Robotic Raptors Take to the Skies
According to Gizmag, Nico Nijenhuis from Clear Flight Solutions has created a cast of robotic falcons. The Robobirds are designed to eliminate nuisance bird flocks, which eat crops, fly into the pathways of aircraft, or forage at landfills in large numbers. The realistic looking birds flap their wings to fly, just like the real thing, allowing them to maneuver through problem areas and chase away smaller birds. The robotic raptors are controlled remotely by an operator on the ground. The developers claim that targeted bird populations quickly learn to avoid what they perceive as natural predators. This model is 23 inches long and has a wingspan of 47 inches. It can reach up to 50 miles per hour in flight. Designers plan to make the next Robobird model autonomous.
Contractor Builds 3-D Printed Castle
Three days ago, iflscience reported that a general contractor from Minnesota built a small concrete castle using a 3-D printer. The project took Andrey Rudenko a little over two years to complete. First, Rudenko had to develop a 3-D printer that could extrude concrete. He designed the structure himself. The small castle is approximately 3 meters by 5 meters. While using 3-D printers to construct housing is not new, particularly in poverty-stricken areas where inexpensive housing in needed quickly, Rudenko’s structure is unique because of its architectural detail. Rudenko plans to attempt larger-scale, 3-D buildings.
Fully Functioning Organ Grown Inside a Mouse
News Discovery reports that scientists at the MRC Center for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have reprogrammed cells inside the body of a mouse and grown them into a fully functioning thymus gland. To grow the gland, scientists took fibroblasts from a mouse embryo and boosted their level of the protein responsible for the development of the thymus. Those cells were then combined with other types of thymus cell. The complete thymus gland was able to function just as well as one that had grown naturally. It was even able to produce infection-fighting T cells. This is a great advance in regenerative medicine that could, in the future, lead to lab-grown organs, which would replace the necessity for donor organs.
Image credit: Wired