Geckskin – gecko-inspired adhesive

Scientists have long viewed the geckos’ remarkably grippy feet with envy and attempts to replicate that in the lab have actually yielded some success (like this one).  The latest is Geckskin, which actually beats the performance of a real gecko’s feet!  Instead of emulating the tiny hairs on the geckos’ feet, this one uses a stiff base layer to hold tension, and a soft gripping layer to conform to the irregularities in the surface it’s being stuck to.  I don’t think the applications for this are quite so numerous…but for the right application, it’s a great material.

The video below gives some idea of how well this can hold to various surfaces.

(via Gizmag)

Dual Tesla coils performing the Inspector Gadget theme

It’s time like these that I remember what technology is all about…to amaze us and make us smile.  That’s exactly what’s accomplished in the video below, where two Tesla coils perform the theme from Inspector Gadget, accompanied by some off-screen percussion support.  My faith in humanity is restored.

This makes me want to run out and buy my own Tesla coil…I’d been eyeing one from oneTesla that’s a ready to go kit with MIDI interface to facilitate musical ventures such as this.  The video below shows that $330 kit playing the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song:

3D scanner on Kickstarter

3dscannerThere’s a pretty cool 3D scanner project active over on Kickstarter right now.  It hits a couple key features as I see it…interfaces to an iPad for portability and ease of use, and is a reasonable cost ($329).  I think this will be cool for capturing rough cad data of large objects and I look forward to trying it out with SolidWorks when it ships in 2014.

Invisibility cloak from TED2013

This is a far cry from a true invisibility cloak, but what assistant professor Baile Zhang showed off at TED2013 in Long Beach recently is one big step closer to that ideal.  Check out the video for a quick demo.  It’s made from two pieces of optical crystals (calcite) cemented together.  Lots of questions remain about this (such as how close the object needs to be to be ‘hidden’…but it’s pretty cool nonetheless.

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