Dr. Robert J. Full is a professor at UC Berkeley's Department of Integrative Biology, and I guarantee that his job title doesn't prepare you for what he actually does. "My primary interests reside in the area of comparative biomechanics and physiology," he writes. "[My research program seeks] general design principles for species which have evolved different solutions to the problems of locomotion and activity in general."
One of those species is that lizard with the bad-ass coloring up above. The Agama lizard, as it's called, has a very long tail:
Full's research observed something surprising about how this particular lizard uses its tail, and realized it could be adapted for a wheeled robotic vehicle needing to pull some crazy stunt-type maneuvers. This video will show you what we can't in photos, and be sure to check out the slow-mo at 0:45. (You'll also catch a glimpse, at 2:28, of what I consider to be a terrifying cheetah-based robot by DARPA and Boston Dynamics.)
TED devotees may recognize Professor Full's name from previous years' TED Talks he's given on animal movement, engineering and animal evolution, and the tail of Agama cousin the gecko. You can see those here, and you can learn more about Full's research at UC Berkeley's Poly-PEDAL (Performance Energetics Dynamics Animal Locomotion) website.
Here's yet another badly-acted, supposed-to-be-ironic infomercial, but this one belies a clever product design. The Jar-with-a-Twist is a structural package design that operates like a deodorant stick, elevating the interior base as the user cranks. Have a look:The cited three cents per unit in additional cost is something I'd gladly...
In most parts of the world, we can't exactly say that new architecture has been kind to our feathered friends (or any part of our environment for that matter). In a time of urban sprawl, pollution and environmental degradation, London-based Aaron Dunkerton's project "Bird Brick" is a nice nod to...
We've seen umbrellas stuck into car doors; optimized for wind resistance; slapped onto bikes; and the design potential for this simple device is so great that we even ran a series on umbrella innovations earlier this year (here's Part 1, here's Part 2). The umbrella is one of the longest-lived...
In Part 1, we covered materials and hardware.
In Part 2, we covered tools.
In Part 3, we showed you how to set those tools up for webbing.
In Part 4, you learned the crucial Box X stitch.Now it's time to put it all together and create your own projects. To demonstrate a...
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