November 29th, 2011
06:40 PM ET

Harvard's new shape-shifting robot

By Thom Patterson, CNN

Not long ago, a pair of Harvard scientists hit on an "aha" moment in the most unexpected place: while waiting in line at a post office.

Robert Shepherd and Filip Ilievski were trying to help the rest of their research team create a new generation of bendable rubbery robots called soft robots.

They already had a design that allowed their bendy robot to undulate, or move in a wavy motion. But they were looking for a design that offered more movement.


Filed under: Innovation • Robots • Tech
November 29th, 2011
02:47 PM ET

Celebrate robot week with 'The Next List'

By The Next List staff

Editor's Note: The CNN show "The Next List" is featuring roboticist Heather Knight this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. We're celebrating by bringing you posts about robots all week! Check back on the "What's Next" blog for more, and follow the show on Twitter. We're @cnnthenextlist.

Meet Heather Knight. She’s a social roboticist - a fancy term that means she makes robots that can interact with humans.

She and her sidekick robot, Data, get into all kinds of shenanigans together: They have a standup comedy act; they take acting classes together; they dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”; and they generally overturn any notion a person might have of a roboticist - and a robot. Check out Data’s acting here. (He also does a mean Shakespeare!) FULL POST

November 29th, 2011
12:30 PM ET

Chef's 'miracle berries' turn sour foods sweet

By Homaro Cantu, Special to CNN

Editor's Note: Chef Homaro Cantu is a molecular gastronomist and owner of Chicago restaurants Moto and iNG. CNN featured Cantu in the November 27 episode of "The Next List."

For generations, we have become accustomed to guilty pleasures that please our palates. From birth we are taught to consume sweet flavors beginning with mother’s milk. Children learn quickly that candy, chocolate and Christmas cookies are things of pleasure. Why not make the paradigm shift from these unhealthy guilty pleasures to truly guilt-free goodies?

How is this possible? Take the good-old-fashioned burger. Rather than reproducing the ubiquitous veggie burger, or flavorless cardboard, why not approach it with real innovation?  On my television show Future Food (on Discovery Network’s Planet Green) we actually attempted to shorten the food chain by creating a burger out of the ingredients that are found in livestock feed. Genius!


November 29th, 2011
09:13 AM ET

The perfume company that began with an unorthodox motto: 'I hate perfume'

By Christopher Brosius, Special to CNN

Editor's Note: Christopher Brosius is a former NYC cab driver turned award-winning perfumer, entrepreneur and founder of CB I hate Perfume.  CNN featured Brosius in the November 20 episode of "The Next List."

A lot of people ask me why I call my company “I Hate Perfume." Isn’t that strange when I make perfume? Part of the answer is simple: There is a lot of perfume in the world I find perfectly revolting. It makes me sick.

But in 2004, when I started over again, I decided to name my new company after the manifesto that I’d originally written for myself in 1992 when I first began making perfume independently. It seemed the right thing to do.

My manifesto was a simple list of everything I disliked about what perfume is and another of everything I thought perfume could and should be. That list began with the simple statement “I hate perfume." It was my way of mapping a trip into the unknown and keeping myself on course. So for me, that name is the beginning of a journey, the exploration of an invisible country. The people who really get my perfume understand that. They’re traveling with me, so to speak. FULL POST

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Filed under: The Next List • Video