By Zach and Kelly Weinersmith
at 10:44 AM Oct 30 2017

Thanks to recent advances in robotics, computing, and other technologies, a small but growing number of scientists and engineers think robot-made housing might finally be possible. In fact, not only is it possible, it may be far better. Robotic construction may increase the speed of construction, improve its quality, and lower its price.

Sarah Fecht
at 11:22 AM Apr 7 2017

Forensic scientists are trying to understand what tears and distortions in the fabric around a stab wound can say about the knife type, angle of attack, and stabbing technique that caused the wound. But the patterns have been difficult to work out, partly because researchers have had to do most of their laboratory experiments by hand, manually stabbing different fabric swatches. But inconsistencies and human error are unavoidable. So a team of forensic scientists and engineers invented a stabbing machine to help standardize this type of research.

David Hambling
at 21:12 PM Sep 10 2014

Atmospheric Dive Suits (ADS) are required for dives below three hundred feet. The ADS is a human-shaped hard shell enclosing diver so they can breathe air at normal pressure. ADS become more sophisticated in some ways over the last century, but they still have primitive lobster-like claws called prehensors rather than hands.

Francie Diep
at 09:56 AM Apr 15 2014

Update, 4/14/14: The SpaceX launch that was supposed to bring Robonaut 2 its legs has been postponed. The Falcon 9 rocket has a helium leak, NASA tweeted. R2 responded to the news on Twitter:

Erik Sofge
at 03:22 AM Mar 13 2014
Tech // 

Looking back, Google’s emergence as a robotics powerhouse seems obvious—and inevitable. First came the scattered hires of roboticists and the release of self-driving cars into Bay Area traffic. Then, the search giant reportedly bought two humanoid HUBO robots from South Korean university KAIST. But it wasn’t until December’srevelation that Google had acquired eight robotics companies—including Boston Dynamics, maker of BigDog, WildCat and a stableof other astonishing Pentagon-funded bots—that it became clear: Google means to build robots.

Francie Diep
at 03:00 AM Jun 26 2013
Robots // 

We've seen robots with wheels, robots with legs, and even robots with whegs. We've seen snakebots that use a creepy combination of undulation and grip to shimmy and swim. Now one research team has come up an innovative new robot with yet another way of getting around. They've made a plastic sphere with a mechanism inside to propel it like a hamster in a ball.

Nadia Cheng as told to Flora Lichtman
at 01:00 AM Aug 18 2012
Tech // 

Our 35 centimeter long robotic elephant trunk has five segments, each made of a silicone membrane with an embedded metal spring that acts like an exoskeleton. The segments are filled with dry coffee grounds and each is vacuum-controlled separately. When coffee grounds are loosely packed, they're in a liquid-like state. When they're vacuum-packed, they transition into a solid-like state.

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