From robots that eat and shrink to invincible soldiers and smart drones, advanced science projects will alter our universe. We look at 12 of the best.

Thinking about mad science projects usually involves imaging a nutty professor tucked away in his lab.

However, some experiments, once only conceivable as being conducted by that nutty professor, are now becoming more mainstream as real money is being spent on everything from shape-shifting robots to artificial intelligence-based borgs. Here we take a look at 12 projects Dr Frankenstein would have loved.

Build your inner strength

The US military's research arm has done much to help increase the health and well-being of its service members but, it wants to make them better, way better.

A Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program called 'Inner Armour' is looking at ways to fortify the entire soldier against attack from bullets and bombs, but also against environmental threats, infectious diseases, chemical, biological and radioactive weapons.

One example of Inner Armour work. In humans, core body temperature can be controlled by the temperature applied to superficial veins in the arms and legs.

Thus, "heat dumping" materials comprised of designer proteins, could be worn as "venous radiator patches" over the eight anatomic locations where major blood vessels lie close to the skin. Indeed.

The shape-shifting bot

iRobot recently showed one of the first shape shifting robots or chembots as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency calls them.

The company last year got a $3.3 million DARPA contract to build soft, flexible, mobile objects that can identify and manouver through openings smaller than their static structural dimensions; reconstitute size, shape, and features while delivering meaningful payloads or performing significant tasks.

NEXT PAGE: Going up and a vegetarian robot

  1. These experiments could change the way we live
  2. Going up and a vegetarian robot
  3. The robotic gardener and the dark side
  4. Buzzing and Big Brother
  5. The Jetson Pod and Fly by droning
  6. The all-consuming AI system and NASA and the micro-bots