An innovative underwater robot known as Mesobot is providing researchers with deeper insight into the vast mid-ocean region known as the "twilight zone." Capable of tracking and recording high-resolution images of slow-moving and fragile zooplankton, gelatinous animals, and particles, Mesobot greatly expands scientists' ability to observe creatures in their mesopelagic habitat with minimal disturbance.
We've seen robots take to the air, dive beneath the waves and perform all sorts of maneuvers on land. Now, researchers at UC Santa Barbara and Georgia Institute of Technology are exploring a new frontier: the ground beneath our feet. Taking their cues from plants and animals that have evolved to navigate subterranean spaces, they've developed a fast, controllable soft robot that can burrow through sand.
Optical cloaking allows objects to be hidden in plain sight by guiding light around anything placed inside the cloak. While cloaking has been popularized in fiction, researchers in recent years have started realizing cloaks that shield objects from view by controlling the flow of electromagnetic radiation around them. In Journal of Applied Physics, researchers examined recent progress of developing invisibility cloaks that function in natural incoherent light and can be realized using standard optical components.
A team of scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed millimeter-sized robots that can be controlled using magnetic fields to perform highly maneuverable and dexterous manipulations. This could pave the way to possible future applications in biomedicine and manufacturing.
A team of scientists from Kaunas University of Technology and Lithuanian Energy Institute proposed a method to convert lint-microfibers found in clothes dryers into energy. They not only constructed a pilot pyrolysis plant but also developed a mathematical model to calculate possible economic and environmental outcomes of the technology. Researchers estimate that by converting lint microfibers produced by 1 million people, almost 14 tons of oil could be produced.
Researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the UPV/EHU are studying and optimising the mechanical and thermal properties of new mortars and concrete made using industrial by-products, such as lime mud from the paper industry, brass fibres and furnace slag, with the aim of reducing the consumption of energy and natural resources and fostering the circular economy.
POSTECH and Korea Institute of Materials Science joint research team develops an AI-based technique that improves the quality of SEM images that requires no human oversight.
Wine grape growers in California and elsewhere face increasing labor costs and severe labor shortages, making it difficult to manage and harvest a vineyard while maintaining profitability. Growers are increasingly turning to machines for pruning, canopy management and harvesting, but how well these practices are executed can substantially affect yield and quality. A new review by researchers at the University of California, Davis provides guidelines for growers to make the best use of machines.
Watching honeybees buzz among flowers, it's easy to see how the expression "busy as a bee" arose. One of many movements a bee's body makes is the repetitive curving and straightening of its abdomen. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces have found that tiny hairs reduce friction from these motions, saving energy for the industrious insects' daily activities while reducing wear and tear. This knowledge could help researchers design longer-lasting moving parts.
Researchers from the University of Cincinnati found that while N95 masks are effective barriers against airborne diseases like COVID-19, poorly fitting masks can have substantial leaks around the face that reduce their effectiveness and increase the risk of infection.