At the University of Vermont, roboticist Josh Bongard decided to take a page from organic evolution's book in the course of his research. Humans and amphibians, among others, move through stages before they move as they will in adulthood, whether it's a baby crawling or a tadpole swimming--why not a robot? Bongard's 'bots learn to crawl, then stagger, then walk upright--and are more efficient as a result.
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.