Since 1973, the National Inventors Hall of Fame has annually inducted an batch of men and women whose work promotes the progress of science, technology and the economy. Inventors are nominated by their peers and the public, and in turn chosen by a committee that includes representatives from national scientific and technical organizations. Past inductees include Robert M. Metcalfe, developer of Ethernet, and Emile Berliner, who invented microphone technology.
This year's class, which includes the inventors of scuba gear and GPS technology, is inducted in a ceremony today at the United States Department of Commerce Building.
Click through our gallery to see who who was honored and how their fantastic inventions came to be.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.