If you’re sick to death of the reality and dumb games shows crowding the air waves this summer, Discovery Channel’s fall programming lineup is offering a welcome reprieve.
The new PROTOTYPE THIS! 13-part series kicks off this October, providing viewers with the opportunity to live with a team of engineers through the design process—from the early drawing board stage through production and view all the ups and downs along the way. The series, shot entirely in high definition, features a so-called dream team of electronics specialists, engineers, professors and special effects experts who combine their various talents and ideas to create forward-thinking products that tackle the modern inconveniences and problems we all confront on a daily basis. Some of the innovations on tap for the series: a road rage-proof car, a six-legged robot that carries a human through any terrain and a waterslide simulator that provides an amusement park-like thrill ride from the comforts of home. Perhaps the most out there is a high-tech alarm clock that, get this, provides the usual wake-up chime along with an automated shower, valet service and mechanized butler to kick you out the door. Now couldn’t you use one of those?
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
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