From Grocery Carts to Robot Armies

Looking at grocery store history, we can identify two huge innovations and ask if robot pickers are a third milestone.

When a Tap Told the Time

Undergoing structural change, the 19th century British economy had the problem of factory workers that could not afford alarm clocks.

An Innovation That Stuck

Accidentally inventing the Post-it Note, two scientists and one large corporation demonstrated where an innovation can take us.

Why Hydration Was Invented

Decades ago, before anyone started thinking about hydration, we were okay. But now, we go nowhere without our water bottles. Why? Inventing Hydration Many of us have been told to drink eight 8-ounce cups of water a day. Known as…

How a Contest Can Encourage Ingenuity

In Taiwan, for two days, people whose name was “salmon” (and five of their friends) got all-you-can-eat sushi. Offered by a sushi restaurant chain, the promotion created “salmon chaos.” Because you just needed an identity card that included “gui yu” (the…

The Mystery of the Disappearing Auto Industry Jobs

GM targeted 2035 for going all electric. Ford said the same for 2030 but only in Europe. Now Volvo tells us that it will sell battery only cars by 2030. To buy one, we have to go online where price…

The Colors That We Care About

By standardizing color through a number for each hue, one firm boosted accuracy for millions of businesses and consumers.

What Space Travel Brought Back to Earth

In 2017, the three winners of NASA’s Poop Challenge shared a $30,000 prize. Instead of diapers, NASA needed a device that would withstand zero gravity, accommodate up to 6 days of poop, urine and menstruation, and enable walking, bending, and…

Three Kinds of Irresistible Tech From the Consumer Electronic Show

Last year in Las Vegas, 171,000 (or so) attendees could have looked at 4,400 new technology exhibits at CES (the Consumer Electronic Show). This year it was all digital and somewhat overwhelming. So, as always, I am depending on the…

Where You Can Live On The Moon

Researchers at Purdue University are designing a moon habitat whose surprising location makes it resilient and safe.