Flying high: how drones on cables are expanding the scope of wind energy

Skypull's prototype designs are being tested in Switzerland to prove that the concept works before they build a full-size version. Image credit - Skypull

by Tom Cassauwers By harnessing the power of strong winds at higher altitude than turbines reach, airborne wind energy could be another key source of renewable energy, but it will need a combination of successful designs, more robust software and good storytelling to really take off. The square drone shakes in the wind with the Swiss … Read more

The prostheses that could alleviate amputees’ phantom limb pain

When it comes to improving amputees’ quality of life, one of the biggest challenges is making prostheses that feel like a natural part of the user. Image credit - Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Wikimedia Commons

by Ian Le Guillou New prosthetic technologies that stimulate the nerves could pave the way for prostheses that feel like a natural part of the body and reduce the phantom limb pain commonly endured by amputees. Silvestro Micera, a professor of translational neuroengineering at Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, has spent the past 20 … Read more

Levitation, touch and sound – how you’ll be able to feel videogames in the future

When ultrasound waves from different emitters meet in mid-air, it creates the sensation of a solid object which could enhance people's videogaming experience. Image credit - Maurizio Pesce, licensed under CC BY 2.0 (brands blurred out)

by Kelly Oakes Despite advances in both virtual and augmented reality technology in the last few years, there’s one area that remains neglected: touch. With your VR headset on, you might be able to explore the sights of a vast forest and hear birdsong all around you, but you won’t feel the dampness of the … Read more