Replacing some of the nuts and bolts in robots’ bodies with stretchy artificial muscles would allow them to be more flexible and lifelike than ever. Researchers at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute in New Zealand have succeeded in using such soft muscles in a motor that creates continuous rotational force. The motor uses only a few parts beside the muscle and needs no gears, cogs or bearings.
Scientists at the University of Maryland at College Park have managed to clock a floating piece of graphene at an unbelievable 60 million rpm, far faster than any other macroscopic object yet measured. Even crazier: Given graphene's strength, one of the scientists says that may only be a thousandth of its possible top speed.
What would happen if the Earth stopped spinning? We don't have any reason to think it will in the next few million millennia, but Witold Fraczek, an employee of geographic imaging software company ESRI, was curious. He used ArcGIS, the company's flagship software, to build a virtual model of the planet in the absence of centrifugal force.