MIT's Tangible Media Group has created a shape-shifting block interface, called "Materiable", that can mimic water, sand, rubber and more. By integrating the multi-modal sensation techniques of haptics, the team was able to build a perceptive model for those materials in response to direct manipulation without precise force feedback. "The system can create computationally variable properties of deformable materials that are visually and physically perceivable. In our experiments, users identify three deformable material properties (flexibility, elasticity and viscosity) through direct touch interaction with the shape display and its dynamic movements," said the team. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one that shows how to make a liquid nitrogen-propelled rocket launcher.
James Young, a biological scientist and video game fanatic from London suffered a freak accident while out with friends at age 22. It all began when he lost his step at a London train station, falling between two carriages as the train pulled up, thus suffering injuries that included a severed left leg below the knee, collapsed lungs, a fractured skull, and cracks along his spine. Though surgeons attempted to save his left arm by removing dead and infected tissue, it had to be amputated. Approximately 4-years later, Young was fitted with a futuristic limb, designed by prosthetics artist Sophie De Oliveira Barata and game developer Konami. This limb uses electronic sensors to detect movements in his shoulder muscles, giving him full control over the battery-powered hand and arm. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny school pictures gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a crazy cheese puff machine gun.
MIT researchers have developed tiny robots made from dried pig intestine that come in the form of a pill, which dissolves in stomach acid. Once ingested, it unfolds like a musical instrument, and moves around with a "stick-slip" motion, using the friction of its surroundings to propel itself forward. The robot contains a magnet that allows it to be controlled from the outside using another magnet. Continue reading for a video and more information.
We have seen the future of smart devices, and it includes this ultra flexible electronic skin. Created by researchers from the University of Tokyo, this ultra-thin film is basically a wearable LED display. A practical application for early prototypes include fitness tracking for data such as blood oxygen level, heart rate and even calories burned. The film itself measures only two micrometers thick and is made from layers of organic and inorganic materials, enabling transparent electrodes to be attached, while preventing the passage of water vapor and oxygen. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one showing what happens when a flamethrower takes on a fire hose.
This may look like an optical illusion at first, but they're just bismuth crystals. This brittle metal, with a white, silver-pink hue, often occurs in its native form, sporting an iridescent oxide tarnish showing many colors from yellow to blue. The spiral, stair-stepped structure of bismuth crystals is the result of a higher growth rate around the outside edges than on the inside edges. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny school pictures gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of an incredible machine from the 1800s making nectar drop candy.
Astronomers have just discovered three habitable Earth-sized worlds in the 'Goldilocks' zone of a nearby star, called "Trappist-1", located just 40-light-years away. This star is much cooler and more reddish in color than our sun, while being barely larger than Jupiter in the constellation of Aquarius. "The planets are 20 to 100 times closer to their star than Earth is to the sun. This is more similar in scale to the system of Jupiter's moons than the solar system," said Michael Gillon of the University of Liege, Belgium. Continue reading for another video and more information.
University of California, Irvine researchers used gold and some new-fangled materials to create a nanowire battery that maintains power levels even after hundreds of thousands of charging cycles. Normal rechargeable lithium ion batteries lose charge over time, while this new nanowire-based battery material endured a 3-month testing period - charged 200,000 times - and didn't show any loss in power capacity. Continue reading for a video and more information.
Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman believes that our reality is just an illusion being generated in real-time, similar to The Matrix, but far more complex. "Neuroscientists tell us that they are creating, in real time, all the shapes, objects, colors, and motions that we see. It feels like we're just taking a snapshot of this room the way it is, but in fact, we're constructing everything that we see. We don't construct the whole world at once. We construct what we need in the moment," said Hoffman during a TED Talk. Continue reading for another video and more information.
Stephen Hawking announced today that he's partnered with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to launch project "Breakthrough Starshot". This $100-million endeavor will utilize 'nanocraft' flying technology, or in other words, sails pushed by beams of light through the universe. Their goal is a 20-year mission to reach the Alpha Centauri star system, located 25-trillion miles away, in search of intelligent alien life. Continue reading for another video and more information.
Astronomers have discovered a new planet with three suns, KELT-4Ab, one in which they call a "hot Jupiter", or a huge gas planet that orbits closer to its parent planet than Mercury does to our Sun. The KELT-4 system itself is located only 680 light-years away, enabling researchers to probe the system further for potential answers as to why it does exist. The ESA's Gaia satellite will also study the system and measure the orbiting paths of the three suns, providing insight into how KELT-BC could have interacted with KELT-4Ab to propel it closer to the parent star. Continue reading for one more picture and additional information.