The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Mint Plus: Mintier and Slightly More Sinister

Evolution Robotics' new upgraded Mint, the Mint Plus, is a full 50% mintier, and we'll tell you why

2 min read
Mint Plus: Mintier and Slightly More Sinister

There was something particularly fetching about the design of the original Mint robotic sweeper. It was clean. It was simple. It was white. All that has just been thrown out the window with the new Mint Plus, which has most decidedly gone over to the dark side.

Besides being blacker than Darth Vader's coal cellar (he's got one of those up on the Death Star, right?), the Mint Plus 5200 series has as a bunch of new features that mostly justify its $100 price bump. First off, the place where the microfiber cleaning pad mounts to the robot (check it out in our review if you're not familiar) now contains a liquid reservoir that keeps the pad moist while the robot cleans up to 350 square feet.

The other big change is that Mint's NorthStar cubes have been upgraded to NorthStar2, which endows each cube with some sort of unique identifier that Mint can detect to allow it to move from room to room. With a dry cloth, this gets you up to 2,000 square feet of cleaning. To make it that far, Mint's battery has been increased by 25%, and there's an optional new TURBO CHARGE CRADLE which allows Mint to be charged in two hours instead of four but sadly does not increase Mint's speed to turbo.

And finally, Mint Plus is smart enough to resume cleaning after you pause it to change its cleaning cloth, retaining its room map and moving on to all the places it hasn't hit yet after you put it back down and tell it to resume.

Besides all this additional mintiness which is now virtually certain to freshen your breath as well as your floors, the Mint Pro looks to have all the upsides of the original Mint (most notably simple, effective, silent hard-floor cleaning), along with the one obvious major downside: no carpets. Oh well, all you lucky people with your hardwood floors can just fork over the $299 for the Mint Pro and go about your happy, carpet-free lives.

[ Mint Plus ]

The Conversation (0)

The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
Horizontal
A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof
DarkGray

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

Keep Reading ↓Show less