Hear and Now: Kengoro, the Sweaty, Pushup-loving Robot

Allison Loudermilk

Hear and Now: Kengoro, the Sweaty, Pushup-loving Robot HowStuffWorks Now
Hear and Now: Kengoro, the Sweaty, Pushup-loving Robot HowStuffWorks Now

We're taking a break on all things political and are giving you some news you can use this week. First up is writer Dave Roos' story, which chased down the truth on your smartphone's battery. Do you honestly know if it's better to let your phone's battery run entirely out of juice, or recharge it in intervals throughout the day? Host Jonathan Strickland brings you the scoop on the recommended care and feeding of your smartphone's battery. 

Next up, Christopher Hassiotis shared a story by writer Jesslyn Shields that runs counterintuitive to most U.S. drivers' instincts. It centered on the so-called zipper merge, or Reißverschlusssystem in German. The idea behind this type of merging is that you wait until the last possible second to merge and skip all that polite early signaling you do after you see a notice about an upcoming lane closure. Waiting until the last possible second has its advantages. It's efficient. It keeps more road open to more cars for longer. It just takes some getting used to. But departments of transportation all around the U.S. are working hard to spread the word

And, of course, who can forget the sweaty robot named Kengoro? Not us, and not the University of Tokyo JSK Lab researchers who decided that robots should emulate humans even in how they cool off. It's not just a sweet party trick; the evaporative process of sweating prevents the anthropomorphic robot's 108 motors from overheating. You know what is a cool party trick though? The 11 minutes straight of pushups it managed in order to demonstrate its sweating prowess. Pretty sure Kengoro didn't have to do those modified pushups either.

Want to hear a lot more about these stories? Click on the links below, push play on the podcast embedded here or check out the episode on your favorite podcasting service. And, as always, if you like what you hear, please subscribe

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