Somebody Built a Kangaroo Robot Because Why the Hell Not?

That somebody is German engineering firm Festo. The company, which has a history of turning to nature for inspiration, is also responsible for this mechanical seagull and these claw-tipped Doc Ock arms (which were modeled after an elephant's trunk). » 4/06/14 8:30am 4/06/14 8:30am

Scientists just created some of the most powerful muscles in existence

In a surprising breakthrough for the world of materials science, researchers have created some of the most powerful artificial muscles we've ever seen. And they did it with simple fishing line. These freakishly strong and cheap muscles could revolutionize robotics, and perhaps one day our own bodies. » 2/20/14 2:12pm 2/20/14 2:12pm

Medical breakthrough could lead to functional artificial skin

Swiss researchers have achieved a major breakthrough in the development of bioengineered skin. The new grafts, which are about to undergo clinical trials, work a lot like the real thing — because they actually contain functioning blood vessels and lymph capillaries. » 1/30/14 1:49pm 1/30/14 1:49pm

Tomorrow's wind turbines could look like enormous owl wings

Engineers often take inspiration from animal designs because they're more efficient than machines are. In the case of owl wings, nature has a major advantage over human engineering: owl wings are uncannily quiet. Now, researchers are considering outfitting wind turbines with an upscaled equivalent – if they can figure… » 11/25/13 12:05pm 11/25/13 12:05pm

Bionic humans are about to get an upgrade, thanks to monkey cyborgs

In a big step towards making humans more bionic, scientists have trained monkeys to control not just one, but two virtual arms by thoughts alone. The work could someday be a boon to double amputees or quadriplegics. » 11/11/13 11:20am 11/11/13 11:20am

Transparent skull implant is the next step in body mods (and medicine)

Researchers have been kicking around the idea of a cranial porthole for years – a skylight for your skull that doctors could peer through to monitor brain cancer, or treat neurological disorders. But glass is too fragile, and traditional skull implants are opaque. Now, a team of bioengineers has developed an implant… » 9/05/13 9:20am 9/05/13 9:20am

Breakthrough: Scientists build a beating mouse heart with human tissue

In a major scientific first, a team of developmental biologists has built a functional mouse heart from human tissues. The results herald a future where specific patches of heart muscle – or even the whole organ – could be grown for transplantation. » 8/14/13 9:20am 8/14/13 9:20am

Scientists explore the ocean floor with half-crab-half-car behemoth

Do not judge the Crabster by its lame name, which sounds more like the nickname of a frat guy from a terrible '80s movie than it does a badass ocean-roving robot. A portmanteau of "crab" and "lobster," two creatures after which it is modeled, the Crabster was designed by researchers in South Korea to help them do science… » 8/02/13 9:28am 8/02/13 9:28am

RNA-laced bandages could treat the worst wounds on the genetic level

While DNA is the building block of life, its cousin RNA keeps the show running smoothly, as it carries the information from DNA that allow genes to be expressed. RNA's ability to increase or decrease the expression of genes means it has huge potential to treat diseases at the genetic level, including tumors and chronic … » 5/26/13 5:00pm 5/26/13 5:00pm

This new discovery will finally allow us to build biological computers

The dawn of biological computers is at hand. In a major first for synthetic biology, Stanford engineers have used genetic material to create a biological transistor. Called the "transcriptor," the creation is the final, missing component necessary for the creation of a biological computer that could enable researchers to … » 3/29/13 9:40am 3/29/13 9:40am

A Robotic Snake That Acts Like a Python

Unsatisfied with the crawling, writhing, coiling and climbing abilities of their existing hoard of robotic snakes, members of Carnegie Mellon University's Biorobotics Laboratory have gone and given their mechanical serpent a brand new talent: the ability to wrap itself in a stranglehold around pretty much anything… » 3/25/13 2:53pm 3/25/13 2:53pm

Brain-to-brain interfaces have arrived, and they are absolutely…

In a stunning first for neuroscience, researchers have created an electronic link between the brains of two rats, and demonstrated that signals from the mind of one can help the second solve basic puzzles in real time — even when those animals are separated by thousands of miles. » 2/28/13 9:30am 2/28/13 9:30am