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Science

Nanomaterial thermophotovoltaic system increases efficiency and portability of solar power

It’s not a new idea to improve upon traditional solar cells by first converting light into heat, then reemitting the energy at specific wavelengths optimally tuned to the requirements of the solar cell, but this method has suffered from low efficiencies. However, new research at MIT using nanoscale materials finally shows how thermophotovoltaics could become competitive with their traditional cousins, and grant benefits such as storing solar energy in the form of heat to postpone conversion into electricity.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Soft pneumatic exoskeleton could be perfect for use in rehab

We've recently been hearing a lot about how exoskeletons can be used in rehabilitation, guiding patients' disabled limbs through a normal range of motion in order to develop muscle memory. The problem is, most exoskeletons are rigid, limiting their degrees of freedom to less than those of the body part they're moving. A team of scientists are looking at changing that, with a partial "soft exoskeleton" that replicates the body's own muscles, tendons and ligaments. Read More

Medical

New superglue fixes holes in the heart

A hole in the heart is never a good thing, so when an infant is born with such a defect, doctors have to act quickly to fix it. Unfortunately, both sutures and staples can damage the heart tissue, plus it takes too long to apply sutures. Existing surgical adhesives have their own drawbacks in that they can be toxic, and they typically become unstuck in wet, dynamic environments such as the heart. As a result, infants often require subsequent operations to "replug" the hole. Now, however, scientists have developed a sort of superglue for the heart, that quickly and securely bonds patches to holes. Read More

Electronics

WiTricity wireless charging system ready for market

Gizmag has followed the development of the resonant wireless power transfer technology WiTricty since it was first theorized in 2007. Now it appears the technology is only one step away from being available to consumers with the developers seeing take-up by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The company has also displayed a wireless charging system designed for the iPhone 5 as proof of the capability and readiness of the technology for market.Read More

Medical

Portable scanner designed to make eye exams quicker and easier

If you're like a lot of people, you don't make an annual trip to the ophthalmologist to get your eyes checked ... and you really ought to, in order to catch any problems before it's too late. If it were possible to get them checked at a regular doctor's office or clinic, though, perhaps you might do so more often. That's one of the reasons that a team at MIT have designed a new hand-held retinal scanner, that can quickly and easily be used anywhere.Read More

Science

Algorithm makes your face shots more memorable

Lots of people wish that they were more attractive, but have you ever wanted to just look more ... memorable? Just a few tweaks here and there, to help keep your face from being forgotten? Well, software created by researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory can now make that happen – to photos of your face, that is. Read More

Science

WiTrack system allows for motion tracking through walls

Microsoft's Kinect system is certainly impressive, but now that we've had a chance to get used to it and start taking it for granted, it does have one problem – you have to stay located in front of it. MIT's new WiTrack system, however, can track users' movements even when those people are in another room. Among other things, this could allow for video games in which the players run all over their house. Read More

Science

New X-ray tech provides clear view of soft tissues

X-ray machines are all large devices that can only image hard structures such as bone, unless a contrast-enhancing solution such as barium is present in the patient ... right? Well, no, not all of them. A new system developed by researchers at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital is small enough to be considered portable, doesn't expose patients to as much radiation, and can image soft tissues in minute detail. Read More

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