HBO Max Scores Exclusive ‘Doctor Who’ Streaming RightsJo Tro Do Plo Plo No: ‘Doctor Who’ Welcomes Back Familiar Monster Stay on target Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Who adventures end when “The Doctor Falls” on July 1 (save for his real finale in the Christmas special).But the 12th Doctor will live on in Titan Comics’ upcoming series “The Lost Dimension,” launching Aug. 30.The “epic event”—eight chapters dropping over three months—features all four revival Doctors playing their part to battle the Void.“The Void has always existed: ‘No place. The silent realm. The lost dimension.’ But the Void is no longer empty,” Titan explained in a press release. “The Void is hungry, and devouring our universe—through time and space. Now, the four Doctors must join forces to save… everything!”“The Lost Dimension” kicks off this fall with the “super-accessible” Alpha issue from George Mann and Cavan Scott, with art by Rachael Stott and Rod Fernandes.Ninth Doctor special covers (via Titan Comics)The “thrilling” story continues with a Ninth Doctor special, set for release in conjunction with Doctor Who Comics Day, a global celebration held on Saturday, Sept. 2.Inspired by Titan’s line of Who books, this year’s event is set to be “bigger than ever before,” with new comics and collections, merchandise, variant covers, signings, and affairs at retailers and libraries around the world.Last year’s festivities were tied in with the release of Scott and Mann’s Supremacy of the Cybermen comic mini-series—in honor of the classic villain’s 50th anniversary.Go online to sign up your bookshop or library, or to register for a kit to host your own reading group event on Doctor Who Comics Day. And keep an eye out for more details about this year’s event.Check out Mann’s work in the latest Twelfth Doctor story, “Beneath the Waves: Part 2,” in which the Doctor and companion Hattie must fend off attacking seaweed “shamblers.” Scott, meanwhile, wrapped up the Ninth Doctor’s “Arkham Asylum in Space” story last month with “Sin Eaters: Part Two.”And, get your live-action Doctor Who fix every Saturday on BBC America. The 12-episode arc marks the end for stars Peter Capaldi and Michelle Gomez (Missy the Master), as well as showrunner Steven Moffat, who will depart the sci-fi favorite late this year.
Stay on target Evan Rachel Wood Just As Disturbed by Humanoid Sophia As Everyone ElseMIT’s Thread-Like Robot Slides Through Blood Vessels In the Brain Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. We’ve mapped only about 5 percent of the world’s oceans, leaving some 65 percent of Earth (excluding dry land) unexplored.And what better way to investigate even further than with robots?A team from MIT CSAIL this week introduced “SoFi,” a soft robotic fish that independently swims alongside real seafood. The idea is to document marine life up close, without human interference.“To our knowledge, this is the first robotic fish that can swim untethered in three dimensions for extended periods of time,” lead study author Robert Katzschmann said in a statement.SoFi’s undulating tail and buoyancy control unit allows it to move in a straight line, turn, or dive up and down, swimming at depths of more than 50 feet for up to 40 minutes.My favorite part of the nimble machine is its waterproofed Super Nintendo controller, which allows the team to change SoFi’s speed and manage its actions.“We are excited about the possibility of being able to use a system like this to get closer to marine life than humans can get on their own,” CSAIL Ph.D. candidate Katzschmann said.Autonomous underwater vehicles (UAVs) are traditionally tethered to boats or powered by bulky propellers. But not SoFi. Lightweight, with a single camera, a motor, and the same lithium polymer battery found in consumer smartphones, the robot’s movements mimic a real fish.The entire back half of the fish is made of silicone rubber and flexible plastic; several components, including the head, are 3D-printed. Fun fact: To reduce the chance of water leaking into the machinery, developers filled the head with a bit of baby oil.Praising the scientists’ “technical achievements” in fabrication, powering, and water resistance, Cecilia Laschi, professor of biorobotics at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy, suggested that a device like SoFi “can help explore the reef more closely than current robots.”“Both because it can get closer more safely to the reef and because it can be better accepted by the marine species,” she explained.Indeed, SoFi boasts a minimal-noise motor and ultrasonic emissions.“The robot is capable of close observations and interactions with marine life and appears to not be disturbing to real fish,” CSAIL director Daniela Rus said.This project is just one part of a larger program focused on soft robots. The machines are potentially safer, sturdier, and more nimble than their hard-bodied counterparts, not to mention easier to control.Moving forward, the team will continue improving SoFi; they plan to build additional fish bots for biologists to use in their studies.“We view SoFi as a first step toward developing almost an underwater observatory of sorts,” Rus added. “It has the potential to be a new type of tool for ocean exploration and to open up new avenues for uncovering the mysteries of marine life.”The study results were published this week in the journal Science Robotics.