This Robotic Barnacle Scans Ships' Hulls Looking For Contraband

Big ports have always struggled to keep an eye on every single ship that passes through their waters — especially the part of the boat that’s underwater. Now, there’s a new sort of robotic barnacle that can stealthily slide along the hulls of incoming ships and scan for hidden compartments where smugglers hide their loot. And it’s only the size of a football.

Ball-Balancing Robot Cheerleaders Make For One Heart-Warming Tech Demo

If you’re an electronics company that builds cutting-edge sensors the average consumer never actually sees in a device, how do you go about promoting your work? Japan’s Murata does so by building adorable little robots capable of impressive stunts — like riding unicycles or performing cheerleader routines while balancing on rolling balls — and then sending them to endless trade shows to delight weary attendees.

New Robotic Fabric Could Make Auto-Adjusting Jackets A Reality

Remember the futuristic automatic-drying jacket in Back to the Future 2? Purdue researchers are developing a robotic fabric that could become a big material for wearable technology and soft robot creators, which means you may be able to rock smart outerwear like Marty McFly someday.

Sydney Opera House's Robotic Birds Are The (Ridiculously Expensive) Modern-Day Scarecrows

At the Sydney Opera House, seagulls are a bigger nuisance than pitchy tenors. Management is desperate to keep the ravenous sky rats away, so much that they have installed a large robotic bird of prey as a modern-day scarecrow.

Smushing Three Robots Together Could Save Your Life

It would appear that we’ve finally reached the phase of UAV development where researchers get tired of coming up with new ideas and say, “You know what? Lets just smash a few of the ones we’ve already got together and see what happens.” The result is, well, this ungainly mechanisation but it’s one that could save your hide in a natural disaster.

A Robotic Octopus Would Surely Be Captain Nemo's Worst Nightmare

When designing robots it only makes sense to occasionally take a peek at what Mother Nature has already come up with for surviving and navigating our planet. But do robotics researchers have to keep choosing the world’s most creepiest animals for inspiration? Does anyone really want to live in a world with unstoppable robot snakes or artificial octopi lurking in our oceans?

Giz Explains: How To Make A Soft Robot

Robots are often imagined as hard, shiny things, gleaming futuristic machines. They often are hard, shiny things. But sometimes they’re softer than a baby butt and more flexible than an Illinois governor’s morals. Soft robotics is a growing field devoted to the squishier side of automated technology, and with the help of a new toolkit, you can get in on the action.

This Tiny Humanoid Robot Can Fly A Plane

A humanoid robot could kick your arse at Flight Simulator… and probably at flying a real plane too.

Awesome Stair-Climbing Robot Conquers Obstacles With Tank Treads

The first rule of Roomba is that Roombas don’t climb; for less than the price of a military grade iRobot beast, your a ground-based machine isn’t going to do very well against obstacles. A new open-source bot called ARTI may not clean, but it can conquer stairs with ease.

Fingertip Sensor Makes Robots Better (And Far Scarier)

Good as robots are at repeating the same motion over and over, they can’t adapt to situations nearly as well as good ‘old flesh-and-bones. That’s where MIT’s new fingertip sensor comes in. The technology employed to make a robot version of our fingertips is sophisticated, but surprisingly simple.

Product Finder

Find more great products at