The robotics engineers at DLR, the German Aerospace Center, have a history of violent behavior with their mechanical creations — earlier this year, we saw them smash a robot’s hand with a hammer, and last year we watched brave engineers give a robot a knife and let themselves be stabbed.
The body is a resilient biological structure, but there's one thing medical science, an increasing number of Baby Boomers, and the majority of professional athletes will all tell you: Take care of your joints, because once you burn up the cartilage you started with, you're not getting any more. But a breakthrough by Northwestern University scientists will now allow adult joints to naturally grow new cartilage for the very first time.
There has been one beneficiary of flu madness: the elbow. Handily bendy, usefully pointy, the joint is seeing its moment in the sun. Rubbing elbows together in greeting has been suggested as a way to avoid spreading infection, but if that doesn't work for you, here are some other options.
Also in today's links: ringtones for cars, a beetle that better be funny, and more.
Werner O. Merlo’s patio umbrella refused to stay locked in a tilted position. Frustrated, he replaced the sagging sunshade’s flimsy ball-and-joint with a self-designed mechanism that swiveled smoothly yet held fast at an angle. His umbrella never flopped over again. "I'm not really the umbrella-manufacturing type, so the first thing that came to mind was, What else can I use this for?" says Merlo, a former chemist at the University of Alberta.
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.