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4 Awesome Discoveries You Probably Didn’t Hear About – Episode 31

4 Awesome Discoveries You Probably Didn’t Hear About – Episode 31


Rugged roach bots. Squishy Rubik’s cubes. Solar down on the farm. And the amazing feats of bird feet. It’s 4 Awesome Discoveries You Probably
Didn’t Hear About. There are about 43 quintillion configurations
in a Rubik’s cube. Leaving some frustrated and tired, and others…
inspired! A team of chemists designed a cube of soft
polymer blocks, colored with revolutionary new fluorescent dots. The self-healing hydrogel has chemical bonds
weak enough to rotate, but strong enough to maintain shape. The structure could inspire new ways to store
information. Think Q-R code, only 3-D. Meet Gary, part of a team of parrotlets helping
scientists grasp how birds can land on small branches so reliability. The birds landed on a range of diameters and
textures, from sandpaper to Teflon. But all that data on approach speed and landing
forces revealed little difference until researchers zeroed in on the feet. The secret to the versatile landings? How fast the toes and claws adapt to each
surface. Way quicker than this. The team’s dynamic grasping
model could land in a new flying robot design. Cool fact about solar panels… they’re
less efficient the hotter they get. So, where does a solar panel perform best? Turns out… it’s the farm! Researchers analyzed the productivity of solar
arrays on agricultural lands to develop an efficiency model. Applying that model worldwide, solar panels
worked most efficiently on croplands versus scorching deserts, cities, or other land cover. The study also found that putting solar panels
on less than 1% of agricultural land could fulfill electricity demands worldwide. Roaches to the rescue!? This roach-inspired robot may be a superhero
in the making. Most mini bots are fragile, but just try to
squash this one. Ouch! It can withstand 130 pounds – or one million
times its own weight. The layered piezoelectric material bends and
straightens when voltage is applied, propelling it forward. It’s fast and stealthy, just like the real
thing. And strong, able to carry six times its weight. Next steps, add a battery and gas sensor for
a version that can detect dangerous fumes. And there you go! See you next time with 4
more awesome discoveries, with funding from NSF!

Comments (3)

  1. Love these videos, keep them coming!

  2. Please keep doing these

  3. What a pile of crock.

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