From robotic dead spiders to the ‘smart toilet’, these are the weirdest Ig Nobel Prize winners

Featuring dead robotic spiders and electrocuted chopsticks.

by | Published on 15th Sep 2023

You’ve heard of the Nobel Prize, now get ready for their weird cousin: The Ig Nobel Prize.

It’s a playful parody of the prestigious Nobel Prize and it recognizes some of the world’s weirdest and wackiest inventions.

READ MORE! Top 5 craziest robots just unveiled in China

The Ig Nobels are about scientific discoveries and inventions that are interesting and cool, but also kind of funny.

They honor “achievements that first make people laugh and then make them think”.

Entrants are allowed to present their work twice: first in 27 seconds and then again using just seven words.

These are some of the most interesting winners.

Robotic dead spiders

The Ig Nobel Prize for mechanical engineering went to students who reanimated dead spiders.

A student at Rice University noticed a spider in the corner of the lab one day.

She saw how its body curled up and thought it would make a great gripping tool.

Instead of fighting her crazy thoughts, she went with it, and invented something she calls ‘necrobotics’.

It turns out that when you use a syringe to blast tiny puffs of air into a dead spider its legs open in unison.

Kind of like the claw machine at the arcade.

Surprisingly durable, a spider grip can pick up things 1.3 times its size about 1000 times before breaking.

And these gripping mechanisms are obviously 100 percent biodegradable.

The way-too-smart toilet

When you think of a smart toilet you probably think about an automatic flush, perhaps even a seat-warming mechanism.

But this inventor has taken the smart toilet and made it a genius.

Maybe a mad genius.

The Stanford Toilet tracks your health in all the ways you would imagine a toilet could do.

It can also track your blood pressure, detect bacteria and diseases, and even test for COVID-19.

The toilet identifies each user with biometrics and sends health analytics to their smartphones.

And, yes, that is a camera down there.

Winning the prize for public health, the inventor says it could be used to help control outbreaks faster than ever.

Electrocuted chopsticks – Ig Nobel Prize

This idea came from some scientists who were jealous of a catfish.

A catfish has taste buds all over its body, meaning it tastes food way more intensely than humans.

Scientists have long known that our sense of taste can be intensified by using electricity, but haven’t explored it much for some reason.

Now, two scientists from Japan have decided to create electrocuted chopsticks and straws.

Apparently using them to eat and drink adds a whole new layer of taste to your dining experience.

We might just stick to the wooden ones for now.



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