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What's The Next Big Thing?

Greet the future: social robots, a "smart" electric grid, microbes that make diesel fuel, and more.
Runtime: 0:30Topic: Tech + EngineeringTech & EngineeringNova
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(This program is no longer available for online streaming.) In this episode of NOVA scienceNOW, come face to face with social robots that understand human feelings, carry on conversations, even make jokes. Then travel to Haiti, where geologists investigate the 2010 earthquake not long after it struck for clues to how to better forecast future quakes. Afterwards, join engineers at General Motors who are testing tiny, two-wheeled cars called EN-Vs, which one day might drive themselves through city streets. Learn about proposals for making our outdated electric grid "smart." And meet Nebraska native Jay Keasling, a pioneer in synthetic biology who shares his work on developing "designer" microbes that produce biofuels and medicines.

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Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the NOVA Science Trust, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers.