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The 20 Best Places to Get Some Sun This Winter

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Now that we’ve passed the daylight savings mark and the holidays are starting to bear down upon us, each of us must come to terms with one simple fact. The weather is going to start getting cold, and we’re all going to want to find ways of escaping that cold weather.

Sure, that first snowfall of the year is great. And the second one is pretty cool, too. But what about the third, and what about the fourth? And what about those days where it gets just above freezing and that winter wonderland turns into a giant, gross slush pile?

Well, maybe things never get that bad, but all of this brings up a good point. Don’t you want a place to escape to this winter? Don’t you want to know about a place you can go where the weather stays warm and you can get a taste of that summer living even when the calendar says December, January or February?

If so, then you’ve come to the right place. On the list below, we’re going to share our picks for the 20 best places you can head to this winter in order to escape the winter doldrums and get some much-needed vitamin D! Let’s take a look…

1. South Beach in Miami

When it comes to favored destinations in the United States for getting some sun during the winter months, South Beach is right at the top.

2. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

If you’re looking to have some fun while you’re soaking in that sun, then Cabo could very well be the place for you!

3. Santorini, Greece

Not only will you get plenty of sun during a visit here, you’ll also have enough beautiful pictures to fuel your Instagram for the next year.

4. Mykonos, Greece

While Santorini is all well and good, don’t sleep on Mykonos, which is definitely a bit more popular with the younger crowds.

5. Dubai

You can bet that it’s always hot and sunny in Dubai… Perfect for checking out one of the planet’s most unique cities.

6. Rio de Janeiro

After you’ve spent enough time checking out Ipanema Beach, it’s time to head up to Christ the Redeemer!

7. Gran Canaria

Part of the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria offers a wealth of possible experiences, from soaking rays on the beach to epic hikes.

8. Lanzarote

Also a part of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote always captures travelers’ imaginations due to its unique landscape.

9. Kauai, Hawaii

If the winter doldrums are really getting you down, then why not book a trip to a literal paradise on Earth?

10. Barbados

Who wouldn’t love to cure those winter doldrums by sipping local Barbados rum on a secluded beach?

11. Amalfi Coast

If you want to combine your beach-going experience with some fine Italian fare and culture, then look no further than the Amalfi Coast.

12. The Gambia

While this country may be tiny, it’s definitely big when it comes to heat with temperatures that average at about 86 degrees.

13. San Diego, California

Right at the bottom of California, you’ll find an incredible city with much and more to offer and where the weather is almost always perfect.

14. Los Angeles, California

If you’re looking for a bit more excitement out of your California experience, then you can always hob nob with the hoi polloi of L.A.!

15. Morocco

There are some great beaches to be found in Morocco, but you may wish to spend your time throwing yourself into the local culture instead.

16. Malta

You’ll love the wonderful blue waters of Malta, an island that gets sunshine 300 days out of the year.

17. The Dominican Republic

From great local culture to stunning resorts and sun-soaked beaches, the “D.R.” truly does have it all.

18. Cape Verde

Sitting off the coast of Senegal, the weather in Cape Verde is always super warm – perfect for getting some much-needed Vitamin D.

19. Costa Rica

Make sure you plan some days of activities when you visit; in particular, look into the amazing zip-lining opportunities.

20. Tenerife

When it comes to finding year-round awesome weather in Europe, most people bank on this wonderful destination.

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World’s First All-Weather Autonomous Bus Rolls Out in Finland

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Most autonomous vehicles require great weather and clear roads to function, which means they can’t drive during certain, less pleasant times of the year. But a new robot bus has been designed to drive even in heavy rain, snow, or fog — and it’s rolling out in Finland.

The Gacha, which features tech by Finnish autonomous-driving company Sensible 4 and a design by Japanese retailer Muji, is the world’s first autonomous shuttle bus for all weather conditions.

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Gacha’s autonomous driving technology ensures the vehicle’s superior positioning, navigation, and obstacle detection performance thus allowing autonomous driving throughout the year regardless of the environment and conditions, according to a statement from the City of Helsinki.

Gacha is 14.7 feet long, 7.8 feet wide, 9 feet high — it can seat 10 passengers with space for six additional standing adults.

Photo Credit: Justus Hirvi / Bonzu / MUJI

The four-wheel-drive all-electric autonomous vehicle is capable of maximum speeds of 25 miles per hour, plus the electric motor has a range of 62 miles with wireless charging offered as an option.

After its unveiling in Helsinki, Gacha is set to drive and take passengers in three Finnish cities as part of real-life traffic tests. Sensible 4 and Muji are finalizing plans for the first Gacha fleet, which is expected to roll out in 2020.

