Imaginary creatures rule the universes of various video games, maybe none more notably than the fantastical beasts you can create all by yourself in “Spore.” Ever wonder if your two-headed, seven-eyed four-legged dinosaur-thing would be able to stand up? New software developed at Harvard will make it real for you, making a new computer model and constructing a physical animal-thing with a 3-D printer.
Earlier this year a video of an eerily lifelike robot policing a dystopian landscape sparked Internet mayhem. Seventy thousand people tried to download the clip, crashing the Web site of the Vancouver-based visual-effects company The Embassy. We saw the clip before the crash and, duly impressed, asked Embassy artists to put their computer-generation magic to work envisioning aircraft of the future.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.