This IBM Scientist Predicted Netflix Before The Internet Even Existed

If you predicted the decline of deadtree books or the rise of services like Netflix streaming, say, 25 years ago, you'd be considered a damn good prognosticator. But what if you predicted those things back in 1964—before the internet even existed? Amazingly, a scientist from IBM did just that, long before any of these… » 10/02/13 3:38pm 10/02/13 3:38pm

How One Man Took a Secret Super-Material to His Grave

In 1990, an amateur inventor called Maurice Ward appeared on British TV demonstrating a super-material he'd invented without any scientific training. Called Starlite, it could withstand temperatures of 1000 °C, was hard enough to drill holes in walls, and could easily be painted on to surfaces. In 2011 Ward sadly… » 5/16/12 10:40am 5/16/12 10:40am

Biobots Borrow Design from Millions of Years of Evolution

When designing our future robot overlords, scientists are borrowing ideas that have withstood the test of time over millions of years of evolution (or seven days of creation, depending on your point of view). This video from New Scientist shows how animals are inspiring robotics design, as evidenced by these robotic… » 11/20/07 9:24am 11/20/07 9:24am

World's First Programmable Robot Dates Back to 60 AD (Video)


Anyone can build a cart propelled by a falling lead weight, but this one, originally designed by a Greek inventor named Hero way back in 60 AD, responds to a series of commands "programmed" into the axle. The string pulled by the weight goes forward and back depending on where it has been wrapped around pegs in the… » 7/06/07 12:00pm 7/06/07 12:00pm