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by   -   November 6, 2019

Joao Ramos (center), co-inventor of HERMES (left), and Little HERMES (right)
Photo: Tony Pulsone

By Jennifer Chu

Rescuing victims from a burning building, a chemical spill, or any disaster that is inaccessible to human responders could one day be a mission for resilient, adaptable robots. Imagine, for instance, rescue-bots that can bound through rubble on all fours, then rise up on two legs to push aside a heavy obstacle or break through a locked door.

by   -   November 6, 2019

For last-mile delivery, robots of the future may use a new MIT algorithm to find the front door, using clues in their environment.
Image: MIT News

By Jennifer Chu

In the not too distant future, robots may be dispatched as last-mile delivery vehicles to drop your takeout order, package, or meal-kit subscription at your doorstep — if they can find the door.

by   -   October 21, 2019

Photo shows two prototype assembler robots at work putting together a series of small units, known as voxels, into a larger structure.
Image courtesy of Benjamin Jenett

By David L. Chandler

Today’s commercial aircraft are typically manufactured in sections, often in different locations — wings at one factory, fuselage sections at another, tail components somewhere else — and then flown to a central plant in huge cargo planes for final assembly.

by   -   October 21, 2019
Catalia Health uses a personal robot assistant, Mabu, to help patients managing chronic diseases.
Courtesy of Catalia Health

By Zach Winn

The Mabu robot, with its small yellow body and friendly expression, serves, literally, as the face of the care management startup Catalia Health. The most innovative part of the company’s solution, however, lies behind Mabu’s large blue eyes.

by   -   September 4, 2019
Depiction of a soft robotic device known as a dynamic soft reservoir (DSR)
Image courtesy of the researchers.

Researchers from the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) at MIT; the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway); and AMBER, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research, recently announced a significant breakthrough in soft robotics that could help patients requiring in-situ (implanted) medical devices such as breast implants, pacemakers, neural probes, glucose biosensors, and drug and cell delivery devices.

by   -   August 11, 2019

By Becky Ham

Guided by artificial intelligence and powered by a robotic platform, a system developed by MIT researchers moves a step closer to automating the production of small molecules that could be used in medicine, solar energy, and polymer chemistry.

by   -   July 21, 2019

Corbató in 1965, using one of MIT’s mainframe computers
Image: Computer History Museum

By Adam Conner-Simons | Rachel Gordon

Fernando “Corby” Corbató, an MIT professor emeritus whose work in the 1960s on time-sharing systems broke important ground in democratizing the use of computers, died on Friday, July 12, at his home in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He was 93.

by   -   July 21, 2019

A new MIT-invented system automatically designs and 3-D prints complex robotic actuators optimized according to an enormous number of specifications, such as appearance and flexibility. To demonstrate the system, the researchers fabricated floating water lilies with petals equipped with arrays of actuators and hinges that fold up in response to magnetic fields run through conductive fluids.
Credit: Subramanian Sundaram

By Rob Matheson

An automated system developed by MIT researchers designs and 3-D prints complex robotic parts called actuators that are optimized according to an enormous number of specifications. In short, the system does automatically what is virtually impossible for humans to do by hand.  

by   -   July 21, 2019
A devoted teacher and cherished colleague, Patrick Winston led CSAIL’s Genesis Group, which focused on developing AI systems that have human-like intelligence, including the ability to tell, perceive and comprehend stories.
Photo: Jason Dorfman/MIT CSAIL

By Adam Conner-Simons and Rachel Gordon

Patrick Winston, a beloved professor and computer scientist at MIT, died on July 19 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was 76.
 
A professor at MIT for almost 50 years, Winston was director of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory from 1972 to 1997 before it merged with the Laboratory for Computer Science to become MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

by   -   July 11, 2019
This walking microrobot was built by the MIT team from a set of just five basic parts, including a coil, a magnet, and stiff and flexible structural pieces.
Photo by Will Langford

By David L. Chandler

Years ago, MIT Professor Neil Gershenfeld had an audacious thought. Struck by the fact that all the world’s living things are built out of combinations of just 20 amino acids, he wondered: Might it be possible to create a kit of just 20 fundamental parts that could be used to assemble all of the different technological products in the world?

by   -   June 30, 2019
A new study by researchers from MIT, Boston Children’s Hospital, and elsewhere shows that a “social robot,” named Huggable (pictured), can be used in support sessions to boost positive emotions in hospitalized children.
Image: Courtesy of the Personal Robots Group, MIT Media Lab

A new study demonstrates, for the first time, that “social robots” used in support sessions held in pediatric units at hospitals can lead to more positive emotions in sick children.

by   -   June 22, 2019
Robots currently attempt to identify objects in a point cloud by comparing a template object — a 3-D dot representation of an object, such as a rabbit — with a point cloud representation of the real world that may contain that object.
Image: Christine Daniloff, MIT

A new MIT-developed technique enables robots to quickly identify objects hidden in a three-dimensional cloud of data, reminiscent of how some people can make sense of a densely patterned “Magic Eye” image if they observe it in just the right way.

by   -   June 22, 2019


A new photonic chip design drastically reduces energy needed to compute with light, with simulations suggesting it could run optical neural networks 10 million times more efficiently than its electrical counterparts.
Image: courtesy of the researchers, edited by MIT News

By Rob Matheson

MIT researchers have developed a novel “photonic” chip that uses light instead of electricity — and consumes relatively little power in the process. The chip could be used to process massive neural networks millions of times more efficiently than today’s classical computers do.

by   -   June 22, 2019


MIT researchers have given their fleet of autonomous “roboats” the ability to automatically target and clasp onto each other — and keep trying if they fail. The roboats are being designed to transport people, collect trash, and self-assemble into floating structures in the canals of Amsterdam.
Courtesy of the researchers

By Rob Matheson

The city of Amsterdam envisions a future where fleets of autonomous boats cruise its many canals to transport goods and people, collect trash, or self-assemble into floating stages and bridges. To further that vision, MIT researchers have given new capabilities to their fleet of robotic boats — which are being developed as part of an ongoing project — that lets them target and clasp onto each other, and keep trying if they fail.

by   -   June 3, 2019

MIT researchers have developed a low-cost, sensor-packed glove that captures pressure signals as humans interact with objects. The glove can be used to create high-resolution tactile datasets that robots can leverage to better identify, weigh, and manipulate objects.
Image: Courtesy of the researchers
By Rob Matheson

Wearing a sensor-packed glove while handling a variety of objects, MIT researchers have compiled a massive dataset that enables an AI system to recognize objects through touch alone. The information could be leveraged to help robots identify and manipulate objects, and may aid in prosthetics design.