Friday Futures: robot bees on Mars, invisibility cloaks, CRISPR is toast

robot bees
Image credit: Andrii Vodolazhsky /

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: robot bees to explore Mars; an invisibility cloak; CRISPR is toast; supersonic travel for all; and the top six tech advances – so far.

‘Bees’ may be the answer to properly explore Mars

Marsbees would be a swarm of “bumblebee size” flapping robots that could cover a far greater distance (with a lot less effort) than a rover could. But that doesn’t mean a rover would be left out: a rover would serve as a recharge station and main communications hub for the bees. Read more…

Scientists just invented an invisibility cloak

Potential uses include better camouflage for troops and insulation for spacecraft, storage containers, emergency shelters, clinical care, and building heating and cooling systems. Read more…

Is the CRISPR experiment toast?

Biotech has been betting big on CRISPR, the gene-editing technique that promises to snip away some of humanity’s worst diseases. But last May, a small case study suggested the much-hyped technology might actually be quite dangerous—and pop went the CRISPR bubble. Read more…

Was blockchain actually involved in Sierra Leone’s election?

On March 7, Sierra Leone held the first presidential election using blockchain. At least, that’s what we were told. But Sierra Leone’s election officials say that’s not what happened. Read more…

Are we close to civilian supersonic travel?

Flying faster than sound is the easy part. The real trick is doing it without creating the eardrum-battering sonic boom, a key hurdle to reviving supersonic flight for civilians. Read more…

The top six tech advances so far

Video: beautiful plastic, squishy robots (with muscles), brick laying robots and mobile printers. Watch now…

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