A Bay Area startup is giving spiders and silkworms a run for their money. Bolt Threads, which announced a new $40 million round funding on Thursday, has developed a synthetic, “programmable” alternative to larval- or arachnid-produced silk. Engineered using proteins derived from yeast, the fibers can be manipulated to deliver any combination of softness, strength, and durability. They’re even machine-washable. “Think of the strength a delicate, pliable spiderweb must have to stop insects hurtling through the air,” Jim Kim and Tanguy Chau, members of the venture-capital group Formation 8, explained in a post on Wednesday. “Apply those properties to textiles, and you get a fabric with 100 times the strength of reinforced steel but that is as soft and flexible as the most comfortable fabrics.”
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.