Future Tech: Also featuring an electric commuter bike & a life-saving trucker hat.
The ‘RoboBee’ can also fly, swim and stick to surfaces
From The Verge:
Harvard’s robot bees have really evolved over the years. The RoboBee project was first unveiled in 2013, when the bots were only capable of takeoff and flying. Since then, they’ve been modified to stick to surfaces and swim underwater, and now their creators say they’re able to dive in and out of water — a big achievement for a tiny robot bee.
Getting out of the water is usually pretty easy for humans, but it’s a challenge for anything as small as an insect. The RoboBee weighs just 175 milligrams (that’s 14 times lighter than a cent), and at this size, surface tension is like extra strong gravity: it’s 10 times the robot’s weight, and three times its lifting power. “The force from surface tension feels like an impenetrable wall,” said Harvard professor of engineering Robert Wood in a press release. Imagine that next time you’re getting out of the bath.
To solve this problem, researchers from Harvard outfitted the RoboBee with a tiny combustible rocket, giving it the oomph needed to break the water’s surface tension. Gas fills a chamber in the RoboBee’s interior, it’s lit by an internal spark, and woosh, it shoots out of the water. Or, as it’s described in a paper published in the journal Science Robotics today: “The robot [assumes] a ballistic trajectory.”
An Internet-connected bike that can pedal for you
Cities have started to embrace their bike-riding commuters. More and more bike lanes are appearing on city streets as transportation departments realize that more bikes means less congestion. For longtime riders, it’s a blessing. For those bike-curious folks, the chance to get to work without weaving in and out of cars means the jump to riding to their job is less daunting.
The only problem is, while you want to be a better, fitter person, what if you’re out of shape and the thought of riding a bike is a bit intimidating? That’s where e-bikes like the GenZe 200 Series come in. With its assisted pedaling, the bike gives you as much of a helping hand as you need. It can even operate like a low-level motorcycle, at up to 20 miles per hour, and has a connected app.
A trucker hat that wakes you up if you’re falling asleep
From Fast Company:
Being a trucker means driving huge distances on demanding deadlines. And one of the biggest dangers in trucking is the threat of drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
To celebrate 60 years of truck production in Brazil, Ford decided to try to help the problem by creating a hat that tracks head movements and alerts drivers in danger of snoozing. Working with Sao Paulo-based office of creative agency GTB, the company developed the Ford SafeCap.
After conducting research identifying which head movements were associated with the job and which indicated lack of attention and fatigue, the companies developed software to tell the difference and outfitted the trucker cap with sensors and a gyroscope to warn the driver with sound, light, and vibration.
See more IT & Tech innovation stories and let us know the interesting technology stories you come across.