Changespotting

Rachael McKinnon rounds up the best the web has to offer

Changespotting: Scientists create jumping spiderbots

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In a very creepy example of biomimicry - for those of us with arachnophobia - a laser-based form of 3D printing has been used to build a jumping spiderbot.  Photo / Supplied
In a very creepy example of biomimicry - for those of us with arachnophobia - a laser-based form of 3D printing has been used to build a jumping spiderbot. Photo / Supplied

In a very creepy example of biomimicry - for those of us with arachnophobia - a laser-based form of 3D printing has been used to build a jumping spiderbot. The agility of spiders prompted roboticists to see if they could create a robot that could move and jump in a similar way. The selective laser sintering used to build them should mean the robot is lightweight and cheap to manufacture; it could then be employed for missions in hazardous locations.

A new development in footwear could become the next big thing since Crocs. Lightweight, thin, cheap and biodegradable footwear called 01M has been developed in Spain. The shoes are formed from a single polymer injection, which means minimal energy output. They provide a layer of protection but could still appeal to people interested in the benefits of barefoot walking.

Technological advancements that incorporate Micosoft's Kinect sensors have benefited more than gaming. A group of Japanese scientists called NSK have used Kinect technology to create a robotic guide-dog that may pioneer future designs for robotic assistants. The robodog will use 3D visualisation to guide its owner around hazardous obstacles.

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