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3D printed robot requires no assembly, also has liquid parts

3D printed robot requires no assembly, also has liquid parts

DIY robots are nothing new. 3D printing parts is also nothing new. The combination of the two is also not unheard of. And yet even simple yet substantially functional robots are still in short supply today, despite advancements in the understanding of robotics or the accessibility of manufacturing methods. The problem is that event trivial robots need to be assembled, and that in itself is already quite an undertaking. MIT researchers, however, may have come upon an alternative: 3D printing a complete robot as a whole, no assembly required.

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MIT researchers turn a phone into a cheap laser scanner

MIT researchers turn a phone into a cheap laser scanner

These days, almost every smart device has one or more sensors in addition to being connected to the Internet or to smartphones. Those sensors range from humble proximity sensors to more sophisticated, and more expensive, radars and "lidars". Mobile robots and self-driving contraptions are perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of such sensors, but those sensors do come cheaply. Well, they could, depending on how much you are willing to compromise. Researchers at MIT developed a laser distance sensor that, while crude, is quite decent for its price, which is only $49 plus a smartphone sacrificed to the cause.

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MIT device makes power by burning fuel-coated carbon nanotubes

MIT device makes power by burning fuel-coated carbon nanotubes

Scientists and researchers at MIT have come up with a new portable method of making power that uses heat and doesn't require metals or toxic materials. The new method of generating power is based on a discovery made by MIT professor Michael Strano and co-workers in 2010. That team created a wire using small carbon nanotubes that is able to create an electrical current when the tube is progressively heated from one end to the other.

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MIT team wins first round of SpaceX Hyperloop design contest

MIT team wins first round of SpaceX Hyperloop design contest

A team of students from MIT has won the top spot in a design contest for the SpaceX Hyperloop high-speed transportation system. The contest was held at Texas A&M University and included over 100 other design teams from around the world. The MIT students are all graduate students and won the overall design award for the pod that will ride inside the Hyperloop.

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MIT material stores solar energy and releases it as heat on demand

MIT material stores solar energy and releases it as heat on demand

The sun is constantly throwing out energy when it is in the sky. The catch is that to use that energy during a storm or at night, we need a way to store the energy for later. MIT has invented a new material that makes it possible to store solar energy and then release that energy as heat on demand.

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Deep-learning algorithm predicts how memorable photos are

Deep-learning algorithm predicts how memorable photos are

Researchers at MIT have been working on a deep-learning algorithm that is able to predict the memorability of a photograph at near-human levels. The researchers are working out of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and created the image with the goal of turning it into an app that tweaks photos to make them more memorable. The algorithm is dubbed MemNet.

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This camera prototype can locate and track hidden objects around a corner

This camera prototype can locate and track hidden objects around a corner

Researchers at MIT have created a camera that is capable of locating hidden objects, like pedestrians behind a wall, and tracking their movement. The tech needed to do this feat typically involves systems that are large, expensive, and limited to short distances. To develop the new camera system the researchers switched to using low-power microwaves.

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MIT construction uncovers time capsule intended for 2957 A.D.

MIT construction uncovers time capsule intended for 2957 A.D.

MIT made a fun announcement recently — during construction, a team happened across an object within the ground that looked out of place. Once it was removed, the institute’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety evaluated the item and declared it safe, revealing what it is to the public: a time capsule from the mid-50s that isn’t supposed to be opened until the year 2957. Unlike some time capsules buried during that time period, this one was well constructed and held up very well over the decades.

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MIT creates self-transforming fashion dubbed bioLogic

MIT creates self-transforming fashion dubbed bioLogic

Scientists at MIT have teamed up with New Balance to weave a new discovery into sportswear. The new discovery has to do with the expansion and contraction of natto cells relative to atmospheric moisture. Natto is a bacteria officially called Bacillus Subtilis natto and is a microorganism that lives inside dry rice stalks.

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MIT researchers develop software that identifies people through walls via WiFi

MIT researchers develop software that identifies people through walls via WiFi

It seems like there's no limit to what we can do with WiFi these days, from syncing health data from a watch to our smartphones, to pressing a physical button to order more coffee. But now MIT researchers have found a way to use it to identify people, but not necessarily with the internet itself. Instead they've developed software that can detect people's silhouettes through walls based on variations in WiFi signal.

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Soft robotic hands no longer crush your objects

Soft robotic hands no longer crush your objects

Researchers at MIT have created a robot with the ability to identify the objects it picks up - at least their dimensions - by touch. This robot is working at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and utilizes a 3D-printed hand made with silicone rubber. Each of this robot's three fingers has sensors that, working together, are able to estimate the size and shape of an object. This system is accurate enough to allow the robot to identify objects from a set.

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MIT’s MultiFab 3D printer can handle 10 materials at once

MIT’s MultiFab 3D printer can handle 10 materials at once

3D printers are great, useful, and fun, but the typical hobbyist printer that you can buy for yourself or for your home business has a problem with single-mindedness. For one, it can only really produce one part at a time, leaving the task of assembling parts together into a functional whole to humans. For another, it can only work with one material at a time, though more professional, and more expensive, 3D printers can work with up to three. MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory or CSAIL, however, has a solution that solves both of those at a fraction of the cost of a professional 3D printer.

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