Swiss Researchers Built Robotic Vampire Bat for Search and Rescue

It isn’t easy to create a multi-terrain aerial robot, at least not without adding multiple propulsion features. Up until now they usually carried both wheels and wings to be able to travel in both elements, which in return would increase both weight and size, and thereby mobility and operating time.

Swiss researchers have now created a new type of vehicle that is designed for search and rescue operations, the DALER (Deployable Air-Land Exploration Robot). The robot uses adaptive morphology inspired by the common vampire bat, Desmodus Rotundus, meaning that the wings have been actuated using a foldable skeleton mechanism covered with a soft fabric such that they can be used both as wings and as legs (whegs).

The researchers behind the project hope that the DALER might be able to find victims in disaster areas much quicker than with current methods. It could be deployed and sent out to an affected area where it would switch to ground mode and crawl through tight spaces like collapsed buildings to quickly find injuries people.

If successful, it could decrease the rescue time significantly simple by allowing the rescue workers to focus their energy on the area where they are needed. The current version can’t take off again by itself and return to its airbase, but that is something that is being worked on for the next prototype.

Thanks to cnBeta for providing us with this information

Ice Bucket Challenge helps ALS Wikipedia Page Views Grow 18-fold

We’ve been covering quite a lot of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge recently – from Destiny’s Ghost taking up the call, to some very heart wrenching and moving videos.

However, the question is quite often asked on social media by many – what is this actually doing for ALS awareness? Well, thanks to the Wikimedia Foundation, we’ve learned that the ALS Wikipedia page (English) has been viewed 2.89 million times in August alone, compared to a relatively small 163,000 per month on average in the first half of 2014. This means the page views have gone up 18 times their previous numbers.

Thus far, over $100 million has been raised for the ALS Association since the viral challenge hit our news feeds and with this latest Wikipedia news, it’s showing that not only is the challenge a way for some people to show off their best wet t-shirt bods and gain some internet ‘likes’ – there is actually a purpose behind this and it’s quite possibly working.

Have you completed the ice bucket challenge? Did you donate? Have you learned anything? We’re keen to hear from you – so let us know.

Image courtesy of NBC news

New Flexible Displays Unveiled by Nokia

It appears that Nokia has unveiled its new folding display technology at the Society for Information Display 2014 conference, having on display two types of high-resolution OLED folding displays.

Though the technology is at its early stages, Nokia cloud be hinting at potential new handsets featuring the flexible displays in the near future. Other manufacturers, such as LG and its Flex handset, have also entered the market with such handsets bearing flexible displays, therefore Nokia might be heading on the right path with these new displays.

The first display is said to have the ability to be folded twice, having Nokia calling it a ‘book type’ display, while the second display has the ability to be folded three times. Both screen are said to measure in at 5.9-inches, having a pixel per inch count of 249 and bearing a resolution of 1280 x 720.

Although the display can be folded, that does not mean it can be folded indefinitely. Nokia has stated that the maximum folds before the display breaks is currently set at 100,000 folds. In addition, the displays can be folded to a 2 mm radius, meaning the screen can not quite touch, but it is impressively close.

In terms of production, the displays are said to be made by forming release, colour filter, TFT and OLED layers on a glass substrate, having the colour filter and OLED layers attached to each other and finally having the glass layer replaced with flexible substrates.

Nokia has not officially stated their intentions with the given flexible displays, but given that the company is a handset and tablet manufacturer, one would guess that new flexible display Lumias could surface in the future.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Forbes