Tales of an astonishingly cute bionic cat
From Popular Mechanics:
A cat named Pooh has been given a new lease of life in Bulgaria, becoming the country’s first “bionic cat” with a pair of prosthetic hind legs. Veterinary surgeon Vladislav Zlatinov carried out the operation that in Europe has only previously been done in Britain. He was aiming to give the fluffy, black-and-white cat who was probably hit by a train a chance at the sort of independence that the traditional solution — a set of wheels — would never have offered.
Zlatinov relied on a few publications in scientific journals. With no commercial implants available, the parts had to be custom-built. At the end of the complex surgery, Pooh had a pair of titanium legs implanted into his body. They are connected to external prostheses that can be changed like shoes.
This amazing drone flies just like a bat
From Popular Science:
Bats are strange creatures. They dart through the sky on wings made of skin, their tiny bodies swooping and swerving as they hunt insects for hours on end. They boast a compact, efficient, lightweight form, which makes them an ideal inspiration for a flapping robot. Bat Bot, created by researchers at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Coordinated Science Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology, is a high-tech flying machine inspired by bat-like efficiency.
The Bat Bot is an example of biomimicry, where engineers and scientists make a machine directly inspired by nature. It’s also—as an unmanned flying machine—technically a drone, but one that doesn’t rely on multiple spinning rotors like a helicopter or a rigid fixed wing, like an airplane. Instead the three-ounce robot travels with a careful flapping motion, the membrane of its thin wings carrying it through the air like an actual bat.
Could this be the world’s first cyborg insect?
From Live Science:
Scientists look to flying animals — birds, bats and insects — for inspiration when they design airborne drones. But researchers are also investigating how to use technology to interact with, and even guide, animals as they fly, enhancing the unique adaptations that allow them to take to the air.
To that end, engineers have fitted dragonflies with tiny, backpack-mounted controllers that issue commands directly to the neurons controlling the insects’ flight.
Event Coverage: “The State of Security” featuring Edward Snowden’s Legal Counsel
“We all use technology to help keep us safe. But, when does it go too far? As the lead counsel to Edward Snowden, Ben Wizner has worked with civil liberties and national security for fifteen years. Join him and explore the current state of national security and how emerging technologies might affect our world. Dig deep. Uncover new information. Find out how much your tech says about you. And who’s listening.” – ICTAM
See our coverage of “The State of Security“.