Mantis shrimp have divided into two distinct groups based on weaponry. Smashers have developed hard clubs that they use to crack open hard-shelled prey, while Spearers have long and sharp spines at the tip of their claws for spearing their prey. Both use their weapons with lightning speed, showing that their nickname, “thumb splitters”, is well-earned.
Flame- & ice-proof soft robot gets squashed by a car
Michael Tolley (Harvard) & his team created a 65 cm long soft & pneumatic robot with no skeleton, that can survive fire, ice and getting squashed by a car. Very Cronenberg’esque.
Snip from The New Scientist:
Its beefed up size allows it to support a battery pack that keeps it going for up to 2 hours and an electrically powered air compressor system that drives its pneumatic motion. Soft robots are of interest for search and rescue missions, says Tolley, or in any situation where a flexible body can better navigate through tight spaces. Its ability to handle extreme conditions should also come in handy.