If you want to build a bipedal robot than can do backflips, you're probably going to need traditional motors and batteries, but that's not where robots begin and end. We've seen dead simple robots powered by mere moisture and by lasers, but now there's an even more novel power source taking shape: popcorn. The concept, spearhead by a team out of Cornell University led by Steven Ceron, makes use of popcorn's characteristic ability to turn heat into mechanical force by its signature pop. Researchers found that certain kinds of popcorn kernels can increase to more than 15 times their original volume when popped, which allows them to function reasonably well as a single-use power source for cleverly designed robots. Using popcorn for any of these purposes obviously has its downsides, the main one being that popcorn cannot be unpopped.
If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives. Popcorn has some serious power. How many times have you promised yourself you'd skip the concession stand, only to be drawn in by that buttery, salty snack? It's such a bland bite by itself, and yet somehow I always find myself grabbing for it when I smell the freshly popped stuff.
Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. The worst thing about microwaving popcorn is the inherent risk that comes with burning most of it. You either timed it too long and wound up making everything smokey, or you have too many unpopped kernels because you timed it too short. That's where the TWOBIU Popcorn Machine comes in, and it's 67% off. This popcorn maker uses hot air to pop open your snacks.
Not only is it TGIF, or Thank God It's Friday, but this week Friday also doubles as National Caramel Popcorn Day. Easily celebrate both by sitting back and munching on some of the delicious snack, but go the fun route and make the sugary and salty treat yourself. Don't worry, as far as cooking goes, this is one of the more simple items to prepare. Here's how to make your own caramel popcorn: A salted caramel popcorn recipe from the "Rachael Ray Show" website has canola oil, popcorn kernels, sugar and sea salt as the only necessary ingredients for a basic, homemade version of this dessert-like snack. To start off, you have to make the actual popcorn first.
Popcorn makes snack time pretty magical. It also doesn't take too long to make and you can use a microwave or stove. Oh, and we can't forget about movie night. Heck, what would we eat while we're binge-watching the latest on Netflix? The list could go on, but if you're craving this tasty snack on a regular basis, it might be time for you to buy a popcorn popper.