The SmartBird — a development from Festo, a manufacturer and developer of automation technology for industrial markets — is an ultralight, robotic replica of a bird, down to the subtle motions that make natural flight possible. The bird can take off, fly, and land autonomousy thanks to wings that beat just like a real bird's.
Robert Bettinardi takes us inside his manufacturing facility, where his company makes sophisticated milled putters from solid blocks of carbon steel. Some of you golfers might take offense to some of what Mr. Bettinardi says in regards to his own product versus the traditional putter, but it's not difficult to appreciate the engineering and dedication put into the manufacturing process itself.
Holger Krag, a space debris analyst for the European Space Agency, explains how a piece of space debris — even as small as a cherry — will strike a manned craft or a satellite with the force of a hand grenade. With so much at stake, how do we protect our astronauts from being pelted by the 16,000 bits of junk soaring through Earth's orbit? If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.
Dr. James Porter, the medical director of robotic surgery at Swedish hospital in Seattle, has used their da Vinci surgical robot for a little after-hours challenge: folding a tiny paper airplane with the incredible precision and dexterity the system provides. One can only imagine the possibilities if this sort of technology finds its way into manufacturing someday.
Most of us don't like waking up in the morning, but an alarm clock (or two) is enough to get us out of bed and to work in time. YouTube user stampmaille , on the other hand, is a pretty deep sleeper. Luckily, he has the technical prowess to build himself the world's most brutal alarm clock, which includes some air compressors and one big air cylinder.
The recession is over and economies across the globe are awakening to a new reality: The recoveries are uneven, and the United States isn't the fastest growing economy. In the past, countries like China and India have come to depend on the U.S. and other Western economies for growth. Not anymore. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.
Eythor Bender, the CEO of Berkeley Bionics , has been working hard on exoskeletons, which attempt to fuse the boundaries between humans and robots, in order to supplement users' natural abilities. The HULC allows soldiers to carry more gear into battle without experiencing chronic back injuries, while the eLEGS could serve both regular Americans and wounded veterans.
Grant Wood, a brewmaster with Sam Adams, discusses the chemistry involved in producing one of the world's most popular beverages. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department. Have any comments or questions about our Thursday video editions of IMPO Insider? Or do you have a video you’d like to see featured in one of our deployments? Email me at Joel.
At the ETH Flying Machine Arena in Switzerland, researchers are figuring out all-new ways for robots to play "catch." These quatrocopters are paired with a motion-sensing camera above, and some complex computer software that allows them to predict the ball's trajectory for accurate bouncing.
Hans Rosling, famous for previous TED Talks featuring data presented in interesting ways, claims that the washing machine is one of the greatest inventions of industrialization, not because it's particularly sophisticated or innovative, but rather because it provides time to do other things than wash clothes by hand.
We all know true genius when we see it. Joerg Sprave , known on YouTube for his slingshot-based R&D efforts, has developed one more bizarre and completely unnecessary slingshot. Instead of the usual lead balls, it launches machetes . Yes, that's right. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.
Will man and machine actually merge at some point in the future? Some people think so, if only to compete in a increasingly technology-oriented world. Futurist Ray Kurzweil believes that corporations, as well as other large entities, will be created and destroyed based on whether or not they embrace the fusion of humanity and technology.
A lot of people like to do a little "home-grown" science, but Ben Krasnow takes that tendency to a whole new level with a homemade scanning electron microscope. The video is a little long, but the dedication and eye for precision are quite impressive, to say the least. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.
On Monday, Boeing first flew its new 747-8 jumbo jet, which can hold up to 467 passengers and fly 8,000 nautical miles. The first video shows the four-engine beast lift into the air, and the second, of course, shows its successful landing back to the ground. If you’re having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.
Surprise, surprise — Bill is back with a tear-down and explanation of how liquid crystal displays (LCDs) work. Chances are you're looking at one right now. The technology behind them — which involves diffusing light across the entire width and length of the screen, followed by unique polarizers and "sub-pixels" — is nothing short of incredible.