Link About It: This Week’s Picks

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, …

Open Bionics’ Affordable Robotic Prosthetic

UK-based Open Bionics has been awarded the 2015 James Dyson Award for creating an affordable robotic prosthetic arm. While many prosthetics can cost as much as $50,000 and take months to custom fit, Open Bionics can tailor and deliver a fully-functioning prosthetic to a customer within days—and at a cost of just $3,000. This breakthrough opens up the much-needed technology to a massive pool of …