Earwigs’ incredible “origami” wings inspire robotic gripper design

See the original posting on Boing Boing

Earwigs can fly but they mostly live underground, intricately folding their wings into a surface area that’s 10 times smaller than when they’re opened up. According to new research, the folds “cannot be sufficiently described by current origami models.” The earwigs manage the marvelous by incorporating a bit of stretch into the joints where the creases occur, leading to a new design for a robotic gripper. From Science News:

(The earwig’s wings are) an example of a bistable structure — something like the slap bracelets, popular in the 1980s and 1990s, which switch from a flat conformation to a curved one when whacked against a wrist, says study coauthor André Studart, a materials scientist at ETH Zürich. When locked open, earwig wings store energy in the springy resilin joints. When that strain is released, the wings rapidly crumple back to their folded position.

Such constructions can inform robotics design. Inspired by the wings, the researchers created a prototype gripper. Its rigid pieces are held together by rubbery, strategically placed joints. Within fractions of a second, the structure can snap from its mostly flat conformation to one that can grip a small object and hold it without constant external force.

Mechanisms: Cable Ties

See the original posting on Hackaday

Zip ties, Ty-Raps, cable ties; call them what you will, but it’s hard to imagine doing without these ubiquitous and useful devices. Along with duct tape and hot glue, they’re part of the triumvirate of fasteners used to solve nasty problems quickly and cheaply. They’re next up on the list of mechanisms we find fascinating, and as it turns out, there’s more to these devices than meets the eye.

The Well-Dressed Wiring Harness

Like so many products that we take for granted today, the cable tie was invented to solve problems in the aerospace industry. In the prewar years, airplanes …read more

Apple confirms it will fix bug that caused Siri to read out hidden lock screen notifications

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple says it will fix a bug that caused Siri to read out hidden lock screen notifications to anyone who asks. Apple said in a statement to MacRumors, “We are aware of the issue and it will be addressed in an upcoming software update.” The update might come in iOS 11.3, currently still in beta, or possibly in iOS 11.2.7 if Apple releases a minor update.

The original bug allowed Siri to read out lock screen notifications for third-party apps, even if you turned off message previews while the phone is locked. Siri didn’t check to make sure the owner of the phone was the person who was asking. iMessages and SMS texts were still kept private from being read aloud, but Facebook Messenger, Slack, email apps like Apple’s own Mail app, and more…

Continue reading…

Discounted tix to Disrupt SF ’18 for students, nonprofits, government & military

See the original posting on TechCrunch

TechCrunch Disrupt ranks as the premier event in the startup landscape, and our flagship event, Disrupt San Francisco 2018, which takes place September 5-7, will be our biggest and best Disrupt ever. If you haven’t heard, we’re moving to the Moscone Center West, tripling the floor space and featuring four stages of unique programming — […]

Gwynnie Bee is bringing subscription clothing rental to traditional retailers with launch of ‘CaaStle’

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Gwynnie Bee, a subscription service offering women an “unlimited closet” of clothing for rent, believes its model is one that can be expanded to traditional retailers, too. And today, it’s officially taking the wraps off a new technology platform which will allow retailers to offer a subscription clothing rental business alongside their existing channels. The […]

Children’s book about Mike Pence’s gay pet rabbit storms Amazon

See the original posting on Boing Boing

A childrens’ book about a fictional gay bunny belonging to Mike Pence has stormed Amazon, displacing the memoir of fired FBI chief James Comey from the #1 slot and outpacing another childen’s book about a presumptively not-gay bunny belonging to Mike Pence, written by his daughter, Charlotte, and wife, Karen.

The real Marlon Bundo is already adorable enough, and now fans have two fictional variants to enjoy.

The Pences are being good sports. Here’s Charlotte: “We have two books giving to charities that are about bunnies, so I’m all for it really.”

Mr. [John] Oliver revealed the book, which was written by Jill Twiss and credits the titular bunny as a co-author, on his weekly late-night show on Sunday. He described it as a mocking rebuke of the vice president’s longtime opposition to gay and transgender rights.

“Please buy it for your children, buy it for any child you know or buy it because you know it would annoy Mike Pence,” Mr. Oliver told his viewers. Parody aside, he assured them, “This is a real book for children.” … Ms. Pence’s book on Marlon Bundo had reached No. 4 on the list by late afternoon.

Ms. Pence’s book appears to be “more sober children’s fare,” adds the times, noting that “it is not known if it identifies Marlon Bundo’s sexual orientation at all.”

Snapshot Tests in React Using Jest

See the original posting on DZone Python

Writing tests might not have been the most enjoyable thing for you in the past but we hope that after reading this article, you’ll be able to increase your test coverage.

