Teeny ‘water bear’ walk points to evolution mystery

Nicknamed "water bears," tardigrades are only .02 inches long, but walk like animals 500,000 times their size. But why did they ever evolve to walk at all?

Katherine Fenz-Rockefeller • futurity
Sept. 1, 2021 ~7 min

‘Micro-swimmers’ move up steep slopes like mountain climbers

The way "micro-swimmers" mimic rock climbers navigate could shed light on how bacteria move in the body and could lead to new ways to deliver drugs.

James Devitt-NYU • futurity
July 15, 2021 ~5 min

AI teaches a robot how to learn to walk

Artificial intelligence did more than teach a robot to walk. It taught a robot how to learn to walk. The distinction is key.

Aaron Aupperlee-Carnegie Mellon • futurity
July 14, 2021 ~4 min

600K alligator and bird poses hint how dinosaurs moved

3D imaging technology used to analyze nearly 600,000 limb poses of modern birds and alligators offers clues to how dinosaurs moved from place to place.

Corrie Pikul-Brown • futurity
Feb. 11, 2021 ~6 min

Physics-defying ocean critter’s ‘propeller’ caught on camera

"These incredibly abundant and ecologically-important marine animals have a neat trick to beat the physics of their environment..."

Jim Barlow-Oregon • futurity
May 22, 2020 ~9 min

Robot made with smaller bots has a funky way of getting around

When a set of small, flapping robots combine their efforts, they get around in a unique, wiggling way. Check out this video to see them in action.

John Toon-Georgia Tech • futurity
Sept. 20, 2019 ~7 min

Runners: There’s no ‘magic number’ for steps per minute

Contrary to long-standing belief, there's no perfect running cadence to get the best speed and efficiency, researchers say.

Laura Bailey-Michigan • futurity
March 29, 2019 ~4 min