GOOD

Robots On Ice Probe the Arctic

Why a team of research robots is investigating disappearing sea ice, and why you should care

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

Deep in the frozen realm of the Arctic, scientists are deploying robots, built to operate autonomously and remotely, to complete a cold, lonely recon mission. These bots will gather information on the area’s sea ice, whirring and clicking far away from anyone who could possibly observe their careful work. Specially designed to withstand the extreme conditions of the region, the machines, which dive, swim, hover, and glide, will monitor the fragile marginal ice zone (MIZ) of the Beaufort Sea. By assessing local environmental changes, scientists are able to track both rising sea levels and the subsequent loss of ice, hoping to keep up with the alarming, rapidly shifting climate conditions of the Arctic, which has been warming at nearly twice the rate as the rest of the globe.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Teaching Your Finger to Read

MIT is developing a ring that might end up transforming the lives of the visually impaired.

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

The brains over at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab are working on a wearable device that helps visually impaired people read printed text. The FingerReader, not to be confused with the comparatively less high-tech palm reader whom your weird aunt swears by, is a ring with a built-in camera that the user fits on his or her index finger. When the user points at a surface with text, the camera picks up the words, which the device then reads out loud.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles