Changes to the Robobee — including an additional pair of wings and improvements to the actuators and transmission ratio — made the vehicle more efficient and allowed the addition of solar cells and an electronics panel. This Robobee is the first to fly without a power cord and is the lightest, untethered vehicle to achieve sustained flight. (Image courtesy of the Harvard Microrobotics Lab/Harvard SEAS) June 2019
New Zealand underwear company, Thunderpants have launched their latest ‘colour me’ range – underwear and clothing covered in mushrooms of all shapes and varieties. For every pair of the fungi filled Thundies sold throughout April, one dollar will be donated to SAFE, Save Animals From Exploitation, NZ’s leading animal advocacy organisation. Designed to unleash customers creative side these organic fair trade undies can be custom coloured to create a one-off unique pair.
Since 1932 SAFE has been defending animals against cruelty and abuse and making significant improvements to the lives of animals by raising awareness, challenging cruel practices and changing attitudes. SAFE is a non-profit charitable organisation funded by the good will of the community.
The launch of this design also coincides with Thunderpants leap into trading solely online as they cease to wholesale to over 80 retailers throughout NZ and Australia from 1st April 2018. A decision made by the company in order to meet the ever growing demand for these awesome undies, while still remaining ethical and NZ made.
The family of robot animals from the German developer of robotics Festo is growing. The company presents many new robots, for example: a swarm of ants that can interact with each other, as well as butterflies and dragonflies, which are characterized by all the ease and grace of these insects. When they were created, the company focused not only on their appearance, but also on behavioral characteristics.
Call for Papers: (Un)common worlds: Contesting the limits of human–animal communities
Humans and other animals share spaces and create communities together. They touch each other in various symbolic and material ways, constantly crossing and redrawing communal, ethical and very practical boundaries. As of late, this multifarious renegotiation of human-animal relations has sparked intense debates both in the public arena and in academia.
For instance, Bruno Latour argues that the anthropocene (marking the massive human impact on ecosystems) creates a new territory in which traditional subject/object separations are no longer useful. What is called for is the transgressing or dissolving of these limits in order to “distribute agency as far and in as differentiated a way as possible” (Latour 2014, 16). Various inclusive, more-than-human notions, such as ‘cosmopolitics’ (Stengers 2010) or ’common worlds’ (Latour 2004) are brought forward to this end. These discussions highlight what is becoming a core challenge for various disciplines and fields of study: how to live together in complex places, spaces and societies, with intersecting and overlapping borders and traces of cultures, histories and politics. Furthermore, the discussions bring forth the question of how to work against the premises of exclusive human agency and interest in order to explore and imagine multispecies futures.
However, the various conceptualisations of inclusive, common worlds entail a risk of disregarding or devaluing that which is not shared: the aspects of multispecies lives that cannot be or become common but that nevertheless matter for shared existences. There is also the issue of becoming “common” – of territorialisations and inclusions of some beings to the exclusion of others. What will remain the “uncommon” (i.e. unconventional) in common worlds? Moreover, are common worlds envisaged as free of political struggles and borders? What are the politics of becoming common and remaining uncommon?
With this Call we invite you to discuss and develop ideas about human-animal worlds both common and uncommon. We invite presentations to this interdisciplinary conference from various fields, including but not limited to social sciences, law, arts and humanities, and natural and environmental sciences.