Space & Innovation

Tasty Tech Eye Candy of the Week (Aug. 6)

Robotic race car, a fog catcher and an award-winning cargo drone round out this week's gallery.

A building that blooms like a bouquet of roses is really a conceptual design for a pavilion by Russian architect Vasily Klyukin. The glass and metal facade would change color based on interior lighting. Credit: Vasily Klyukin

This summer, Chinese solar power company, Hanergy Holding Group, unveiled four prototype solar-powered cars. Each one is covered in a thin-film solar cell that generates 8 to 10 kWh of energy, which gives the car a range of about 50 miles. Credit: Hanergy

This little cactus-shaped device called Dewpoint collects and stores water vapor from the air for later use. It was designed by students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for the Biodesign Challenge. The students took their inspiration from actual cactus leaves, which also store water to survive. Credit: Dewpoint SAIC

At the Rio Olympic Games, two Nissan prototype Bladeglider cars are being used to shuttle around VIPs. The all-electric three-seater goes 0 to 62mph in 5 seconds and has a 118mph top speed. Credit: Nissan

For rescue workers and first responders, finding lightweight, breathable clothing that's also protective is nearly impossible. But scientists at LLNL have turned to nanotechnology for a solution. They've developed a flexible polymer membrane that contains carbon nanotubes aligned to function as tiny pores. The pores breathe and also can be engineered to neutralize biological and chemical agents. Credit: Ryan Chen/LLNL

For his design of a vertical take-off drone meant to carry cargo, Alexey Medvedev won first place in the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge, sponsored by Local Motors. Medvedev named the drone Zelator and is now $50,000 richer. Credit: Alexey Medvedev

This rolling robot named Ourobot is made up of 12 linked segments that each have a motor and a pressure sensor. On flat ground, it rolls like a wheel. But to move over uneven ground or obstacles, it flattens out and works more like the tread on a tank. It was designed by a team of computer engineering students at Germany's Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences. Ourobot comes from the Egyptian symbol called Ouroboros, which shows a serpent curled around in a circle.

Kirigami is an ancient Japanese art form similar to origami. It involves cutting and folding paper to obtain 3-D shapes. Now researchers at the University of Bristol have found a way to use Kirigami to transform 2-D sheet materials into complex 3-D shapes. The technique could be used to improve robotics, morphing structures for aircrafts and space vehicles, as well microwave and smart antennas. Credit: University of Bristol

Roborace is new kind of car racing event being planned to take place in tandem with the Formula E in the 2016/17 season. Ten teams will compete in identical cars and so for this race, the car isn't the muscle — it's how the data is processed from a huge array of sensors and cameras gets processed. Credit: Roborace / Daniel Simon

To prevent theft and to reduce the chances of an accidental shooting, San Diego-based startup Safety First Arms created the self-locking Smart 2 pistol, which has a built-in PIN pad and an anti-theft alarm. Credit: Safety First Arms