Researchers have developed an elegant and powerful new microscale actuator that can flex like a tiny beckoning finger. Based on an oxide material that expands and contracts dramatically in response to a small temperature variation, the actuators are smaller than the width of a human hair and are promising for microfluidics, drug delivery, and artificial muscles.
An innovative global observing system based on drifting sensors cycling from the surface to the ocean mid-depths is being celebrated by scientists today after reaching a major milestone - one million incredibly valuable ocean observations.
The next generation of military drones, unveiled by a leading US manufacturer, will not just carry a limited supply of rockets - but will likely be fitted with an ultra-light laser, capable of repeatedly destroying objects at the speed of light.
Scientists have invented a 'sense-ational' device, similar to a string of 'feelers' found on the bodies of the Blind Cave Fish, which enables the fish to sense their surrounding and so navigate easily.
Robotics is now a highly articulated field with various types of robots already assisting numerous areas of human activity. Despite their increasing significance and relevance, the general public tends to think that robots still belong to the world of science fiction and research laboratories.
Imagine a human-like robot with skin and clothes embedded with sensors that could help machine accurately perceive the environment and better assist human owners. Such 'smart' robots are at the heart of a new $1.35 million National Science Foundation project.