The only mammals that can fly are also the only mammals with a larynx that flexes at ludicrous speed, a new study shows. As bats flip and whirl toward their prey, they chirp at an accelerating rate, increasing their echolocating calls to 160-190 chirps per second. This is possible because their laryngeal muscles can contract up to 200 times per second, researchers say.
A real-life sonic screwdriver could use ultrasonic waves to apply forces to objects, according to researchers in the UK. Bruce Drinkwater, the professor who proposes this idea, says that in theory, ultrasonic waves can be rotated at high speeds to create force fields that would act like a real screwdriver.
For blind people who can't perfect the system of clicks and whistles designed in Spain for human echolocation, researchers at the University of Bristol in England have created a new solution: a helmet that automatically transforms a map of the surrounding area into sound.
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.