Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Quantum hairs on black holes, "printing" beverages, pipe-worm robots and more

How Amazonian Lily Pads Inspire Building Design Not only is an Amazonian water lily massive, with leaves that can grow up to 10 feet, but it’s also strong enough to withstand the weight of a small child. For years, researchers have attempted to ascertain how lily pads can do this. A recent study from Science Advances uncovered how a network of fractal veins, which radiate concentrically …

A New Worm-Shaped Robot Can Unclog Pipes

GE Research recently unveiled the Pipe-worm, a long, soft-bodied robot that can clean and even repair pipes. Inspired by the movement of earthworms and the in-the-dark navigation of cockroaches, the Pipe-worm is an autonomous, flexible device. It uses air or oil pressure to expand and contract artificial muscles to generate movement. To know where to go (and even generate a map), two antennae bolstered by …

Scientists Build Robotic Fish Using Human Heart Cells

Recently a team of scientists built a school of robotic fish powered by human heart cells—a project that attempts to understand how to construct replacement hearts for those with cardiovascular diseases. The biohybrid fish—made from paper, plastic, gelatin and two strips of living heart muscle cells—can swim entirely on their own for more than three months, as movement causes the strips of cells to contract, …