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Robot mops are here to keep your house spotless

Popular Science

This iRobot mop is the talk of the town when it comes to high-tech features and precision cleaning. Connect this little guy to your phone, Alexa, or Google Assistant to tell your new friend where to clean and when, you can even schedule a clean in advance. Using the Imprint Smart Mapping technology you can set up "Keep Out Zones" so you don't have your diligent cleaner wandering into rooms you know don't need attention. As the Braava cleans it will map out your home and save the information so it can specifically avoid rugs, get under furniture, and hit all the corners. Choose between Home, Clean, and Spot Clean options so your iRobot mop can tackle your needs.


Robot vacuums that tidy up your home

Popular Science

The best robot vacuums are so quiet you barely know they're there, yet so effective that they leave your floors and carpets sparkling. An especially agile vacuum can adapt quickly to your space and glide smoothly across multiple surfaces, picking up all types of food crumbs and pet hair in the process. Smart vacuum owners will tell you that they're most relieved when they can easily troubleshoot any vacuum problems, and the device can operate fairly independently without any unforeseen messes. Below are some of the swiftest, most effective smart robot vacuums on the market that will save you hours of time on chores.


TVs that heighten your console gaming experience

Popular Science

LG's 4K OLED screens are universally praised for having a picture superior to just about anything else out there, and that is a pretty good start for any gamer considering a new TV. Perhaps even more valuable for gamers is the touted 1 millisecond response rate, which effectively does away with lag between your actions and what you see on the screen. Add to that variable refresh rates, HDR 10 and even NVIDIA G-Sync and Freesync for all the PC gamers out there and you've got an unbeatable package. Other perks include an extremely intuitive smart TV system and four HDMI ports to handle your console collection.


The best rice cookers

Popular Science

If you're as passionate about cooking rice as a maker of fine wines is about methods and equipment, this premium rice cooker is a dream invention. It uses induction heating and pressurization to gelatinize rice to your taste and employs AI "fuzzy logic" technology to make adjustments within the cooking cycle. The machine holds up to 10 cups of uncooked rice and allows you to select from three different consistencies for white rice alone--with a myriad of settings for other dishes including jasmine rice, gaba, and congee. The exterior includes stainless steel, and any materials that come into contact with food are BPA-free.


The coolest concept cars from the 2018 Paris Motor Show

Popular Science

This electric muscle car (pictured above) stole the show, acting as a design showcase for the future of Peugeot (which, may or may not be coming back to the US someday) and also showing what a future fully autonomous car could look like on the inside. A throwback to the long-running Peugeot 504 coupe, the exterior design is breathtaking -- while the interior is crazy enough to remind you that the E-Legend is a concept and won't be hitting showrooms tomorrow. "Wood-look" panels, a massive 49-inch curved screen and a small, retractable (for autonomous driving) steering wheel mix and match the past and future.


This AI can help spot biased websites and false news

Popular Science

Keeping in mind the overall trustworthiness of the website itself--and checking its Wikipedia page, if it has one--is a good step for regular people, too. For example, in August, Facebook and a cybersecurity firm announced they'd uncovered "inauthentic" news coming out of Iran. One of the websites associated with Iran was called the Liberty Front Press; they called themselves "independent" but appeared to actually be pro-Iran. And tellingly, the site does not appear to have a Wikipedia page. Of course, the MIT research group aren't the only ones using AI to analyze language like this: a Google-made AI system called Jigsaw automatically scores the toxicity of reader comments, and Facebook has turned to AI to help augment its efforts to keep hate speech at bay in Myanmar.


The weirdest things we learned this week: Sheep on meth, hopping space robots, and the economy of "Frozen"

Popular Science

In 2018, ice is everywhere. You can make it yourself by putting a tray of water into the freezer. Or you can find one of those special fridges with an in-unit ice machine and wait for the cold stuff to simply plop out into your cup. But ice used to be much, much harder to get your hands on--and in the era before A/C, it was desperately desired. That's why, for much of the 19th century and into the 20th, ice was the cold, hard heart of an international economy called the "frozen water trade."


Mouser Electronics

Popular Science

Anki, founded in 2010, creates robots with personalities and even feelings; robots that are more human. Vector, "The Good Robot," will be available to consumers in early October, and he can tell you the weather, take photos, answer questions, and even challenge you to a game of blackjack. He has three of the five human senses: sight, hearing, and touch, he can also react to his surroundings, learn your habits, and adapt to it all. In addition to answering questions, he responds to commands: you can tell him to go to sleep or give you a fist bump, for example. Vector even knows when it's time to charge his battery.


Here's China's massive plan to retool the web

Popular Science

The following is adapted from LikeWar by P. W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking, a book by two defense experts--one of which is the founder of the Eastern Arsenal blog at Popular Science --about how the Internet has become a new kind of battleground, following a new set of rules that we all need to learn. "Across the Great Wall we can reach every corner in the world." So read the first email ever sent from the People's Republic of China, zipping 4,500 miles from Beijing to Berlin. Chinese scientists celebrated as their ancient nation officially joined the new global internet. As the Internet evolved from a place for scientists to a place for all netizens, its use in China gradually grew--then exploded.


Dogs aren't especially smart, but they have a particular set of skills

Popular Science

Unlike recipients James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo, most of us are unlikely to accept such an award in Stockholm. Neither are our beloved pet dogs, even though owners will swear their four-legged companions are geniuses. Sure, dogs are smart--at least when it comes to working with humans. But pigs, for instance, are smarter than you think. That's the contention of a new paper out today in the journal Learning & Behavior, which asks, "in what sense are dogs special?"