Mathematician Creates Impossible, Rule-Bending MirrorsS

Andrew Hicks is a mathematician. And he uses those math skills, coupled with a little computer algorithm assistance, to create mirrors that accomplish feats like reflecting text without turning the writing backwards.

His mirrors can reflect wider angles, capture 360-degree panoramas without distortion and even reflect vast amounts of infrared data (to measure body temperature).

New Scientist has a complete blow-by-blow of Hicks' creations, but this lead shot is of a wide angle mirror free of distortion—lines that are straight in the real world remain perfectly straight on the mirror. Who would need such a thing? It's implemented in a stair-climbing robot that requires precision angle information for each step. [New Scientist]