NASA to test centrifugal force satellite launcher

April 25, 2022  |  Out There

NASA has agreed to test SpinLaunch's technology, designed to launch a satellite into space at hypersonic speeds with an electric centrifuge instead of a rocket. The company says that modern carbon fiber is one of the main reasons why the technology was not possible until recently, as the fiber has t…
Lightweight material is stronger than steel

February 21, 2022  |  Out There

Scientists have believed it’s impossible to induce polymers to form 2D sheets, but using a novel polymerization process, MIT chemical engineers have created a new material that is stronger than steel, as light as plastic, and it can be easily manufactured in large quantities. 
New cooking system operates with a flexible mat

February 3, 2022  |  Out There

Italian company Lapitech has created a cooking system that could be completely concealed under a modern sintered stone kitchen counter. Activated by a high-tech cooking mat, the Lapitec Chef features an electrothermal component developed in collaboration with the University of Padua.  To operat…
“Soft silica” is made from knitted glass

January 24, 2022  |  Out There

Canadian designer Sarah Roseman is working in a new material that straddles the boundary between textile and glasswork. According to a story on designboom.com, Roseman began her research experimenting with knitting glass fibers, working to find innovative and sustainable industry alternatives in ma…
Apparel developed to confuse CCTV recognition algorithms

December 20, 2021  |  Out There

German design studio WertelOberfell, in collaboration with a consortium of technical partners, sought to find a way to protect people from a very modern hazard: CCTVs that are equipped with AI human-recognition algorithms. With today’s sophisticated technology, CCTV doesn’t just record video f…
Inflatable hand could give amputees real-time tactile control

September 27, 2021  |  Out There

Engineers at MIT and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have designed a soft, lightweight and potentially low-cost neuro-prosthetic hand that can give an amputee the ability to perform daily activities with dexterity. Additionally, the researchers found the prosthetic, designed with a system for tactile …
Wearable keyboard is MIDI capable

August 23, 2021  |  Out There

Musical keyboards with digital interfaces (MIDI), no matter how big or small, expensive or not, are rigid structures that can be very heavy. Irmandy Wicaksono from MIT’s Media Lab turned to user-friendly textiles to create an interactive textile-based musical interface, laid out in 88-keys, …
New “skin” could help prosthetics and robots sense injuries

June 28, 2021  |  Out There

When a person bumps an elbow against a wall, they not only feel pain but can also experience bruising. But robots and prosthetic limbs don’t have these warning signs, and that could lead to further injury. Researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces have developed an artific…