How do today’s scientific discoveries shape tomorrow’s world?
Get the scoop on the most surprising science stories and the biggest breakthroughs in our multimedia science news gallery. Tomorrow’s World brings you science news from every angle — from headline-grabbing gadgets to full-on feature exhibitions on hot topics.
Come engage with cutting-edge science, explore the implications of new technology, and share your thoughts on controversial issues.
Why are robots hitching rides on animals?
Roboticists often make robots inspired by animals, but this parasitic robot uses the animals themselves. Resting on the shell of its host, the robot 'drives' the terrapin around. The terrapin is trained to follow flashing red lights on the robot, and is rewarded with food when it obeys.
Creating robots that can navigate through natural environments is challenging. Instead, scientists made use of the natural abilities of the terrapin, and designed a robot to control it. They hope animal-robot hybrids will boldly go where today's conventional robots can't.
Can this vest help astronauts get to Mars?
The AstroRad radiation shield is designed for astronauts in deep space. It protects their vital organs from deadly solar radiation, which can cause cancers and other diseases.
When astronauts fly more than 2000 km away from the Earth, far beyond the orbit of the International Space Station and into deep space, they face dangerously high levels of radiation.
If humans are ever to walk on Mars, astronauts will need protection like the AstroRad. It will be tested in 2019 as part of the Orion mission to send humans to Mars.
What health secrets does breath hold?
Our breath can reveal a lot more than just the last meal we ate. The presence or absence of biomarkers, naturally occurring chemical indicators of a particular disease state, can shed light on our health.
The ReCIVA breath sampler is a new tool that seeks to allow early and non-invasive diagnosis of infectious diseases, inflammatory disease and cancer by accurately capturing chemicals in exhaled breath. Early diagnoses mean that more treatment options are available to patients and that survival rates are higher. Through these 'breath biopsies', the scientists behind ReCIVA hope to save 100,000 lives.
How does this robot keep tabs on fish?
Fish are sensitive. If the temperature, acidity, oxygen level or salt content of the water they swim in changes too much, fish can become stressed and develop diseases. That's why monitoring water quality is so important in fish farms.
The iTuna uses synthetic muscles to swim and sensors to measure acidity, providing fish farmers with real-time results on water conditions. By mimicking a real fish, the iTuna can reduce stress to other fish and adapt its swimming patterns to different water conditions.
The Science Museum's Tomorrow's World gallery is part of a broader initiative that lives online, on screen and in the real world. Discover more science stories at bbc.co.uk/tomorrowsworld.
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