Meet ESTHER, A Robot That Plays Wheelchair Tennis (Cool Weird Awesome 1005)

We’ve talked a lot on the show about the many different skills robots are learning. Now we can tell you about Experimental Sport Tennis Wheelchair Robot, which is learning to play tennis. 

By |2023-05-10T07:44:21-04:00May 9, 2023|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

How To Keep Flying Robots Flying Even When Their Wings Are Damaged (Cool Weird Awesome 972)

Drones are becoming increasingly useful, but they can get damaged and grounded pretty quickly. A team at MIT has found bee-inspired workarounds that would keep impaired robotic crafts flying.

By |2023-03-17T08:53:18-04:00March 17, 2023|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

This Device Could Tell You When Your Voice Is Getting Tired (Cool Weird Awesome 958)

There's a team at Northwestern University that's ready to help the tired vocal cords of the world: a wearable device that can tell when a voice needs a break.

By |2023-02-27T07:40:30-05:00February 27, 2023|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

A New Brace Can Treat Scoliosis Without Cramping The Wearer’s Style (Cool Weird Awesome 865)

Back braces for scoliosis haven't always been the most comfortable or fun to wear in public. But Airy, the newest prototype back brace, could even be called stylish.

By |2022-10-13T08:41:37-04:00October 13, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Growing Bone Tissue With Sound Waves (Cool Weird Awesome 724)

Researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology took stem cells and treated them with high-frequency sound waves, which was enough to convert them into bone cells.

By |2022-03-03T08:52:50-05:00March 3, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Jets Can Burn Less Fuel Thanks To Electric Towing (Cool Weird Awesome 719)

Taxiing accounts for about 5 percent of a jet's fuel consumption, so one way to make flying greener is making taxiing greener, like through an all-electric towing system.

By |2022-02-17T06:49:25-05:00February 17, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

High Tech Clothes Could Start Your Car Or Pay For Your Groceries (Cool Weird Awesome 662)

Our wireless, hands-free, automatic, smart device era may be about to get even smarter, thanks to high-tech smart fabric that can send out signals to devices or turn itself into a health monitor. Plus: a trash barrel from the US goes on holiday, traveling all the way across the ocean to end up in Ireland. 

By |2021-11-23T07:09:01-05:00November 23, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

When Countries Stayed Out Of The Olympics, They Held Their Own Olympic-Style Games (Cool Weird Awesome 589)

The Olympic Games are supposed to bring the countries of the world together, but that isn't always what happens. Several times the Games have been canceled, and at other times, boycotts have led some countries to hold their own alternative competitions. Plus: we mark the birthday of the great Black scientist and inventor Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson.

“Soft Electronics” Means Even Devices With Holes In Them Could Still Work (Cool Weird Awesome 563)

Our high-tech devices are amazing but also kind of fragile. But a team at Virginia Tech has a solution: “soft electronics” that can not only keep working when they’re damaged, they can heal themselves. Plus: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech have been using high-altitude balloons to measure seismic activity, and they're hoping to send those balloons someday to monitor Venusquakes! 

By |2021-06-30T09:04:11-04:00June 30, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

Waterways Could Get Extra Clean After They’re Cleaned By These Drones (Cool Weird Awesome 512)

A device in Denmark, WasteShark, has been roaming through water to scoop up floating debris. Now it's going to have a flying companion drone to help spot waste and maybe even clean up oil spills. Plus: photographer Nancy Floyd has been taking self-portraits and other images, structured the same way, day after day since 1982, to show the passage of time. Talk about playing the long game. 

By |2021-04-05T08:31:58-04:00April 5, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |
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