A new robot that can roll, jump and carry things
From CNN Tech:
The Google-owned robotics company officially unveiled its latest robot, Handle, in a YouTube video posted Wednesday that immediately captivated the Internet. Handle, which stands 6-foot-6, looks vaguely human with a torso, arms and legs that have wheels instead of feet.
Boston Dynamics described the combination of legs and wheels as the best of both worlds. The wheels make Handle energy efficient on flat surfaces. (It has a 15-mile range on one charge.) With legs it’s able to manage uneven terrain, and go nearly anywhere.
Handle shows an unusual amount of grace for a hulking robot. In the video Handle rolls down steps, jumps over barriers and onto tables. It boasts a vertical leap of 48 inches, which compares favorably to great human athletes like the winners of the NBA’s dunk contest.
This super sponge can absorb 90 times its own weight
From Popular Mechanics:
Researchers at Argonne National Lab have developed a ‘sponge’ that can absorb up to 90 times its weight in oil and can be reused up to 100 times. The researchers hope their tech can be used to clean up oil spills more quickly and cheaply.
Oil spills are very tricky to clean up. There are a number of tools that cleanup crews can use to separate oil and water, but all are slow or expensive or both. One of the best ways to clean up spills is to use a floating absorbent material, called a sorbent boom, that soaks up oil. Depending on the material, sorbent booms can absorb anywhere between 3 and 70 times their weight in oil.
However, the main weakness of sorbent booms is that they can only be used once. As soon as they absorb enough oil they have to be removed from the water and disposed of elsewhere. This means that enormous quantities of sorbent material are required for very large spills.
Need a big pair of shoes? Just 3D print them
From National Post:
A Michigan Center 19-year-old, who was previously in the Guinness Book of World Records for world’s tallest teenager, has finally found an affordable pair of shoes that fit his size-28 feet.
Broc Brown, who is nearly 8 feet tall, has Sotos Syndrome. Sotos is also known as cerebral gigantism and affects approximately one in every 15,000 people, the Jackson Citizen Patriot reported.
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