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MIT

— Environment

MIT researchers propose recycling lead from old batteries to produce new solar cells

By - August 18, 2014 1 Picture
The world of modern technology is one of out with the old, in with the new. For battery technology, that means the expected demise of lead-acid batteries and replacement by a more efficient, cheaper, and environmentally-friendly alternative. This is good news, but leaves the problem of what to do with all the lead in the batteries currently in use when the time comes to dispose of them? Researchers at MIT have an answer – use it to make solar cells. Read More
— Robotics

Origami-style transformer self-assembles before scuttling away

By - August 10, 2014 4 Pictures
An origami-inspired robot that self-assembles and then scuttles away under its own power has been revealed by researchers from Harvard University and MIT. Still in the experimental stage, the prototype is able to transform itself from a flat structure into a moving, functional machine in around four minutes before scrambling away under its own power at a speed of about 2 in (5 cm) per second. Read More
— Science

MIT algorithm turns potato chip bag into bugging device

By - August 7, 2014 7 Pictures
If you've ever had the feeling that you’re being listened to by chip bags, spied on by your houseplants, and eavesdropped by chocolate bar wrappers, then you may not be paranoid; you may just be up on the latest technology. That’s because a team of scientists led by MIT that includes participants from Microsoft, and Adobe has created a "visual microphone" that uses a computer algorithm to analyze and reconstruct audio signals from objects in a video image. Read More
— Space

MIT to test making oxygen on Mars

By - August 3, 2014 5 Pictures
Oxygen is such an abundant resource on Earth that we rarely think about it unless we get locked in a cupboard. However, for space engineers, the question of how to get enough of the vital gas is constant, frustrating problem. To help future explorers of the Red Planet get enough oxygen for life support and powering spacecraft, NASA has included MIT’s MOXIE experiment on the Mars 2020 mission to study how to make oxygen out of the Martian atmosphere. Read More
— Science

New study indicates dramatic fall-off in global crop yields by the year 2050

By - July 31, 2014 1 Picture
A new study has examined the potentially disastrous implications that a combination of global warming and air pollution could have on crop yields by the year 2050. The research is one of the first projects to take into account a combination of the two dangers, and highlights the humanitarian crisis that could arise should the threat not be tackled head-on. Read More
— Computers

Vision-correcting display lets users ditch their reading glasses

By - July 30, 2014 5 Pictures
In an age where reading something from a screen on a phone or a computer is a normal part of our daily lives, the wearing of glasses or contact lenses often makes doing so a chore with eye-strain problems and the necessity to carry around spectacles or lenses wherever you go. In this vein, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have created a prototype vision-correcting, printed pinhole matrix that they claim fits directly to a screen and negates the need for eyeglasses or remedial lenses and may one day offer improved visual acuity to those with eye problems much worse than simple farsightedness. Read More
— Science

Sponge-like structure generates steam using lowest concentration of solar energy yet

By - July 22, 2014 2 Pictures
Researchers working at MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering claim to have produced a sponge-like substance that helps convert water to steam using sunlight one-hundredth as bright as that required by conventional steam-producing solar generators. A composite of graphite flakes layered on a bed of carbon foam, the new material is reported to convert as much as 85 percent of received solar energy into steam. Read More
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