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Nature Podcast

How to 3D print fully-formed robots

In this episode:


00:46 Machine vision enables multi-material 3D printing

3D printers are capable of producing complex shapes, but making functioning objects from multiple materials in a single print-run has proved challenging. To overcome this, a team has combined inkjet printing with an error-correction system guided by machine vision, to allow them to print sophisticated multi-material objects. They used this method to make a bio-inspired robotic hand that combines soft and rigid plastics to make mechanical bones, ligaments, and tendons, as well as a pump based on a mammalian heart.


Research article: Buchner et al.

News & Views: Multi-material 3D printing guided by machine vision

Video: The 3D printer that crafts complex robotic organs in a single run


07:49 Research Highlights

Citizen-scientists help identify an astronomical object that blurs the line between asteroid and comet, and how a Seinfeld episode helped scientists to distinguish the brain regions involved in understanding and appreciating humour.


Research Highlight: Citizen scientists find a rarity: an asteroid trying to be a comet

Research Highlight: One brain area helps you to enjoy a joke — but another helps you to get it


10:31 Assessing the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions for diabetes

Type 2 diabetes affects hundreds of millions of people around the world and represents a significant burden on healthcare systems. But behaviour change programmes — also known as lifestyle interventions — could potentially play a large role in preventing people from developing type 2 diabetes. This week in Nature a new paper assesses how effective this kind of intervention might be. Looking at a huge amount of data from the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, the paper concludes that these interventions represent a viable diabetes prevention strategy.


Research article: Lemp et al.

News & Views: Diabetes prevention programme put to the test


17:35 Briefing Chat

How marine heatwaves revved up crabs’ metabolisms until they starved, and the AI-powered, robot chemist that could extract oxygen from water on Mars.


Wired: The Surprising Reason Sea Creatures Are Getting Hungrier

Nature News: This AI robot chemist could make oxygen on Mars

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