zerostatereflex:

Squishy Robots

"A new phase-changing material built from wax and foam developed by researchers at MIT is capable of switching between hard and soft states."

MIT researchers are trying to change the paradigm of your typical robot by mimicking organic substances. The idea is that the robot should be soft to conform to a particular environment, and interact with humans, though rigid enough to actually do a procedure. They can achieve this by applying heat at particular points to deform the object, then applying coolness to make the object rigid again. 

"Robots built from this material would be able to operate more like biological systems with applications ranging from difficult search and rescue operations, squeezing through rubble looking for survivors, to deformable surgical robots that could move through the body to reach a particular point without damaging any of the organs or vessels along the way."

The last gif is a example of bendable articulation. :D 

I really want some of this material in our lab.

skunkbear:

The human baby (Donald) and the chimpanzee baby (Gua) were both raised as humans by their biological/adopted father Winthrop Niles Kellogg.  Kellogg was a comparative psychologist fascinated by the interplay between nature and nurture, and he devised a fascinating (and questionably ethical) experiment to study it:

Suppose an anthropoid were taken into a typical human family at the day of birth and reared as a child. Suppose he were fed upon a bottle, clothed, washed, bathed, fondled, and given a characteristically human environment; that he were spoken to like the human infant from the moment of parturition; that he had an adopted human mother and an adopted human father.

First, Kellogg had to convince his pregnant wife he wasn’t crazy:

 …the enthusiasm of one of us met with so much resistance from the other that it appeared likely we could never come to an agreement upon whether or not we should even attempt such an undertaking.

She apparently gave in, because Donald and Gua were raised, for nine months, as brother and sister. Much like Caesar in the “Planet of the Apes” movies, Gua developed faster than her “brother,” and often outperformed him in tasks. But she soon hit a cognitive wall, and the experiment came to an end. (Probably for the best, as Donald had begun to speak chimpanzee.)

You can read more about Kellogg’s experiment, its legacy, and public reaction to it here.

asapscience:

Excellent advice from (arguably) the coolest physicist to have ever lived, Richard Feynman: you don’t have to be a genius to want to study science, you just have to work hard!
Edit: just realized the initial quote reads: “ordinary” rather than “normal” — our apologies for the screw up! 
Photo via Vice, quote via whats-out-there

asapscience:

Excellent advice from (arguably) the coolest physicist to have ever lived, Richard Feynman: you don’t have to be a genius to want to study science, you just have to work hard!

Edit: just realized the initial quote reads: “ordinary” rather than “normal” — our apologies for the screw up! 

Photo via Vice, quote via whats-out-there

World’s largest earthquake damper

A tuned mass damper, also known as a harmonic absorber, is a device mounted in structures to reduce the amplitude of mechanical vibrations. Their application can prevent discomfort, damage, or outright structural failure. They are frequently used in power transmission, automobiles, and buildings.(source:Wikipedia)

This 728 tons steel pendulum is installed in one of the world’s tallest buildings, the taipei 101 in Taiwan. It helps stabilize the building in case of strong winds and earthquakes, through simple mechanics, when the building moves in a direction it swings in the opposite direction reducing movement by 40%. You can understand how it works by looking at the small GIF image.

It cost $4 million to install the huge damper in the skyscraper but architects and engineers said it had to be done. It spans across 4 of the building’s stories and it was assembled on site because it couldn’t be lifted by a crane, due to its enormous weight.

(Source: odditycentral.com, via civilengineeringworld)

fanmixco:

In 1958, Jack Kilby demonstrated the first integrated circuit (this is considered an IEEE milestone). Since then, microchip performance has followed the observations of Moore’s law. What that means is today’s chips are 4.3 billion times more powerful than Kilby’s first revolutionary circuit.

fanmixco:

In 1958, Jack Kilby demonstrated the first integrated circuit (this is considered an IEEE milestone). Since then, microchip performance has followed the observations of Moore’s law. What that means is today’s chips are 4.3 billion times more powerful than Kilby’s first revolutionary circuit.