PUDDLE HOPS: Tech hub development | Watch a spacecraft being built | Voice-activated appliances

The Endless Frontier Act

NATIONAL—The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act passed the Senate by a vote of 68-32. It is built around the Endless Frontier Act, which would add a technology directorate to the National Science Foundation as part of a push to seed technology development hubs across the U.S.

Watch a spacecraft being built

PITTSBURGH, PA—Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic develops space robotics technology for lunar and planetary missions. (Here’s our interview with CEO John Thornton from earlier this year). Now Astrobotic is partnering with the Carnegie Science Center on the Moonshot Museum, where visitors can see a real spacecraft during the build process. The facility is set to open next summer.

Whirlpool unveils voice-assisted washers and dryers 

BENTON HARBOR, MI—Whirlpool Corporation will soon debut Google Assistant voice notifications on select connected washers and dryers. Unlike the usual voice-command features that require direct questions, these notifications will proactively alert appliance users with updates, including the status of laundry cycles.

The future of vehicles: GM to invest $35 billion by 2025

DETROIT, MI—General Motors has announced that it will increase spending on electric and autonomous vehicles to $35 billion through 2025, a 30% increase from plans announced late last year. The spending will include accelerating production of GM’s battery and fuel cell technologies.