Even the most manoeuvrable aircraft we've designed is no match for the agility of a bird. Mother Nature has all but perfected flight, so why are we wasting our time re-inventing the wheel? As researchers at Switzerland's École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne realised, we should just be copying our fine feathered friends.
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As a city dweller relying on public transport, online shopping has changed my life. I haven't set foot inside a supermarket (outside of emergencies) for almost three years. But that's not the norm - in fact it's far from it - with new research revealing just three per cent of Australians do their grocery shopping online.
Product placement of real-world firearm brands in video games doesn't affect attitudes towards guns. And if you've got a soft spot for the AR-15, there's a far higher chance you can point to your politics instead of your K/D ratio as the main reason.
These are the major findings of a recent study from Doctors Joseph Hilgard, Christopher Engelhardt and Bruce Bartholow - who specialise in videogame psychology.
We strive to make robots in our own likeness because, as far as we can tell, humans are best adapted to deal with our world. And thanks to researchers at MIT, who've found a way to use cheap, nylon plastic as an artificial muscle, we're now one step closer to creating artificial humans — and opulent fantasy theme parks.
One of the most unsettling moments in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey is when it's revealed that HAL 9000 can read lips, leaving no secrets between the astronauts and the ship's computer. That might have been science fiction, but 15 years after the events of that film, researchers in the real world have finally taught computers how to read lips.
Popeye was right when it came to the health benefits of spinach, but that simple sailor man couldn't have predicted this unorthodox use of the superfood. Researchers at MIT have found a way to use spinach to detect explosive materials in soil, potentially making the plant a safe way to detect landmines.
Scientists may soon be able to conduct experiments on hearts without needing once-living tissue and muscle from animals. In a new study published today in Nature Materials, Harvard University researchers announced they have created the first 3D-printed heart-on-a-chip capable of collecting data about how reliably a heart is beating.
Point a projector at anything other than a completely flat screen, and you'll end up with a distorted image. But a team of researchers from the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory in Tokyo have designed a projector that can compensate for warped and moving surfaces, making the image look more like a perfectly applied sticker, instead of a projection.
In Disney's continued quest to breathe life into all of its cartoon characters, it might be going beyond a mere costume. Its research branch just revealed what appears to be the first attempt to make a robotic version of Tigger, Winnie the Pooh's tiger pal, who's best known for bouncing around on his tail.
To help understand just how destructive earthquakes can be, researchers could spend years examining the aftermath. But displaced residents need to begin cleanup, and return to their homes, as soon as possible. So researchers at Brigham Young University came up with a way to preserve the destruction caused by an earthquake so it can be studied indefinitely.
Ocean-dwelling creatures like whales, seals and walruses don't freeze in the icy waters thanks to their thick layers of insulating blubber. But how do scrawny sea otters stay warm? Their furry coats trap air which also works as an insulator, and researchers at MIT think that approach could help keep humans warmer under water, too.
You're probably already overly-anxious about protecting your identity online, but researchers at the University College London don't feel that's enough to worry about. So they have developed new software that can perfectly replicate anyone's handwriting — dead or alive — making it easy to forge signatures and notes.
Creating the types of 3D holograms that are used to authenticate products or currency usually requires very expensive, very complex printers. That's what makes them so hard to counterfeit. But a team of researchers from MIT have created a new kind of 3D hologram that can be printed on the inkjet printer you probably already have sitting on your desk.
One of the obvious tells that a computer-generated character isn't real is the lack of interaction with the background they have been added to. It's part of the reason why augmented reality apps are fun, though far from convincing. But researchers at MIT's CSAIL Lab have come up with clever a way to make background footage interact with a virtual character.
Nearly one in five Australians use an activity tracking device daily or nearly daily. Of the people who use activity trackers, three-quarters are prepared to share that data, on the proviso that it is anonymously used for health and medical research.
This is where Pokemon GO — the wildly popular app that gets users out and about instead of behind their tablet or TV — has got the attention of the Australian health and medical researchers.