Science

Meet Hector, a giant insect-like robot to study terrain movement

Meet Hector, a giant insect-like robot to study terrain movement

Researchers at Germany's Bielefeld University did something crazy, and a little funny too. They have built a giant robot insect with six independently moving legs in order to study movement over various terrain. But that's not the crazy/funny part. It's that in order to design the robot, they actually motion captured a real stick insect walking and climbing, using a bunch of those little balls you always see attached to actors when they make CG movies. Oh, and they named the robot Hector.

Continue Reading

NASA emailed new socket wrench to ISS astronauts

NASA emailed new socket wrench to ISS astronauts

We have a winner for the most interesting email attachment of 2014! NASA recently provided the astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS) with a new tool via little more than a standard email. The attachment was actually instructions for a special 3D printer the astronauts have thanks to a delivery from a SpaceX Dragon capsule back in September. The printer is specially made to work in low gravity, and the emailed instructions included the design for a socket wrench that was specifically needed.

Continue Reading

A huge ice reservoir could be hiding inside Mars

A huge ice reservoir could be hiding inside Mars

A vast cache of water or ice could be lurking just beneath the surface of Mars, scientists claims, using meteorite research to figure out where the "missing Martian water" might have actually ended up. While signs of the historic effects of subsurface and ground ice have been observed in previous orbital surveys, evidence for a lingering supply of water has proved troublesome to pin down, even though the red planet's history is believed to have seen it wet and warm. By looking at the make-up of Martian meteorites found on Earth, however, connections have been spotted between them and a possible surface reservoir.

Continue Reading

NASA’s K2 fix bags Kepler a new exoplanet

NASA’s K2 fix bags Kepler a new exoplanet

NASA's attempt to salvage the Kepler spacecraft and continue its planet-hunting search despite what could have been a show-stopping hardware failure has paid off, with the first potential exoplanet spotted by the K2 mission. The future of Kepler, which had been launched to identify possible Earth-like planets that might one day be found to support human life, had seemed bleak after half of its stabilization system failed, leaving the high-resolution camera unable to accurately track the tiny localized dimming as expolanets pass in front of stars.

Continue Reading

3D Printing gives a dog back his legs

3D Printing gives a dog back his legs

We've seen 3D printers churn out amazing things, sometimes even unbelievable things, and once in a while ridiculous things. But what if 3D printing could do something amazing, selfless, and heart-warming as well? That can definitely happen with a bit of imagination, creativity, science, and the will to put the technology to even better use, as in this case of Derby, a handicapped canine that was able to experience first hand the empowering benefits of 3D printing. With a little help from humans, of course.

Continue Reading

Curiosity Rover discovers ancient Martian organic molecules

Curiosity Rover discovers ancient Martian organic molecules

NASA has just reached another breakthrough in its exploration of Mars' landscape and history. Barely two weeks after revealing their findings and theories about the Gale Crater, the scientists are now announcing that the Mars Rover has found two things: a tenfold spike in methane gas as well as organic molecules in rock-powder drilled by the robot. These two organic materials could help in learning more about Mars and its history as well as helping predict its viability as a habitat in the future.

Continue Reading

PocketQube offers DIY satellite kits

PocketQube offers DIY satellite kits

A company called PocketQube has announced new kits for the homebuilder that allows you to make your own small cube satellite. When completed the satellite measures 5cm to a side and if you don’t want to build your own, you can buy a PocketQube that is built and ready to go. Each of the PocketQube bundles include all parts needed for construction.

Continue Reading