Earthworm-Inspired Robot Wins $10,000 Student Scholarship

The “Wormbot,” which uses retractable claws, as built with rescue missions in mind

4 min read
A photo of the Wormbot on a white background.
Wormbot uses eight retractable claws along its length to grip its surroundings and prevent it from slipping.
Photo: Ari Firester

THE INSTITUTETeenager Ari Firester watched on television last year as members of a youth soccer team were saved from a flooded cave in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand. The two-week-long effort, which left one rescuer dead, inspired Firester to create a technology that might prevent such a tragedy from occurring again.

Image of Ari Firester standing in front of his project display. Ari Firester’s invention earned him this year’s IEEE Presidents’ Scholarship.Photo: Lynn Bowlby

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The State of the Transistor in 3 Charts

In 75 years, it’s become tiny, mighty, ubiquitous, and just plain weird

3 min read
A photo of 3 different transistors.
iStockphoto
LightGreen

The most obvious change in transistor technology in the last 75 years has been just how many we can make. Reducing the size of the device has been a titanic effort and a fantastically successful one, as these charts show. But size isn’t the only feature engineers have been improving.

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