NOVA: Making Stuff Wilder

Republibot 4.0
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I've caught a few of these episodes of the NOVA series "Making Stuff," hosted by the pleasantly goofy Michael Pogue (not as personable as Alan Alda, nor as wacky as Bill Nye--kinda like their little brother) and mostly the show's been quite interesting. But I have to recommend this episode in particular, if only because it has several segments on robotics.

The jist of this show is that scientists take inspiration for new inventions from nature. It features a four-footed robot that's the size of a cow and can go tromping off through the woods on command, and a bipedal robot that's learning how to balance itself, even when hit from the side by a 20-lb ball. Even Michael Pogue couldn't do that test.

Other items of interest are a non-stick spray coating inspired by the pitcher plant, and a cloud of tiny drones that can work together for search and rescue operations.

It's the cutting edge of cool.