Regal jumping spider aids British scientists to make huge leap forward in robotics

British scientists have made a huge leap forward in robotics by studying the regal jumping spider.

The jumping spider can leap up to six times their body length from a standing start - where humans can only manage about 1.5 body lengths.

And experts say the study can help design a new generation of robotics, BBC reported.

The regal jumping spider is distinguished by its capacity to pounce on its prey with extreme accuracy.

The research on the spider involved filming the arachnid with super accurate cameras to dissect the body mechanics of it's leap.

3D scanning of the spider's legs were also carried out to build a real life model of them.


Pedestrian killed and four injured in Waikato crash

One person is dead and four others were injured after a crash on State Highway 2 near Maramarua in Waikato.

The crash took place near the intersection of Dimmock Road about 9.15pm last night, police said.

Initial indications showed a car had collided with a pedestrian, and then a second car following the first had swerved to avoid the incident, hitting trees.

A third vehicle, a ute travelling in the opposite direction, had then also tried to avoid the crash and rolled.

The pedestrian died at the scene and at least four others were hurt.

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating.

Police car night generic
Police car (File picture). Source: 1 NEWS


Fair Go: One woman's tale of her shrinking fitted sheets prompts retailers to order tests

Friday night is fresh sheets night for Napier woman Jules Cronin.

However her problem is after each wash, it's getting harder and harder to get her sheets back on her bed.

"It's a wrestling match with the sheets at least once a fortnight.

"You wake up in the morning and the corner has come untucked and you are fighting with the sheet because it's wrapped up around your arm or around your leg or around your head," she says with a laugh. 

Jules was sure her bed wasn't growing.

"I know as people we all get a little bit bigger and we all get a bit tighter. But generally mattresses don't grow. And then I thought maybe it's the sheets. And it was definitely the sheets."

Jules Cronin says her sheets are shrinking. She measured them with her son. And one pair lost six centimeters in length. And that's not all.

"I've bought at least six sets of queen size sheets and had at least four sets that have shrunk."

Jules has bought sheets from most major retailers in the past eight months. Crackerjacks say this is the first complaint they've had. 

"We have taken the range off the shop floor until it's tested by our supplier.  We will provide a refund to any customers that have had the same shrinking issue as Jules," says Craig Faulkner, CEO of Crackerjacks.

The Warehouse have also taken Jules' sheets for testing. They say it's not something they had a lot of complaints about.

International linen standards allow for five per cent shrinkage So anything more and you may be entitled to your money back. 

The key is to measure your mattress. And remember, every natural fibre shrinks, so try and keep it away from hot water and hot air.

Jules Cronin keeps having the same problem with her fitted linen sheets - they keep getting smaller. Source: Fair Go


One dead, two injured in Te Kuiti crash

A person died and two others were injured in a single car crash in Te Kuiti tonight.

Police say the car rolled on Waitete Road/SH30, near Cotter Street, shortly before 9pm.

One person died at the scene and two others were transported to hospital by ambulance in moderate conditions.

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating and police say the road will be closed for some time.

Diversions are in place and police have asked that motorists are patient if they experience delays.

Police Source: 1 NEWS

Chorus subcontractors 'exploiting' immigrant workers says minister after investigation

Dozens of Chorus subcontractors rolling-out ultra fast broadband have breached minimum employment standards.

An investigation by the Labour Inspectorate has found 73 subcontractors in Auckland failed to keep employment records, pay the minimum wage and provide employment agreements.

Labour Inspectorate national manager Stu Lumsden said the breaches involved immigrant workers.

"In a number of cases it was found that contractors deliberately used practices such as 'volunteering' or extended trial and training periods without pay," he said.

He said it was disappointing a project of this size had failed to ensure basic employment standards.

"Many of these employees represent a vulnerable section of the New Zealand workforce that often aren't aware of their minimum employment rights and are concerned with their visa status," he said.

Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said the behaviour was not acceptable.

"This activity is in breach of minimum employment standards required by law, it is clearly exploiting migrants, and it is a timely reminder why the government is strengthening employment law to protect vulnerable workers," Mr Lees-Galloway said.

"It is bad for workers, it is bad for our reputation and ultimately, bad for our economy," he said.

E tū union spokesperson Joe Gallagher said the practice was alarming, but not surprising.

"We have known about the effect of this contracting model since they started it," he said.

Mr Gallagher said Chorus needed to shoulder the responsibility.

A spokesperson at Chorus said the company was "disappointed' by the findings of the investigation.

The company had no further comment until after it meets with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment tomorrow.

More than 70 Chorus subcontractors breached employment rules with immigrant workers, the Labour Inspectorate has found. Source: