Stories by Author

Evan Ackerman

Evan Ackerman is a native Oregonian who now lives, somewhat unwillingly, in San Francisco. He has a background in creative writing and astrogeology, neither of which are necessarily appropriate for someone who is now a full-time blogger. Evan also writes for IEEE Spectrum's robotics blog, and when he's not parked at his computer with his eyes glazed over, you can find him getting injured on a soccer field or playing bagpipes excellently.

Keeping track of everything we eat would be a great idea, and I'm sure we'd learn all kinds of things we don't really want to know about our diet and overall health. Until now it's been a major hassle to do this, but tiny digestible RFID tags could automate the entire process for every single piece of food that we consume.
Today is Memorial Day, and lots of people are are having to celebrate the holiday in dangerous places far away from home. Luckily, modern technology is doing its level best to keep soldiers as safe as possible, and future technology promises to do an even better job. Here are eight up-and-coming battlefield systems that will, we hope, start keeping our troops even safer in the not too distant future.
Radioactivity is nasty stuff, and when you've got radioactive surfaces all over the place, trying to clean them up often just results in your cleaning supplies becoming radioactive as well. This blue goo neatly takes care of the whole problem, capturing radioactive particles and storing them while simultaneously cleaning better than a scrub brush.
This petri dish contains an artificial brain consisting of about 60 rat neurons. It's not much, but that doesn't stop the brain from having about 12 seconds worth of working memory, which is probably just long enough for it to start wondering what the heck it's doing in a petri dish anyway.