Hydrogen fuel cells offer plenty of promise as an alternative fuel source for everything from cars to generators — but they remain expensive, complicated and mostly rare. It turns out that a deep sea ecosystem already uses such portable fuel cells, in a manner of speaking.
Cities can only do so much to improve bicyclists’ safety — bike lanes and automatic traffic light sensors are great, but motorists are really the ones who have to pay attention for bike riders to be safe. An intrepid mechanical engineer has one solution: Make bike lights as obvious as car lights.
A bipedal robot developed at the University of Michigan can run with a human-like gait, the fastest-ever robot with knees. Feedback algorithms are helping Mabel, a headless robot with impressive gams, to keep its balance as it runs in a round pen.
An increasingly pale six-member crew on a fake mission to Mars has just reached a new landmark: 438 days in isolation. The streak beats the record held by someone who actually spent that time in space, former Mir space station resident Valeri Polyakov.
If you have a smartphone, odds are you've experienced those few seconds of horror after your precious (and pricey) gadget slips out of your hands. You flail and grab, arms akimbo, in a vain attempt to save your phone from certain destruction — or at least certain scratching. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.
Not content to let his phone suffer, and apparently not a fan of cases, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had another idea: An autonomous airbag or propulsion system that can safeguard a phone.
After years of development and military funding setbacks, defense contractor Lockheed Martin is finally ready to debut its maple seed-inspired drone. The one-winged, one-foot-long SAMARAI drone just flew a test flight for the Associated Press ahead of its official unveiling at an unmanned vehicle conference next week.
[Updated 2:25 p.m.]Honda sent us an e-mail saying the Asahi Shimbun report is "speculative." "Although Honda hopes that ASIMO will someday be a helper to people, at this point the robot is solely a research and design project," a Honda spokeswoman said.
Someday soon, hospital patients won’t be hooked up to wires and monitors -- instead, electronic patches will be temporarily tattooed onto their bodies. Doctors will be able to monitor their vital signs without poking and prodding, and patients wearing neck patches will even be able to communicate with robots, who will translate throat muscle movements into simple speech.
A new type of X-ray microscope — or more appropriately, nanoscope — is another big breakthrough in the world of imaging the small. It computes images rather than glimpsing them directly, allowing scientists to see details at the nanoscale.