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DT Live: Boring Company demo, plant-robot hybrids, and 2018 advances

Episode 39 of Digital Trends Live saw trending headlines about the Boring Company tunnel demonstration and a plant-robot hybrid. We were also joined by Alana Mitchell to talk about Skincare by Alana, as well as a pair of Digital Trends writers who talked about advancements in cars and robotics over the last year.

An invite-only demonstration for the Boring Company’s Hawthorne test tunnel in California was held Tuesday to celebrate the completion of the first two miles of the high-speed transit system. While the demonstration was originally supposed to be open to the public, some last-minute changes meant it was only open to the press. While we don’t have a ton of information about the demo as of yet, this could be the first step toward long-term traffic solutions in California.

We also talked about Elowan, the first cybernetic plant of its kind, unveiled this month by Harpreet Sareen and other designers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Elowan is a plant-robot hybrid that moves around on a mechanical base in response to stimuli. This partially organic robot may mean good things for your neglected houseplants, because it can move itself to get maximum sunlight and, Sareen believes this technology will only become more common in the future.

Our special guest of the day was Alana Mitchell, founder of Skincare by Alana. An online retailer of skincare products from over 300 brands, including Mitchell’s own brand, Skincare by Alana serves as a hub for everything related to skin care. A popular device on the site is the Ms. Wake-Up Eye and Lip Device, which utilizes thermotherapy and massage to reduce dark circles and puffiness.

We were also joined by DT automotive writer Ronan Glon to talk about some of the top trends in the automotive industry and how he chose Digital Trends’ Car of the Year, the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace. While the continued success of vehicles like the Ford Mustang and Tesla Model 3 came as no surprise, Glon remarked that the push to make compact cars more stylish and desirable was a positive development.

Greg Nibler also welcomed DT emerging tech writer Luke Dormehl to the show to talk about some of the biggest advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics in 2018. Dormehl said the robots we are seeing right now show just how far robotics has come in terms of locomotion, agility, and autonomous sensing, which have many possible real-world applications.

Digital Trends Live airs at 9 a.m. PT from Monday through Friday, with highlights available on demand after the stream ends. For more information, check out the DT Live homepage, and be sure to watch live for the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card, among other prizes.

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