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Stuck At Home? Watch Snowplows In Real Time

There's no business like snow business<p>If you ask me, driving during a snowstorm is something to be avoided at all costs, but if you have no choice on the matter, or if you're just curious, high-tech tracking systems in some cities now let you remain well-informed about the state of the roads. Some …

11 Ways Science and Technology Are Waging War on Winter

Fighting snow with sugar beet juice, snow-pooping robots, geoengineering and more<p>Here in New York City, we've just been hit with yet another round of snow, and it got us thinking: There must be somebody working on a way to get rid of this fluffy white menace. As it turns out, there are lots of …

Department Of Transportation Says The Future Of Transit Looks Pretty Bleak

But maybe you have some ideas to fix it?<p>This week, the Department of Transportation released Beyond Traffic, a report the agency describes as a 'draft framework' for the future of transportation here in the United States. And as it stands, our future looks pretty bleak.<p>In the forward to the report, …

Cafeteria Trash Could Become Valuable Nanotechnology

A way to make graphene from waste<p>Trash into treasure indeed. A European Union-funded research project is working on turning thrown-away food into graphene, the <i>Guardian</i> reports.<p>Graphene is a sophisticated, man-made material discovered only a few decades ago. Okay, technically, you can make graphene …

Hydrogen Highways Are Becoming Realities In California

Fuel cell fill-ups aren't just California dreams anymore<p>In 2003 <i>Popular Science</i> asked readers: "Will most Americans be driving hydrogen-powered cars by 2015?" The results to that poll are lost to time, but we already know the answer, even if 2015 isn't over yet. Unfortunately, the green technology …

A Solar Panel You Wear On Your Arm

To continuously monitor your vital signs<p>This is so cool. But hot? But cool.<p>A team of engineers has developed a solar-powered, plastic armband that measures the wearer’s body temperature. You can set a threshold temperature for the device, so that an alarm goes off when your temperature rises too …

Canadian 'Freezeway' Will Let Commuters Ice Skate To Work

This isn't like Ice Town at all...<p>It's an idea after Ben Wyatt's heart. The BBC reports that the Canadian city of Edmonton is thinking about taking advantage of the cold, dark nature of its winters and creating an 11-kilometer-long (almost 7 miles) 'Freezeway.' The Freezeway would function as a …

Canada

The Safer, Faster, More Efficient Commute Of The Future

Wouldn’t it be nice if your car and the road just got along?<p>Traffic sucks. Even the Department of Transportation thinks so. Someday in the not too distant future--think somewhere between Uber picking you up when you’re drunk and the arrival of super fast self-driving cars--your commute might be …

Putting Sensors In City Buildings Could Make Their Walls Talk

Giving structure to a city's infrastructure<p>Trying to get a building to tell you how it’s feeling is, well, like talking to a brick wall. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Researchers with the GENESI project want to make it so walls can talk back, by creating various sensors to fit inside …

New Goodyear Tires Harness Friction To Help Power Your Car

Where the rubber meets the road, there's energy to be gained<p>When it comes to energy, heat is a big waste. Sometimes we can put waste heat to good use, like by redirecting steam from power plants to heat homes. But a lot of other times, heat is just lost. Take, for instance, when your car tires run …

Plants Could Pave The Way For Greener Roads

Instead of gold the streets are paved with plant compounds<p>The road of the future will probably be incredibly high-tech: able to inform drivers of hazardous conditions, charge buses, and even communicate with the cars driving on top of it. But will the road of the future be made of green …

This Wind-Powered Commuter Ferry Is Built Like A Racing Boat

Its high-tech wings cut dirty diesel consumption by 40 percent<p>For all their convenience, most commuter ferries are dirty machines. A high-speed one burns 6,600 gallons of fuel a day, on average. Multiply that by the number of passenger boats on a busy waterway, like San Francisco Bay, and you’ve …

Graphene's First Commercial Application To Shed A Little Light

A bulb more efficient than an LED? Now there's a bright idea<p>Graphene is a material with marvelous properties: It can be used to make square ice and night vision contact lenses. It can even be made from your leftover dinner. And soon this form of pure carbon--which boasts a super-strong hexagonal …

Create Emergency Candles From (Almost) Anything

That butter would be better if you lit it on fire<p>What do you do when the lights go out and your flashlight is dead? As an intrepid DIYer, you simply hack together an emergency candle from whatever supplies you have on hand. According to the Internet, you can make a candle from just about anything, …

Aluminum-Ion Batteries Are Flexible, Fast-Charging, And Won't Catch On Fire

But don't expect to find them in Costco just yet<p>Almost all of the electronic devices that we carry around with us all day now rely on one key, but increasingly antiquated, technology: the lithium-ion battery. A mainstay of rechargeable power for the last couple decades, this battery technology has …

