The Ig Nobel prizes for the year 2023 have been awarded to various unusual scientific studies and achievements. These prizes are given to research that “makes people laugh, then think.” One of the winners is a study that re-animated dead spiders to create robot-claws, known as “necrobots.” This research has the potential to advance robotics technology.
In the field of public health, the prize was awarded to scientists from Stanford University who developed a “smart” toilet. This toilet uses various technologies to analyze substances excreted by users in order to monitor their health. It includes features such as urinalysis dipstick test strips, a computer vision system for defecation analysis, and an identification camera that assesses the creases in a person’s anus to create an “analprint” similar to fingerprints. The researchers believe that this innovation has the potential to revolutionize health monitoring.
Another interesting study that won an Ig Nobel prize is the research conducted by a geologist at the University of Leicester. The study explained why geologists lick rocks. According to the geologist, wetting the surface of rocks makes the minerals within them stand out better, making it easier to identify them in the field. Although no longer a common practice, the geologist expressed nostalgia for the days when scientists would not only lick rocks but also sometimes cook and eat them.
Other winners included a psychology experiment that studied how many passersby looked upward when they saw strangers looking upward, a nutrition study proposing the invention of “electrified” chopsticks and drinking straws that can change the taste of food, and a study exploring the boredom experienced by both teachers and students in the education segment.
The Ig Nobel prizes offer a platform for recognition and humor in the scientific community, highlighting the unusual and thought-provoking research being conducted across various fields of study.
[Source 1: Annals of Improbable Research]
[Source 2: Associated Press]
[Source 3: Rice University]
[Source 4: Paleontological Association]
[Source 5: Journal Advanced Science]