Robots

The fish's movements, orientation, and location in the tank were translated into instructions for the wheels of the vehicle. The fish moves the car forward, backward, left and right.

Watch This Goldfish Drive an Aquarium on Wheels

The car was designed to move depending on the fish's location in its tank, showing animals can understand how to navigate foreign environments

The science behind bubbles in champagne is an active field of research. Here, a red spotlight highlights bubbles growing at the bottom of a goblet, where they stick thanks to surface tension.

The Science Behind Champagne Bubbles

As you uncork that bottle and raise your glass, take time to toast the physics and chemistry along with the New Year

A CT scan of the spiral intestine of a Pacific spiny dogfish shark (Squalus suckleyi). The organ begins on the left and ends on the right.

Innovation for Good

Ten Scientific Discoveries From 2021 That May Lead to New Inventions

From nanobots to cancer treatments, nature inspires a wide variety of innovations

The robot moves by redistributing liquid and air in its "body."

This Legless, Pancake-Shaped Robot Is an Impressive Jumper

A leaping robot is challenging to design, but this one can hop six times its body length per second and nearly eight times its height

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Robotic Fish Are This Invasive Species' 'Worst Nightmare'

The tiny swimmers wreak havoc across the globe, but the robofish shocked them enough to impair their survival and reproduction

A robot powered by artificial intelligence will attempt to restore fragmented frescoes at the Roman city of Pompeii, destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E.

How Robots Could Help Restore Fragmented Frescoes in Pompeii

Using artificial intelligence, scientists have put together a computerized system that could rebuild the magnificent murals destroyed by Mount Vesuvius

Using AI, supercomputers and a Frankenstein approach, scientists designed living robots from frogs' stem cells.

Scientists Unveiled the World's First Living Robots Last Year. Now, They Can Reproduce

By clustering free-floating stem cells together, 'xenobots' can assemble baby bots

Purdue University's INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering tests toys for how well they develop STEM skills in kids.

Gift Guides

Engineers Pick the Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts This Year

These expert-approved gifts teach robotics, coding and engineering thinking through stories and play

Real guppies respond to Robofish—a 3D-printed plastic model with a vaguely realistic paint job—as if it were a real schoolmate. Researchers used different-sized Robofish to show that guppy schools tend to follow larger fish.

How Scientists Are Using Robotic Animals to Learn About Real Ones

Biomimetic bots can teach researchers a lot about how creatures interact in the natural world

Can a machine be taught to understand the plant world?

Innovation for Good

Is This Weed-Spotting, Yield-Predicting Rover the Future of Farming?

The robot, developed by Alphabet Inc.'s X, will make its public debut at the Smithsonian

The Nautilus, a research vessel operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust, and the ROV Hercules (in the water) on the hunt for a cancer-busting marine bacteria.

A Marine Bacteria Species Shows Promise for Curing an Aggressive Brain Cancer

A new glioblastoma drug is derived from a microbe found in the ocean at depths of up to 6,500 feet

A chameleon’s exterior can dapple on demand with a remarkable variety of colors and patterns. Researchers are inching towards realizing that capability in robots.

Scientists Design a Robotic Chameleon That Crawls and Changes Color

A new artificial skin can sense its surroundings and create a camouflage coat

Run, Cassie, run!

'Star Wars'–Like Running Robot Finishes 5K on Two Legs

The untethered bipedal bot made history by completing the outdoor course in 53 minutes

Four robots printed the steel structure in just six months.

Innovation for Good

World's First 3-D-Printed Steel Bridge Debuts in Amsterdam

The newly opened overpass measures 40 feet long and weighs 6 tons

Orange scalefin anthias fish swarm in front of a fire coral in the Red Sea's Ras Mohammed Marine Park, Egypt.

Smithsonian Voices

Will the Oceans of 2030 Brim With Reef Robots and Other Fancy Stuff?

Imagine a world where an Indigenous fisher can get forecasts of local marine life from a smartphone, or robots offer real-time data on coral reef health

President Barack Obama fist bumps a robotic arm being controlled by electrodes implanted in Nathan Copeland's brain at the University of Pittsburgh on October 13, 2016.

New Research

Researchers Create Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm With Sense of Touch

Touch feedback allowed a man with electrodes implanted into his brain to command a robotic arm and complete tasks quickly

Artist's rendering of "Futures," an upcoming exhibition at the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building

Futures

From Floating Cities to Biodegradable Burial Pods and Flying Cars, the Smithsonian Envisions a Multitude of Futures

The Arts and Industries Building will reopen this November with a thought-provoking exploration of what lies ahead for humanity

Perseverance landed on Mars using a sky crane, which hovers above the planet's surface and drops the rover on ropes.

Perseverance Rover Shares Its First Video and Audio of Mars

The Curiosity rover landed the same way in 2012 but the engineers who designed the system hadn’t seen it in action until now

NASA's Perseverance rover will store rock and soil samples in sealed tubes on the surface of Mars.

Exploring Mars

Perseverance Kicks Off Elaborate Effort to Bring Mars Rocks to Earth

The decade-long mission requires dozens of glass tubes, two rovers and three more rocket launches, including the first from another planet

Each fish-inspired robot uses two wide-angle cameras to look for the LEDs on its companions.

New Research

These 3-D Printed Robot Fish Sync and Swim

The small water-bound robots use wide-angle cameras and three bright LEDs to move in synchronized swarms

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