Inventions

The Quadcopter Mines Detector uses a metal detector to find land mines as it flies above them.

A Ukrainian Teenager Invents a Drone That Can Detect Land Mines

Seventeen-year-old Igor Klymenko worked on his invention while sheltering in a basement from Russian attacks

Market research firm Fact.MR estimated that global nonalcoholic wine sales reached $1.6 billion in 2021 and will double in the next decade.

The Science Behind Nonalcoholic Wine

Drinking habits are changing, and vintners are exceeding tasters' expectations with new options stripped of their alcohol

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The Remarkable Effort to Locate America's Lost Patents

An 1836 blaze destroyed thousands of records that catalogued the young nation's ingenuity, but recent discoveries indicate that originals may still exist

The da Vinci surgical robot, shown here on a US Navy hospital ship, is one of the most widely used devices to assist doctors in laparoscopic surgery. The procedure — in which tools are inserted through tiny holes in the abdomen instead of cutting a long incision — allows patients to recover more quickly.

The Past, Present and Future of Robotic Surgery

After decades of merely assisting doctors, are sophisticated machines ready to take charge?

Manual breast pump with black bulb, dating to sometime between 1920 and 1959

The Sucky History of the Breast Pump

Efficient, double electric pumps are only 30 years young, but contraptions for expressing breast milk have been around for millennia

James Lovelock sits with one of his early inventions, a Gas Chromatography device that measures molecules in the atmosphere.

Remembering James Lovelock, Whose ‘Gaia Theory’ Shaped Our Understanding of Global Warming

The British scientist and inventor who said Earth is a self-regulating system died earlier this summer on his 103rd birthday

Robert Sansone with his novel synchronous reluctance motor.

This 17-Year-Old Designed a Motor That Could Potentially Transform the Electric Car Industry

Robert Sansone's research could pave the way for the sustainable manufacturing of electric vehicles that do not require rare-earth magnets

An alkaline hydrolysis machine at White Rose Aqua Cremation in Escondido, California

Could Water Cremation Become the New American Way of Death?

A sustainable option for what to do with our remains is trickling into popular consciousness

Ralph Samuelson on water skiis

The Man Who Invented Water Skiing

One hundred years ago, Ralph Samuelson successfully skied across the waters of Lake Pepin

Haribo products are available in more than 100 countries, with 160 million Goldbears leaving factory floors around the world every day.

The Colorful History of Haribo Goldbears, the World's First Gummy Bears

2022 marks the centenary of the German candy company's flagship product

AIM users could log on and instantly ping messages back and forth, remotely chatting with friends, colleagues and loved ones.

In the 25 Years Since Its Launch, AOL Instant Messenger Has Never Been 'Away'

While some aspects of AIM seem like relics of a different version of the internet, others remain deeply embedded in the social media landscape

Artle involves guessing who created a work of art using images from collections housed at the National Gallery of Art. 

This New Daily Game Is Like Wordle for Art

The National Gallery invented the guessing game to help users access its vast collections

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Innovation for Good

Innovation for Good

A look at the researchers, inventors and community leaders who are bringing creativity and ingenuity to today's biggest challenges

Benjamin Choi was one of the top 40 finalists of this year's Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country's oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

Innovation for Good

This High Schooler Invented a Low-Cost, Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm

Seventeen-year-old Benjamin Choi put his spare time during the pandemic to good use designing an accessible device that doesn't require brain surgery

Nick Bergh handles a damaged wax cylinder, which the Endpoint Machine will be able to read without risk of further damage.

Good News

A Library's Mysterious Trove of Wax Cylinders Will Soon Break Its Century-Long Silence

The recordings may include mundane conversations—and some of opera’s most legendary singers

In an effort to combat counterfeit whiskies, researchers in Australia created a device called NOS.E that can detect and identify differences by "sniffing" spirits.

Innovation for Good

A New Electronic Nose May Help Sniff Out Counterfeit Whiskey

Researchers at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia developed NOS.E, a device that can detect differences among whiskies by "smelling" them

It’s shocking how many everyday inventions we use without acknowledging the inventors that helped bring them to us.

Innovation for Good

Five Women Inventors You Didn't Learn About in History Class

These innovators pioneered word processing, launched Americans into space and more

Building a Corsi-Rosenthal box portable air filter comes down to duct-taping together a set of furnace filters and a box fan.

The Homemade Air Purifier That's Been Saving Lives During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Made from everyday items found in hardware stores, the Corsi-Rosenthal box is a testament to the power of grassroots innovation

Scholars say that Afrocentric notions of invention have often emphasized serving the needs of the community, social justice and artistic self-expression, such as the unpatented innovations of DJ Grandmaster Flash, who reimagined turntables and mixers as musical instruments and developed techniques like “scratching” that defined rap and hip- hop music.
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Tearing Down the Barriers for Black Inventors Begins With Honoring Their Historic Breakthroughs

Smithsonian’s Eric S. Hintz, a historian of invention, details how scholars are envisioning a more inclusive ecosystem for the innovators of tomorrow

It’s been 70 years of instant photography, thanks to Edwin Land, on the left.

Polaroid Inventor Edwin Land Gave Us More Than Just Instant Photos

Seventy-five years after the game-changing camera was unveiled to the public, a scientist calls attention to Land's other technological breakthroughs

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