Bats — you know we love ‘em — have a remarkable ability to turn, swirl and dive on a dime while in mid-flight, dodging obstacles and grabbing food from the air. Engineers would like to give robots and autonomous vehicles this ability, and they’re turning to bat ears for inspiration.
MIT's experimental motion sensor would use simple physics to create a tiny, six-dimensional sensor that would cost ten times less than the usual motion sensors found in smartphones and air bag systems. It does that by replacing the intricate ballet of moving parts in motion sensors with a simple metal bead and an electric field.
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.