A Robot That Melts and Reforms

Researchers have devised a robot that can liquefy and then reform—an characteristic inspired by sea cucumbers that rapidly change their stiffness. The shape-shifting invention can move between liquid and solid states by making clever use of materials. It’s composed of a metal with a low-melting point called gallium which researchers then embedded with magnets to control movement. Through the process of induction the robot melts …

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Hip-hop history, stingray sounds, breath-powered prosthetics and more from around the web

Sounds from Stingrays Recorded for the First Time A recent study has reversed the commonly held belief that stingrays are silent. For the first time, the creatures’ sounds were captured in a video depicting two mangrove whiprays and a cowtail stingray making clicking noises. Prior to the study, the only evidence that they are vocal came from research published in 1970 that saw a cownose …

New Breath-Powered Hand Prosthetic Improves Accessibility

Rather than using conventional cables, the new Airbender prosthetic hand is powered by air. The invention, created by researchers at the University of Oxford, utilizes a purpose-built Tesla turbine that, when combined with the wearer’s breathing, accurately controls finger movements. Not only is the device lightweight and low-maintenance, it also requires such a small volume of air that even young children can operate it. Additionally, …