Today we’re talking about snapshot tests using Jest. They’re easy to write, they’re fast, and most importantly, we’ll for sure know if something is not right if we use them correctly. These snapshots will warn us about every change we make that affects the rendering: whether we’re doing something simple, or more advanced rendering that includes conditions or looping.

Join Hackaday At The Midwest RepRap Festival This Weekend

See the original posting on Hackaday

What time is it? It’s Midwest RepRap Festival time, and it’s happening this weekend in beautiful Goshen, Indiana. It’s free, it’s open to everyone, and it’s the greatest 3D printer convention on Earth.

What’s so great about MRRF? This is where the latest products in the 3D printing space are launched. A few years ago, E3D announced their dual extrusion head at MRRF. This is where the world first got a look at the Bondtech extruder. This is where E3D announced their Titan extruder, and this is where the world got its first look at the Lulzbot Taz 6. If …read more

Snapchat’s Map Explore feature will let you know when your friends are hanging out without you

See the original posting on The Verge

Snap is introducing a new feature called Map Explore today that will alert and update users about what’s happening on their Snap Map. Snap says the travel and location updates will automatically appear on users’ Snap Maps when friends opt to share their location. The feature will also show Explore updates for Our Story snaps, including breaking news and other events from around the world.

The new feature is an easier way for users to explore content on Snapchat based on location, which is a nifty tool if you want to see what’s happening elsewhere… or see when your friends are hanging out without you.

Video: Snap

Snap says it’s introducing this tool to make updates easier to find. “We made Map Explore because we…

Continue reading…

A Way Out’s clever co-op play is dragged down by a cliche crime story

See the original posting on The Verge

“Okay, we need to strangle this assassin together!” I shout, exasperatedly at my roommate. It’s our third time trying this sequence, and we haven’t quite managed to get the timing right on the quick-time event of mashing the square button at the same time we take out our would-be killer. What should be a tense moment has turned into something far less interesting — yet it’s still entertaining because I’m playing with a friend.

A Way Out is the latest game from director Josef Fares released through his new studio Hazelight, in partnership with EA. Fares is best known as the creator of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, a game from the Xbox 360’s indie golden age that had players control two characters at once to solve puzzles with strong story…

Continue reading…

You can now search for documents on Files Go like you would on Google

See the original posting on The Verge

Google has announced several changes to Files Go, its Android app for file management, which should help make finding your files easier.

You can now search for files on your phone the same way you would on the internet. The app will try to autocomplete results, and it’ll also store your search history. To use this, simply tap the search icon under the Files tab. Google says all of this also works offline.

Files Go now also shows you where duplicate files are located. When it suggests duplicates to remove, long press on the thumbnail, and you’ll see where the file is on your phone before you choose to delete it.

Additionally, Google says that Files Go now works with Google Photos, so Files Go will detect when you’ve backed up photos using…

Continue reading…

Hori is making a Switch Joy-Con controller with a proper D-pad

See the original posting on The Verge

The Switch is finally getting a Joy-Con controller with a proper D-pad, courtesy of third-party accessory company Hori, according to 4Gamer (via Kotaku).

The Hori D-pad Joy-Con replaces the left Joy-Con controller on the Switch. It looks more or less identical on the outside to Nintendo’s controller, replacing the four face buttons for a directional pad.

It’s an accessory that makes a lot of sense for the Switch, which doesn’t have a D-pad on the bottom left (unlike almost every other controller, including Nintendo’s own Pro Controller) due to the fact that the undocked Joy-Con controllers need the separate buttons to function as a solo controller.

Image: Hori (via 4Gamer)

The Hori controller actually has a few…

Continue reading…

Marc Raibert, Melonee Wise and more will be speaking at TC Sessions: Robotics May 11 at UC Berkeley

See the original posting on TechCrunch

We’re gearing up for our big upcoming TC Sessions: Robotics event May 11 on the UC Berkeley campus, and we’ve got a lot to talk about. We’ve already announced Berkeley professors Pieter Abbeel and Robert Full, Android/Playground Global founder Andy Rubin and VCs Chrissy Meyer, Renata Quintini and Rob Coneybeer. Here are a few more […]

These ‘naked pendulum dances’ are quite the feat

See the original posting on Boing Boing

This is Akira 100% and he likes to play with balls, silver ones. Wearing just an oversized golden sequined bowtie, this Japanese entertainer removes that metal tray covering his junk at the perfect moments when the pendulum swings. These are genital-free videos, though they may still be NSFW.

I imagine these tricks took many many takes.

(Dangerous Minds, Kraftfuttermischwerk)

1 2 3 4 3,974