PixelSkin02 is a responsive architectural surface made of shape memory alloy (SMA) to actuate each of the four panels that make a 'pixel'.
MCP Group’s MCP Realizer takes 3D printing / rapid prototyping into the world of metals. MCP uses a technique called SLM (Selective Laser Melting) which uses ordinary metal powders (bronze, zinc, stainless steel, tool steel, titanium, cobalt-chrome alloys) and a laser to melt thin layers of geometry repeatedly to produce finished parts. more>
Researchers at Singapore-based Nanyang Technological University (NTU) demostrated a jacket that conducts touch heat, pressure, and vibrations on a live chicken. The system synchronizes tactile movements using a live video feed to transmit ‘cybertouches’. [article (pdf)]
The The Falkirk Wheel is a giant rotating boat lift and elevated canal developed by British Waterways to reconnect the Union Canal with the Forth & Clyde Canal, re-establishing east to west coast access for boats.
Michael Dickinson and his colleagues filmed hovering bees at 6000 frames per second, and plotted the unusual pattern of wing beats. The wing sweeps back in a 90Ëš arc, then flips over as it returns â€“ an incredible 230 times a second. The team made a robot to scale to measure the forces involved. [high speed video (5MB)] [robotic bee video (72MB)]
Chuck Hoberman’s new venture, Hoberman Transformable Design, seeks to extend his innovations into consumer products and architectural applications. Hoberman Associates’ work is centered on the fundamental idea that a designed object can transform the way a natural organism does.
W. Daniel Hillis of Applied Minds, Inc. is designing a perfectly synchronized 10,000 year clock / sculpture / statement with the Long Now Foundation. Everything about this clock is deeply unusual. For example, while nearly every mechanical clock made in the last millennium consists of a series of propelled gears, this one uses a stack of mechanical binary computers capable of singling out one moment in 3.65 million days. . . Unlike any other clock, this one is being constructed to keep track of leap centuries, the orbits of the six innermost planets in our solar system, even the ultraslow wobbles of Earth’s axis. . .”The ultimate design criterion is that people have to care about it,” says Hillis. “If they don’t, it won’t last.”
Inspired by the replication process of DNA in living cells, Joseph Jacobson (Molecular Machines) and his team at MIT have created miniature robots that self-assemble and self-correct into a specified sequence from scattered parts. [msnbc article]
The Kinematic Models for Design Digital Library is a collection of mechanical models and related resources for teaching the principles of kinematics–the geometry of pure motion. Browse through the enormouse collection of images + text, videos, 3D models (Solidworks, .stl or .VRML ready for printing), and interactive simulations. [launch the KMODDL tour]