Apparently, because we don’t already have enough problem with scooters weaving in and out of traffic, scientists are working on a way for rats to drive around in miniature cars. Yes, these rodents can now literally join the rat race.
Our butts: just like our fingerprints, they’re all unique. And now scientists at Stanford University have developed a prototype ‘smart toilet’ (links to their scientific paper) that can identify an individual based on their unique, um, analprint.
Dreams are weird enough all on their own. So the idea that technology could be used to influence your dreams seems like it could produce even stranger results. Now, researchers from MIT are developing a system that could do just that.
When it comes to robots, most of them are powered by batteries or plug-in electricity, which in turn drive servos or other motors. But if you’re trying to build insect-sized robots, it’s tough for them to get around them without an external power source.
If you really want to stand out at a rave, you dress up in fluorescent colors and then stand under the black lights. But if you want to take your illumination to 11, there’s a new material that could up your visibility even more.
From our smartphones to our laptops to our cars to our kitchen appliances, touchscreens have turned up just about everywhere. But touchscreens are generally limited to flat, squared-off surfaces. Now, a team of engineers at the UK’s University of Bristol are demonstrating a technology that could enable touch-based interfaces on all kinds of surfaces.
Back in the 1990s a team of engineers created a device called the iSmell. This unusual gadget used scent cartridges to simulate a wide variety of aromas, which could be triggered through computer code. The iSmell ultimately failed due to lack of market interest, but I always thought the idea that you could create anything from the smell of hot chocolate to pepperoni pizza just by mixing chemicals was pretty fascinating.
When it comes to telling time with an analog clock, the idea of gear reduction is a very critical piece of the puzzle. Basically, a set of multiple gears work in concert to gradually rotate at slower speeds.
If you live in a house constructed with a wood frame or wooden siding, this is the last thing you ever want to buy. But if your dwelling is made from brick, concrete, stone, metal, or glass, read on…
Do you want to see what termites can do to a piece of wood?
Computer graphics have come a very long way in the past couple of decades, offering up images which are becoming more and more difficult to distinguish from reality. Especially notable are the improvements in physics engines, which allow objects to move and behave more like they do in real life.
When it comes to wall-climbing robots, most of them rely on vacuum suction to make their way up the side of a building. The trick there is that you need a very smooth surface, like glass or marble in order to get a good grip.
Did you ever see the Black Mirror episode called “Arkangel?” Basically, it tells the story of an overly-cautious mother who has a chip implanted in her daughter’s brain so she can track her every movement. But she also upgrades it with a couple of features, like the ability to see everything she sees, and to block out images of anything that might be deemed “shocking.”
Scientists will tell you that no human or animal can accurately predict an impending earthquake before it starts. However, certain animals are far more sensitive to seismic activities than humans. With that in mind, one seismologist has tossed out a wildly impractical but amusing idea for an early earthquake alert system – using cats.
Growing up, I always thought taking a chemistry class would be awesome. I figured that it would be all fun and games making stuff that oozed and blew up. Once I grew up and went to college, I finally took a chemistry class.
When it comes to augmenting the human body with technology, video games and science fiction movies have us dreaming of giant mech-like exosuits, arm-mounted missile launchers and flamethrowers, and superhuman vision and hearing. What we’ve got for now is a robotic tail.