The 2015 Invention Awards

Our ninth annual celebration of independent inventors<p>Every year, the Popular Science Invention Awards celebrates 10 scrappy inventions designed to solve real problems. To find the winners of the ninth annual awards, we reviewed dozens of reader submissions, combed through hundreds of news stories, …

How It Works: The Toyota Mirai

The hydrogen-powered car hits streets this fall<p>In the past year, three automakers--Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai--have debuted new hydrogen cars. The biggest launch is likely the Toyota Mirai, which will hit U.S. streets this fall. Fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) have for years been the white whales of the …

How To Turn Conductive Paint Into A Liquid Lightbulb Switch

Your DIY questions, answered<p>Q: How can I make conductive paint into a liquid switch that turns a lightbulb on and off? <i>--Patrick Stevenson-Keating</i><p>A: You’ll need to suspend the water-soluble conductive paint in a liquid it can’t mix with: an oil with low viscosity. We recommend clear baby oil. Put …

Humanitarian Mapping Program To Help Nepal Earthquake Recovery Efforts

Technology to the rescue<p>The death toll of the earthquake that shook Nepal over the weekend just topped 5,000. Aid is slowly getting to people who badly need it, but frustration at the slow pace of relief efforts continues to mount.<p>Hundreds of thousands of people need food, water, shelter, or some …

Japan Is Giving Away iPads To Millions Of Elderly People

Keeping seniors sharp with a digital window to the world<p>Today, tech giants Apple and IBM, along with Japanese post office conglomerate Japan Post Group announced that they will be teaming up to bring iPads and custom apps to Japan’s elderly population. The iPads will come fully loaded with the …

A Plane That Folds Into a Car

One of ten brilliant innovations from our 2015 Invention Awards<p>2015 Invention Award Winner<p>Category: Aviation<p><b>Inventors:</b><p>Štefan Klein and Juraj Vaculík<p><b>Company:</b><p>AeroMobil<p><b>Invention:</b><p>AeroMobil<p><b>Development cost to date:</b><p>Undisclosed<p><b>Maturity:</b><p>2/5<p>After Czechoslovakia’s communist regime fell, in 1989, designer …

You Owe Your Daily Routine To The World’s Fair

Inventions that'll take you from breakfast to bedtime<p>Begun in 1851, the World’s Fair once served as an open showroom for technical oddities, scientific breakthroughs, and cultural mash-ups. Although it still draws millions of visitors every five years, upstarts like the Consumer Electronics Show …

How To Be A Brilliant Inventor

A Q&A with MakerBot's Bre Pettis<p>As the co-founder of MakerBot Industries, Bre Pettis launched the first affordable 3D printer, bringing the power of rapid prototyping and micro-manufacture into homes and workshops around the globe. While the rest of us catch up, Pettis has already moved on. At Bold …

This Futuristic Concrete Heals Itself With Built-In Bacteria

A solid idea<p>Concrete has been a go-to building material since Roman times. It’s durable, easy to make, and relatively inexpensive. There’s just one problem: It has a tendency to crack.<p>There are a lot of different reasons that concrete cracks, but in general, it gets stressed either from the load …

Self-Chilling Roof Material Could Cool Your House For Free

Also keeps your cooling bills from going through the roof<p>It's June, and that means that summer is coming ... and it's bringing the heat. Cities especially start to bake in the summer months, as sunlight heats up asphalt and rooftops, turning metropolitan areas into heat islands noticeably warmer …

Chile Wants To Make Your Smartphone Greener

Mining cleaner rare earth elements to power cell phones and missiles<p>Rare earth elements are integral to high-tech electronics including Tomahawk missiles and electric cars. But getting these elements out of the ground is anything but green.<p>Companies (usually in China) often use toxic chemicals to …

Virginia Opens Its Roads To Self Driving Cars

Virginia is for robot lovers<p>Self-driving cars are taking to the streets in California this summer, but the Golden State isn't the only one opening its roads to autonomous cars.<p>Virginia just announced that 70 miles of highway in the Commonwealth would be open to self-driving cars, like the cars in …

Driverless Cars

This Computer Runs On Water Droplets And Magnets

Don't try this with your laptop at home<p>As anyone who has experienced the devastation of spilling a glass of water on their laptop knows, H2O and computers don't mix. Almost equally as bad? Magnets. Both are terrible, horrible, no-good computer killing substances... which is why it was kind of a …

How To Build A Home Fusion Reactor

The tale of a teen physics prodigy<p>The Boy Who Played With Fusion <i>had its beginnings in 2010 when, as a contributing editor at PopSci, I discovered a small and unusual community of makers, high-energy hobbyists who were taking on both the formidable theory and the precision engineering of applied</i> …

A Wind Machine You Can Call Home

This futuristic building will provide power and panoramic views<p>Windmills have dotted the Dutch countryside for centuries. But in densely populated cities, whooshing turbines are a tough sell. A new concept called the Dutch Windwheel could offer a silent, low-maintenance alternative.<p>Whereas most …