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MIT


— Robotics

MIT teaches robots to be better at building together

From leaping over obstacles to pulling objects thousands of times their own weight, robots are great at many things. What they're not so good at is working as an autonomous team in an unfamiliar setting – until now, that is. A team of researchers from MIT has developed an algorithm that streamlines the way robots collaborate on construction tasks, significantly cutting down planning time.

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— Robotics

MIT's robotic cheetah can now leap over obstacles

The last time we heard from the researchers working on MIT's robotic cheetah project, they had untethered their machine to let it bound freely across the campus lawns. Wireless and with a new spring in its step, the robot hit speeds of 10 mph (16 km/h) and could jump 13 in (33 cm) into the air. The quadrupedal robot has now been given another upgrade in the form of a LIDAR system and special algorithms, allowing it to detect and leap over obstacles in its path.

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— Biology

Secrets of Bombardier beetle's superheated defensive spray revealed

The bombardier beetle has a unique defensive mechanism. It induces a chemical explosion inside its shell to create a boiling, toxic liquid which it sprays at its aggressor. Now researchers in the US have discovered how it does this, and they hope that further study of the conditions inside the beetle that allow it to produce the jet without harming itself may inform real world technologies.

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