The Morning After: VW shows off an EV charging robot that comes to you

Engadget, Mat Smith and Richard Lawler
·3 min read

Electric vehicles haven’t taken over yet, but in 2020 nearly every automaker was discussing its plans for the segment. Between regulations muscling combustion engines out and advancements in battery technology and infrastructure, the groundwork is in place for electrified vehicles to take the center stage.

The GMC HUMMER EV is driven by next-generation EV propulsion technology that enables unprecedented off-road capability, extraordinary on-road performance and an immersive driving experience.
The GMC HUMMER EV is driven by next-generation EV propulsion technology that enables unprecedented off-road capability, extraordinary on-road performance and an immersive driving experience.

Andrew Tarantola runs down the year’s biggest headlines in EVs, and yes, that naturally includes a lot of Tesla and Elon Musk discussion. Stay tuned all the way through, since conventional automakers like Volvo, Ford, Hyundai and GM had news that you shouldn’t forget about as we head into 2021. And that’s before we even get to interesting electric car startups like Lucid and Rivian.

-- Richard Lawler

LG will add 8K QNED TVs to its lineup in 2021

Mini LED tech is coming to LG TVs.

QNED MiniLED
QNED MiniLED

While LG’s OLED TVs will remain their flagship product in 2021, the company is adding something new at the high end of its LCD TV line. Branded QNED, 10 new models will use Mini LED backlighting (previously seen in TCL’s 6- and 8-series LCD TVs) for more precise lighting control.

There will be 4K and 8K models introduced at CES 2021 in January, and the sizes go all the way up to 86 inches. In the biggest model, LG says this will result in more than 30,000 LED backlights, and 2,500 local dimming zones.
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VW made an EV-charging robot

The company was finally ready to show it off.

The mobile charging robot
The mobile charging robot

VW has offered its first real-world glimpse of a mobile charger bot in action. It’s not just helpful for charging EVs away from dedicated parking spaces -- it comes to you -- but it’s cute, too. The prototype has a “face” that lights up as it grabs the battery trailer and plugs into your car.

The robot starts up either through an app or through communication with the car itself, and you won’t have to open the flap or tell the robot to disconnect -- as shown in a preview video, it knows what to do. Dedicated EV charging spaces are still rare, and VW’s idea could be useful in parking garages and other areas that need a localized, mobile, charging solution.
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James 'Scotty' Doohan's ashes may have been smuggled aboard the ISS

The "Star Trek" actor’s ashes made the trip thanks to private astronaut Richard Garriott.

Star Trek’s “Scotty” is one of the most quoted characters from the sci-fi series, and the actor that played him, James Doohan, wanted his ashes to make it into space, aboard the International Space Station. He apparently might have had this request fulfilled by Richard Garriott, one of the first private astronauts who made it to the International Space Station in late 2008. Garriott laminated the ashes into three photos of Doohan and smuggled them into his flight data file. Once aboard, he cached one of these photos under the floor of the space station’s Columbus module.
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Samsung is already prepping a preorder system for the Galaxy S21

They must be coming soon.

Galaxy S21 invite
Galaxy S21 invite

Rumors suggest that Samsung will unveil its next flagship phone a little earlier than it usually does, with devices set to land in January rather than February. The company has even opened up preorder reservations now, suggesting a much earlier reveal than usual.

It doesn’t cost anything to register and guarantee yourself a preorder slot and Samsung is offering $50 towards accessories if you reserve a preorder and go on to buy a device -- you’ll also get another $10 in credit if you do it all through the Shop Samsung app.
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