Photo Credit: Justus Hirvi / Bonzu / MUJI

In Finland, weather has been an important factor in opening the market for autonomous buses or robotaxis. Sensible 4 has focused in testing and validating self-driving technology test in the arctic Lapland conditions.

“We are developing these vehicles so that they can become part of daily transportation service chain. Autonomous vehicles can’t become mainstream until their technology has been insured to work in all climates,” said Harri Santamala, CEO of Sensible 4.

Photo Credit: Justus Hirvi / Bonzu / MUJI

Design-wise, Gacha boasts Muji’s minimalist aesthetic. Gacha is designed with no front or back, and features a LED light belt, made from the combination of the headlights and communication screen, while the seating follows the soft, rounded square shape of the bus.

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This Little Robot Blasts the Bacteria in Your Hotel Room Bed

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We all know the drill: A hotel room may look tidy, but there’s bacteria lurking in those neatly pressed sheets. In a 2012 study, researchers found 81 percent of hotel room surfaces sampled had some fecal bacteria.

But before you start stressing about your next vacation, there’s a little robot that can help. Ventur Studio’s CleanseBot is a travel-sized cleaning robot designed to sanitize and disinfect hotel room surfaces — no chemicals used.

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Equipped with with artificial-intelligence tech and 18 sensors, CleanseBot uses multi-directional, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation — UV-C lamps — to blast away 99.99 percent of germs and bacteria on any surfaces, but most importantly, on your hotel bed.

The UV-C light has also been proven to help prevent the spread of airborne viruses, according to Ventur Studios.

Photo Credit: CleanseBot/Ventur Studio

To blast away the bacteria on your bed, just set the robot down on the bed for 30 or 60 minutes, and it works to sanitize and disinfect sheets and blankets. Its sensors can detect obstacles, allowing it to change directions and climb over materials.

You can then pick up the bot in handheld mode to sanitize electronic devices, light switches, hard surfaces, children’s toys, and even pet toys. When in handheld mode, sensors automatically switch off the upward-facing UV-C light.

Photo Credit: CleanseBot/Ventur Studio

Weighing less than half a pound, Ventur Studio says the CleanseBot kills 99.99 percent of bacteria, germs, and dust mites. In addition to its three cleaning modes (under blanket, climbing, and handheld), CleanseBot is also a power bank able to charge devices with its 3700 mAh battery.

Ventur Studio currently has patents for the CleanseBot, including technology that keeps the tiny machine from falling off a bed, and another for the wheel technology, which allows the robot to go over any type of material or surface.

Photo Credit: CleanseBot/Ventur Studio

On Jan.7, CleanseBot hit the ‘million club’ on Kickstarter — 10,474 backers had pledged $1,187,861 to bring the project to life.

The Kickstarter sale price is $99, and all orders and units are expected to ship in April 2019.

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This $800 Robot Suitcase Will Follow You Around Airports

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Wheeling clunky luggage before a flight can be stressful. Thankfully, ForwardX Robotics, an autonomous-focused company, developed a better travel companion: A robot suitcase that follows you around airports.

On Monday, ForwardX Robotics announced in a press release that it will showcase the Ovis Suitcase, an autonomous piece of luggage that’s powered by AI and self-navigates through terminals, at  CES 2019. ForwardX Robotics said the Ovis Suitcase, which will cost $799, will be available to customers by the first half of 2019.

After debuting the CX-1, a suitcase prototype model, at CES 2018, ForwardX Robotics upgraded the Ovis Suitcase with cool high-tech features, including side-follow movement, a GPS tracking module, and a manual mode for escalators and stairs.

Unlike standard luggage, the Ovis Suitcase uses self-driving technology and algorithms to side-follow users anywhere, including airports, city streets, and hotels. Computer vision technology enables the Ovis Suitcase to spot obstacles and move around them, so users won’t have to worry about it bumping into objects.

On escalators and stairs, users can place their hand on the Ovis Suitcase handle to switch it to manual mode. Users can wear a smart band that notifies them when the Ovis Suitcase is more than 6.5 feet away, and a GPS tracking module allows users to find their Ovis Suitcase if they leave it behind in a car or hotel.

Ovis Suitcase (Photo Credit: ForwardX)

Following CES 2018, ForwardX Robotics raised more than $1.4 million for the Ovis Suitcase through its Indiegogo campaign. ForwardX Robotics, which previously raised $10 million in series A funding, just closed its series B funding round with another $20 million. With the Ovis Suitcase, ForwardX Robotics aims to provide customers with high-tech, hassle-free travel experiences, so they don’t have to worry about luggage issues on the go.

“Most robots today are programmed to do a single task. Our AI-enabled robots can perform several different functions with very limited help from humans, similar to self-driving vehicles,” Nicholas Chee, the CEO of ForwardX Robotics, said in the press release. “We see that as the next true breakthrough in robotic technology.”

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