If you’re working on a rocket destined for Mars, Google’s new Science Journal app might be a bit limited. But if you’re an aspiring scientist, the free app will turn an Android smartphone or tablet into laboratory full of experiments by grabbing data from the device’s various sound, light, and motion sensors.
The easiest way to make a robot as dexterous and capable as a human being is to simply let a human control it. That’s how Disney Research’s new telepresence robot works, but with improved hydraulics on board, it’s now capable of duplicating a human’s motions with remarkable precision—to the point where it can even be…
According to MIT, Americans swallow over 3,500 button-sized batteries every year. Say what? But instead of educating the public about not swallowing random crap, researchers at the school want people to swallow a new folding origami robot they’ve developed that’s designed to retrieve foreign objects, among other tasks.
Look around and count the number of screens surrounding you. You’ll probably run out of fingers before you’re done, but why stop there? Researchers at UC Berkeley have come up with a way to weave color-changing threads into fabrics, turning even garments into yet another display.
Guy Gavriel Kay has carved out a unique niche, writing fantasy novels that take real-life historical settings and transforming them into something new and different. His latest novel, Children of Earth and Sky, takes place in a version of 16th century Europe that’s under threat from a version of the Ottoman Empire,…
Getting a robot to balance and walk on two feet is a massive challenge, as the DARPA Challenge revealed. But it turns out it’s a little less tricky when you focus on just the legs, as the Alphabet-owned SCHAFT’s newest bipedal creation demonstrated by confidently walking out on stage at the New Economic Summit going…
Could this be the ‘killer app’ for 3D printers that finally makes them a must-have device for every home? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute have found a way to use 3D printers to create realistic-looking hair, bristles, and other fibers.
The Ig Nobel awards ceremony is a marvelous spectacle encrusted with tradition. But if you really want to know how the winners did their work and why, you need to go to the Ig informal lectures, held at MIT the Saturday after the awards.
There’s a lot of philosophical debate over what it actually means to “be happy,” but if you’re looking for concrete answers, it can leave you wanting. Here’s what scientific research says happiness is, and—perhaps more importantly—what it isn’t.
In the United States, the ability to incorporate the works of others in your research is protected by fair use. In other countries, you have to ask permission. A new study indicates that the restrictive laws of many European countries means they risk falling behind in data mining research.
You know that moment where you feel like a good breeze could lift your feet from the ground? You lean into it a little. You might even unbutton your coat to let the wind fill the cloth.
Do violent video games make people more aggressive? Politicians and pundits have been asking that question for years now, and although everyone thinks they know the answer, scientific studies have yet to come up with results that satisfy even the most basic probing.
Video games look really good when there are vehicles moving, guns firing and buildings exploding. Something they don’t do as well are the little things. Like smoking, kissing, or...putting on a pair of pants.
For all your medieval world-building needs: Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources. Knightwine is particularly inspiring. [via Metafilter]
Researchers have discovered a material that could break the record for the highest melting point of any substance.
Two weeks ago, Nobel-prize winning cell biologist Tim Hunt created a storm of controversy when he made a comment about how he can’t work with women because he always falls in love with them, or they with him. But why does he think love in the lab is such a problem? Here are four stories of couples who met through…
While I talked with the legendary roboticist Red Whittaker in his lab at Carnegie Mellon, a half-moon shaped remnant of a Lifesaver was resting on his knee. He nibbled on it as we talked about sending autonomous robots to explore the Moon. That’s when he told me about the Moon caves that could be humanity’s future…
For a long time, the only two things that have really separated humans from apes is our ability to make fire and and our propensity towards consuming french fries. Turns out that chimpanzees likely possess both these qualities as well, thanks to a study that claims they have the “desire” to cook.