Scientists Made the Perfect Underwater Glue By Stealing an Idea From Shellfish

Even the strongest artificial glues are completely useless when you try to apply them underwater, but somehow shellfish are able to hold fast to rocks to deter predators from trying to carry them away. Clearly, nature has already figured out how to make glues that work underwater, and now researchers may have discovered the secret. Read More >>

A Wind Turbine With Flapping Wings Might Be Quieter and Safer For Birds

Unless they’ve got stake in a big oil company, the most common reasons people have for opposing the installation of wind turbines is the noise pollution and the risk they pose to birds. But a radically redesigned turbine with flapping wings instead of spinning blades might finally solve both of those problems. Read More >>

This Cyborg Stingray Is the Coolest Thing You’ll See All Day

An international team of researchers has developed an eerily realistic robotic stingray that blurs the line between animal and machine. Fuelled by light-activated heart cells, the cyborg fish could inspire the development of futuristic medical devices and incredibly life-like synthetic animals. Read More >>

This is the Smallest Flying Robot Capable of Landing on Surfaces

Birds, bats, and insects can’t fly forever, and neither can microrobotic drones. A new system that taps into the power of static electricity — the same principle that allows a balloon to stick to a wall — now allows robotic insects to land and stick to surfaces, greatly extending their operational life. Read More >>

Graphene Patterned After Moth Eyes Could Give Us ‘Smart Wallpaper’

Tweaking the structure of graphene so that it matches patterns found in the eyes of moths could one day give us “smart wallpaper,” among a host of other useful technologies. Read More >>

This Locust Robot Jumps 11 Feet High and Could Scour Disaster Zones

Locusts get a bad rap—noise and plagues!—but they’ve inspired Israeli engineers to make bug-like robots that could be a godsend in emergencies. Read More >>

Seahorses’ Square Tails May Be the Key to Building Better Robots

It’s hip to be square if you’re a seahorse. Or rather, it has certain adaptive advantages. Cylindrical tails may be much more popular in the animal kingdom, but the seahorse’s bizarre square-prism tail has far better mechanical properties. Read More >>

Flying Rescue Drones Will Claw Like Eagles and Swarm Like Bees

Nature-inspired engineering isn’t new but engineers are still finding new ways to take cues from Mother Nature. We got the beastly lowdown at the RoboUniverse conference in New York this week. Read More >>

This Skeleton Robot Walks and Swims Exactly Like a Salamander

Pleurobot looks like a salamander skeleton come to life and that's no coincidence. The robot was engineered to slink around exactly like a salamander. And we mean exactly. Read More >>

3d printing
This Incredible Robotic Arm Prints Plastic Like a Spider Makes Silk

Robotic arms have been around for years, 3D printers for decades, and we've even seen 3D printers attached to robotic arms before. But this... is different. Read More >>

Hydroceramic Walls Could Cool Buildings by Sweating Like Human Skin

Our reliance on air conditioning, however magical an innovation, has become a serious environmental burden. Which is why researchers in Barcelona designed a material they say can naturally cool rooms by about five degrees Celsius, using a moisture-absorbing polymer that "sweats" much like our own body. Read More >>

This Is the Closest We’ve Ever Come to Recreating Shark Skin

Shark skin is sleek and dragless, the envy of swimsuit designers. Perhaps less famous is what shark skin's oddly rough surface looks like up close: an eerie matrix of microscopic tooth-like scales. Now, scientists are 3D printing artificial shark skin in hopes of unlocking its swimming secrets. Read More >>

Researchers Create Re-Usable Tape Inspired by Geckos

If there's one animal that's inspired endless scientific research—it's the gecko. The lizard's ability to seemingly defy gravity and walk on walls has resulted in robots that can repair spaceships in flight, and now maybe even self-cleaning reusable sticky tape. Read More >>