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Meshworm imitates to movements of an earthworm (Photo: MIT)

In an effort to create robots with soft, pliable exteriors that would be suited to exploring hard to reach places and traversing bumpy terrain, a team of researchers from MIT, Harvard University and Seoul National University has developed a robotic earthworm called Meshworm. Moving in the same manner as an earthworm, it looks disturbingly like an earthworm as it crawls across the floor. However, unlike an earthworm and despite its soft exterior, it is remarkably tough and can survive hammer blows and even being trodden.  Read More

The EyeRing system features a finger-worn camera module and wirelessly connected smartphon...

Generally speaking, the vast majority of augmented reality applications that enhance the world around us by overlaying digital content on images displayed on smartphone, tablet or computer screens are aimed squarely at the sighted user. A team from the Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT's Media Lab has developed a chunky finger-worn device called EyeRing that translates images of objects captured through a camera lens into aural feedback to aid the blind.  Read More

Two MIT students recently developed the PopFab, a machine that does 3D printing, milling, ...

There are plenty of different 3D printers to choose from these days, from the popular Makerbot Thing-O-Matic to the budget-priced Solidoodle. These all have one drawback however in that they aren't exactly portable. Most need to be disassembled to be moved and even the fully-assembled Cubify printer isn't really built for travel. But now, two MIT students have developed the PopFab, a machine that does 3D printing and more, all while fitting inside a small suitcase.  Read More

Findings at MIT suggest that Titan's geological phenomena may bear remarkably close simila...

After revealing the strong possibility of an underground liquid water ocean on Titan, further analysis of radar data collected by a flyby of the Huygens/Cassini spacecraft is now suggesting that, despite a dramatically different composition, Saturn's largest moon may share many of Earth's geological processes. By studying those features, exogeologists are beginning to answer some pressing questions on the forces that shaped Titan's geological past.  Read More

Underwater model of a ship's propeller created using algorithms developed by MIT researche...

In addition to human divers equipped with sonar cameras, the U.S. Navy has also trained dolphins and sea lions to search for bombs on and around vessels. All these methods are expensive and can’t always deliver the best performance in all environments. Robots would seem to be the obvious answer and underwater robots have been the focus of much research and development in recent years. Now researchers at MIT have developed new algorithms to vastly improve the navigation and feature-detecting capabilities of these robots.  Read More

MIT researchers have developed a semiautonomous safety system which allows a human driver ...

We all like to think we're in control ... never more so than when we're behind the wheel of a car, but there are occasions when errors in judgement can lead to a gentle bump, or something far worse. MIT researchers have developed a semiautonomous collision avoidance system where the human driver has full control of the vehicle until the system detects that the car is headed for a collision or is too close to an obstacle for safety. When such a hazard is detected, the system will take control of the vehicle, bring it back within a calculated safe zone, and then hand control back over to the driver.  Read More

MIT’s Media Lab has proposed a new technique for multiple-perspective and glasses-free 3D ...

Though 3D movies have been around for a while, the experience of visiting a cinema to catch the latest blockbuster is dampened by unwieldy glasses and the limitation of only one fixed perspective being offered to all. The illusion of depth is present, but this is far removed from the hologram-like, multiple-perspective experience which would truly wow movie-goers. MIT's Media Lab’s Camera Culture group proposes a new approach to 3D images that promises glasses-free multiple-perspective 3D. Perhaps best of all though, MIT's technique uses inexpensive existing LCD technology, clearing the way for the tech to be implemented into TV's.  Read More

MIT doctoral student Saurav Bandyopadhyay has designed a new chip capable of harvesting en...

The problem with depending on one source of power in the drive toward the battery-free operation of small biomedical devices, remote sensors and out-of-the-way gauges is that if the source is intermittent, not strong enough or runs out altogether, the device can stop working. A small MIT research team has developed a low-power chip design capable of simultaneously drawing power from photovoltaic, thermoelectric, and piezoelectric energy sources. The design also features novel dual-path architecture that allows it to run from either onboard energy storage or direct from its multiple power sources.  Read More

The RepRap printer, using molten sugar to create the vascular network's mold and filaments...

For a great number of people, the idea of being able to use a patient’s own cells to create lab-grown replacement organs is very appealing. Already, researchers have had success growing urethras (which are essentially hollow tubes), and miniature human livers. Before large, solid, three-dimensional organs can be grown, however, scientists must figure out a reliable way of incorporating blood vessels into them – if the lab-grown organs simply take the form of a block of cells, the cells on the inside won’t be able to receive any nutrients, and will die. Now, a team from the University of Pennsylvania and MIT has devised a way of building such vessels, using sugar.  Read More

An atomic-force microscope image of a layer of single-walled carbon nanotubes deposited on...

Researchers at MIT have developed a new type of photovoltaic cell made with carbon nanotubes that captures solar energy in the near-infrared region of the spectrum, which conventional silicon solar cells don’t. The new design means solar cell efficiency could be greatly increased, boosting the chances to make solar power a more popular source of energy.  Read More

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