Robots Learn Problem-Solving From IKEA Furniture-Building Simulations

In order for robots to service humans more broadly, they’re going to be required to master more complex tasks at smaller scales. Right now, many of the most effective robot assignments involve “muscle,” like moving large car parts from a conveyor belt to a model. Humans are always called in to complete the final touches, though. Researchers at University of Southern California thought of a …

MB&F + L’Epée 1839’s “The Fifth Element” Weather Station

An entirely mechanical UFO featuring a thermometer, a barometer, and a hygrometer

No one in the world of horlogerie understands the dual-force effect of science fiction with purpose quite like MB&F. On a broader level, every release from the imaginative design house emphasizes the power of artistic and technical exploration, and consumers have appreciated the eccentric yet useful benefits of this. The brand’s name—short for Maximilian Büsser and Friends—calls to attention the fact that their pieces are …

Cool Hunting Video: Thornwillow Press

From papermaking to printing and publishing, this upstate NY-based company does it all while keeping modern technology at arm's length

When upstate in Newburgh, NY recently, we visited Thornwillow Press headquarters. Founder Luke Ives Pontifell (who started the company in 1985 as a labor of love) guided us through his diverse collection of printing processes and presses, as well as his eclectic anthology of original published works. Offering a high honor to the written word, Thornwillow Press preserves antiquated printmaking and book-binding techniques and shares …