The builders of UC Berkeley’s cockroach-inspired STAR robot have strapped a camera onto the little machine to see the world from its angle.
Engineers at the university’s Biomimetic Millisystems Lab have designed the little transformer robot to “adapt its stiffness, height, and leg-to-surface contact angle.” At full speed, it can run at 5.2 meters or 43 body lengths per second. They say it’s the world’s fastest untethered crawling bot.
University of Michigan researchers have created a nanotech coating that repels liquids—even caustic acids and solvents. The material can shield textiles to create stain- and chemical-resistant garments, and can reduce drag on ships.
When applied, the coating creates a webbed surface that is up to 99 percent air. It is a mixture of rubbery plastic polydimethylsiloxane particles and liquid-resisting nanoscale cubes developed by the Air Force that contain carbon, fluorine, silicon and oxygen.
“Virtually any liquid you throw on it bounces right off without wetting it,” said Anish Tuteja, a materials science and engineering assistant professor who led the development of the product. His team’s work was published recently in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Top Image: The new coating here repels coffee. Image courtesy Joseph Xu/University of Michigan.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released this dizziness-inducing video of construction workers installing the final section of spire atop One World Trade Center. Some seriously brave ironworkers erected the final piece of the building on May 10.
“Using a crane located high above street level, ironworkers lifted the final two pieces off a temporary work platform on the roof of One WTC and attached them to the previously installed 16 sections of spire,” the authority wrote on its Youtube post. “During the installation, ironworkers set and tightened 60 bolts at an altitude of 1,701 feet in the air.”
They report the building now stands at 1,776 feet high, making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the third tallest in the world. Huzzah, engineering!
Researchers have developed software to predict where blackouts are most likely to happen when storms hit, which could help authorities cut the amount of time people are in the dark after disasters like Hurricane Sandy.
Sandy wreaked havoc in 2012, causing as much as nearly $50 billion in damage, making it the second-costliest hurricane to hit the United States. At its peak, it left roughly 8.5 million people without power.
“As large storms increase in frequency and intensity in the United States and worldwide due to changing climate, getting profiles of where places are vulnerable to damage and investing in infrastructure to eliminate those vulnerabilities is integral to maintaining a well-operating power grid,” says Steven Fernandez, a national security issues researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.