Inspired by jellyfish, researchers have created an electronic skin that is transparent, stretchable, touch-sensitive, and repairs itself in both wet and dry conditions. The novel material has wide-ranging uses, from water-resistant touch screens to soft robots aimed at mimicking biological tissues.
Mathematicians recently discovered a lot of new, powerful geometries involved in frilly surfaces. They developed the mathematics to describe these surfaces -- inflected nonsmooth surfaces, which change the direction in which they bend -- and the combination of new geometry insights and age-old slugs might just be the right combination for a new generation of flexible, energy-efficient soft-bodied robots.
Researchers have created tiny functional, remote-powered, walking robots, developing a multistep nanofabrication technique that turns a 4-inch specialized silicon wafer into a million microscopic robots in just weeks. Each one of a robot's four legs is just under 100-atoms-thick, but powered by laser light hitting the robots' solar panels, they propel the tiny robots. The researchers are now working on smart versions of the robots that could potentially make incredible journeys in the human body.
An interface system that uses augmented reality technology could help individuals with profound motor impairments operate a humanoid robot to feed themselves and perform routine personal care tasks such as scratching an itch and applying skin lotion. The web-based interface displays a 'robot's eye view' of surroundings to help users interact with the world through the machine.
Researchers have created a quantum circuit that enables them to listen to the weakest radio signal allowed by quantum mechanics. This new quantum circuit opens the door to possible future applications in areas such as radio astronomy and medicine (MRI). It also enables researchers to do experiments that can shed light on the interplay between quantum mechanics and gravity.
In January 2019, scientists working off the tip of southern Chile got their first live look at what might be a new species of killer whale. Genetic samples will help determine whether this animal, with its distinctly different color pattern and body shape, is indeed new to science.
Researchers have developed a simple method that could turn ordinary semiconducting materials into quantum machines -- superthin devices marked by extraordinary electronic behavior that could help to revolutionize a number of industries aiming for energy-efficient electronic systems -- and provide a platform for exotic new physics.
The latest data from the giant planets has sent researchers back to the drawing board. Cassini orbited Saturn for 13 years before its dramatic final dive into the planet's interior, while Juno has been orbiting Jupiter for two and a half years; the data collected has been 'invaluable but also confounding,' said one of the researchers.