The "bizarre experiment" that became a flying jellyfish robot

Small flying robots often take design cues from the flapping wings of insects and birds. But this robot prototype, pictured above, doesn't move like any wind-loving creature here on Earth — instead, it flies like the jellyfish swims. And the story of its invention is pretty weird. » 1/17/14 8:00am 1/17/14 8:00am

This insect eye will one day be built into your smart phone

University of Cambridge materials scientist Chris Forman shows us the eyes of a beetle and a fruit fly in a way you've never seen them before. That's not just because they're electrograph images, which reveal the eyes in amazing detail. Forman also offers a quick introduction to biomimesis, or using biology to shape… » 1/19/12 7:12am 1/19/12 7:12am

Disembodied Japanese robot arms applaud your growing fear

These Ondz clapping robots were built by Masato Takahashi of Keio University, who modeled them on his own arms and designed them to sound like authentic human applause. These aluminum and urethane "multipurpose hand-clapping machines" were showcased at the 2011 Tokyo Digital Content Expo. » 10/25/11 5:05pm 10/25/11 5:05pm

Engineers have been faking life since 1000 BC

Modern biomimesis makes solar cells grow like plants, molecules walk like people, and art run like centipedes. But it's a very old science. Take a look at ancient engineers who made lifelike machines fight, sing, flirt, and yes, poop. » 9/22/10 2:30pm 9/22/10 2:30pm

Thanks to geckos, you can now have a leather circuit board

Apple thought they were so smart when they started making computers that came in different colors. Now, inspired by the noble gecko, scientists may have found a way to print electronics on leather. Count down to the iWhip. » 9/20/10 4:30pm 9/20/10 4:30pm