous driving technologies that guide vehicles through GPS navigation. Fifteen years ago, when high-accuracy GPS became available for civilian use, farmers thought things would be simple: Put a GPS...

Startup announces technology to enable a 120-trillion-parameter model on the way to brain-scale AI. OK, I thought I was done with preparing for HotChips, having prepared six blogs and three research papers. I was ready to take a few...

We built a robotic chess player with a universal robot UR5e, a 2D camera, and a deep-learning neural network to illustrate what we do at the Mechatronics, Automation, and Control System Lab. More at https://www.macslab.xyz.

When Google Glass debuted almost a decade ago, augmented reality (AR) wearables seemed poised to take off. Smart glasses let users surf the Internet; access maps, calendars, and other apps; and even call up recipes. Users could simultaneously interact...

For generations, Lego bricks have inspired creativity among the young and not so young. But that’s child’s play compared with how the classic toy showed researchers at the University of Akron (UA) a design path to develop high-load-bearing aerogels....

Of the thousands of exoplanets known today, the vast majority are low-mass planets with sizes of 1-4 Earth masses, between the terrestrial planets and ice giants of our Solar System. With no analogs in the Solar System, these planets...

Yesterday’s video from Boston Dynamics showing a pair of Atlas robots doing parkour together is already up to nearly 3 million views, and for good reason. The company continues to push forward the state of the art for dynamic...

At a cafe in Tokyo, Michio Imai greets a customer – but not in person. He is 800 kilometres away in Japan’s Hiroshima city, operating a robot waiter as part of an experiment in inclusive employment. Imai is one...

Deep learning, the artificial-intelligence technology that powers voice assistants, autonomous cars, and Go champions, relies on complicated “neural network” software arranged in layers. A deep-learning system can live on a single computer, but the biggest ones are spread over...

An app that lets people turn their hand-drawn structures into 3D augmented reality molecules has caused excitement among chemists on Twitter. Users say that MolAR is not only instructional but also fun to use. ‘The app provides quick visualisation...

I was en route to meet Groot. Not an imitation Groot conjured with video or those clunky virtual reality goggles. The Walt Disney Company’s secretive research and development division, Imagineering, had promised a walking, talking, emoting Groot, as if...

Tree squirrels are the Olympic divers of the rodent world, leaping gracefully among branches and structures high above the ground. And as with human divers, a squirrel’s success in this competition requires both physical strength and mental adaptability. The...

The maps for US congressional and state legislative races often resemble electoral bestiaries, with bizarrely shaped districts emerging from wonky hybrids of counties, precincts, and census blocks. It’s the drawing of these maps, more than anything—more than voter suppression...

When hackers broke into computers across Israel’s government and tech companies in 2019 and 2020, investigators looked for clues to find out who was responsible. The first evidence pointed directly at Iran, Israel’s most contentious geopolitical rival. The hackers...

Lots of robots use bioinspiration in their design. Humanoids, quadrupeds, snake robots—if an animal has figured out a clever way of doing something, odds are there’s a robot that’s tried to duplicate it. But animals are often just a...

The trailer recently dropped for Jackass Forever, which arrives in October—the next in the series of Jackass movies in which Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, and the rest do some pretty dumb stuff. I mean, these guys aren’t exactly young anymore—but...

Chameleons have long been a symbol of adaptation because of their ability to adjust their iridophores—a special layer of cells under the skin—to blend in with their surroundings. In a new study published today in Nature Communications, researchers from...

It’s a hot summer day, and you’ve been queuing for the better part of two hours. The line inches along agonizingly slowly, and your anticipation ebbs and flows each time you creep ahead or hear the distant screams and...

In April 2021, Bumble, one of the free-flying Astrobee robots aboard the International Space Station, was put to the test to investigate a simulated anomaly. In the simulation, the station’s life support systems detected a high concentration of carbon...

Dan Caselden was up late on November 3, 2018, playing the video game Counter-Strike, when he made astronomy history. Every time he died, he would jump on his laptop to check in on an automated search he was running...

When conditions align perfectly, disaster comes rushing across the Great Plains: A supercell storm, made distinct with its wide, anvil-shaped formation at its top, can unleash hail, lightning and tornadoes. Though the storms are relatively rare, they can last...

Warehouses offer all kinds of opportunities for robots. Semi-structured controlled environments, lots of repetitive tasks, and humans that would almost universally rather be somewhere else. Robots have been doing great at taking over jobs that involve moving stuff from...

Researchers have synthesised a mirror image enzyme that allowed them to constructing the longest ever strand of mirror DNA. The team also demonstrated how this L-DNA could be used as a robust biorthogonal information repository. Louis Pasteur first proposed...

Researchers have created a transient version of metallic water – something that has been predicted to exist only under the crushing pressure inside giant planets and stars – at very low pressure by doping it with electrons from a...

It’s a shame, really. Venus is nearly the same size and mass as Earth. Its terrain is rocky and compacted, like ours. Once, it might have had oceans. NASA is eager to send a mission there. Unfortunately, its surface...

Timing of Olympic races has not always been sophisticated. On April 10, 1896, some 17 runners competed in the very first Olympic marathon. The course ran approximately 40 km, and of the athletes representing five different nations, it was...

Soft Robotics mGrip modular gripping system is a suite of configurable gripper and controller products that enables reliable, high-speed picking of traditionally hard to grasp items in the food processing and consumer packaged goods industries. In this video, we...

Early in 2011, a couple of WIRED colleagues and I were discussing the incredible speed at which the startup scene in London was growing and the sheer number of innovative companies that were being founded. Something tangible was happening....

In the months before the first reports of covid-19 would emerge, a new kind of robot headed to work. Built on years of breakthroughs in deep learning, it could pick up all kinds of objects with remarkable accuracy, making...

Can you spot the differences between these baby squids? Look closely: The ones with light pink eyes and fewer dark speckles (called chromatophores) got a makeover in July 2020 by scientists using the CRISPR-Cas9 geneediting tool. A team of...

NASA’s Curiosity rover has now been exploring Mars for nine years. The car-sized robot launched in November 2011 and touched down inside Mars’ 96-mile-wide (154 kilometers) Gale Crater on the night of Aug. 5, 2012. (The landing occurred on...