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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Jellyfish inspire flying-robot design

By Amina Khan



The wonders of Creation, applied further


JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Jellyfish may not look like the most athletic of swimmers, but they're remarkably efficient and their body plan could have advantages that translate to the air. A team from New York University has designed a flying jellyfish-like robot that uses four flapping wings to stay aloft.

The unconventional robot, described at the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting in Pittsburgh, could lead the way for flying mini-robots to be used in search-and-rescue and military operations and even as environmental sensors.

Engineers are trying to build all sorts of robots based on the wing motions of such animals as birds, bats, hummingbirds and butterflies. Those working on the smallest robots tend to use more insect-like designs, given that the bugs have already mastered flight mechanisms on a tiny scale.

But the vast majority of flying insects rely on the same mechanism, with the same weaknesses: wings that sweep back and forth in a sort of S-shape. (Only a few creatures, including dragonflies, move their wings in the relatively simple up-down motion that many people expect.)

Such designs are "a great place to start in terms of building a flying machine," said lead author Leif Ristroph, an applied mathematician at New York University. "But there are some technical problems with it."



Bugs with flapping wings have to spend a lot of time dealing with a violent environment, sensing every gust of wind and then adjusting accordingly. It takes a lot of work, and it's inherently unstable. The researchers wanted to build something that can be built small, but simply, and still remain stable in the air without too much thinking.

"I wanted to think of something very different," Ristroph said. "So I actually tried about five or 10 different schemes, all of which failed except this one."


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The jellyfish, in some ways, appears ideal for this task: It's a very simple creature, lacking a brain or bones (and the complex joints that come with them). And the design works on large and small scales: The Lion's Mane jellyfish can exceed 7 feet in diameter and the Irukandji jellyfish can be just a few millimeters wide.

The scientists' flapping-wing robot spans 8 centimeters and weighs just 2 grams. With four petal-like wings that flap up and down, it may move more like a moth than a jellyfish, given that jellies squeeze water out of smooth, unbroken bells.

And while this robotic flying jelly still has to be attached to a power source and can't yet be steered, this prototype shows that such a design can indeed work, perhaps for more sophisticated flying machines and on much smaller scales.

The design could be useful for the military, Ristroph said, though he was more excited about civilian applications. Theoretically, he said, mini flying jellies could be tossed into the air from a building and float around as environmental sensors, taking data and adjusting their position when necessary.

"It's an excellent example of bio-inspired engineering," said Caltech professor John Dabiri, who studies the jellyfish's swimming secrets and attended the talk at the Pittsburgh meeting.

"The final product doesn't copy the jellyfish body design, but it does achieve a similarly stable motion," Dabiri said. "Although it doesn't look like the jellyfish that inspired it, I'm sure they would be proud."

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© 2013, Los Angeles Times Distributed by MCT Information Services



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