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MIT’s inFORM UI remotely manipulates physical reality via Kinect

MIT’s inFORM UI remotely manipulates physical reality via Kinect

MIT Media Lab's Tangible Media Group has invented a tangible interface that acts like a remote pinscreen. That is, it transfers gestures captured by a hacked Kinect to a platform of motorized pins, thus translating motion to physical reality. The device is called inFORM, and the researchers involved in the project want it to inform a wider push towards computer interfaces that embrace the deep human need for tactile engagement with reality.

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MIT M-Blocks Self-assembling robots made real

MIT M-Blocks Self-assembling robots made real

This week the former MIT student known as John Romanishin revealed a plan - and working demo units - of a modular self-assembling robot pods. These little beasts may seem the thing of nightmares when they move independently, attach to one another and stand up on their own - but they're not currently in a place where they're going to take over humanity any time soon. The idea for these robots was initiated by Romanishin in 2011, when he was an MIT senior in Professor Daniela Rus's robotics class - now he's a research scientist at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the plans have been made real.

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MIT’s milli-motein robot can shape shift

MIT’s milli-motein robot can shape shift

The strange-looking piece of twisty curly metal below is actually a robot that can shape shift into various shapes. The robot, called milli-motein, is about the size of your oridinary garden catepillar. Says the scientists involved with the project, this robot could be a "harbinger" of the future and the shape shifting robots that are currently science fiction.

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New vest inflates when you receive Likes on Facebook

New vest inflates when you receive Likes on Facebook

We've reported on some odd items in the past, but this has to be one of the oddest (and also one of the most intriguing). A group of scientists at MIT have developed a new vest that you can link to your Facebook account. Why would you want to link a vest, of all things, to your Facebook account? Because when people "Like" something that you've posted, the vest automatically inflates.

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Kinect takes center stage in new map making gadget

Kinect takes center stage in new map making gadget

We've seen amateur and professional developers alike do some really cool things with Microsoft's Kinect since the motion control peripheral launched in 2010. Interestingly enough, many of these cool things have nothing to do with video games, but that's another story for another time. The latest in a long line of cool gadgets that put Kinect in the spotlight is a new wearable device that has the ability to make maps in real time.

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MIT robot plane deletes the pilot

MIT robot plane deletes the pilot

When the robots come for you, at least they won't scratch the walls. MIT research into autonomous flight has delivered a robotic plane that can thread its way, at speed, through enclosed and indoor conditions, without requiring preconfigured flight plans or GPS navigation. The plane has significantly longer flight time than autonomous helicopters, though introduced a fair few problems of its own.

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SlashGear Evening Wrap-Up: August 10, 2012

SlashGear Evening Wrap-Up: August 10, 2012

Welcome to Friday everyone. The weekend is here is last, and what better way to kick it off than with a giveaway? We've teamed up with NVIDIA to hand out three 16GB Google Nexus 7 tablets, so be sure to enter (but read the rules before you do!). Apple and Samsung's ongoing patent trial gave us a glimpse at sales numbers for both companies today, and we also found out that Apple is looking for a whopping $2.45 billion from Samsung. Even though Google has remained publicly silent about this whole suit, it turns out that it has been providing support for Samsung behind the scenes during the trial.

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Earthworm robot developed at MIT for tiny science missions

Earthworm robot developed at MIT for tiny science missions

Designers at MIT have created an autonomous robot with the ability to inch forth like an earthworm while it remains impervious to most bashes, drops, and rough terrain. It's called "Meshworm", and Sangbae Kim, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, notes that it's a new step towards squeezing through tight spaces and navigating rough terrain in the future. Will we see a robot earthworm plodding around Mars the next time we head out? We shall see!

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Cheap Glasses-free 3D research tips LCD sandwich

Cheap Glasses-free 3D research tips LCD sandwich

MIT researchers have cooked up a new glasses-free 3D system that supports multiple viewers watching from different perspectives, and relies on existing cheap technologies rather than expensive holograms. The Media Lab Camera Culture Group stacked multiple LCD panels on top of each other, each running at a high refresh rate, and which show slightly different perspectives of the same image or video frame, which the human eye adds up to a 3D picture.

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