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by   -   November 23, 2020
Mechanical metamaterials
CBA researchers have created four different types of novel subunits, called voxels (a 3D variation on the pixels of a 2D image). Left to right: rigid (grey), compliant (purple), auxetic (orange), chiral (blue). Image credits: Benjamin Jenett, CBA

By David L. Chandler

Researchers at MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms have created tiny building blocks that exhibit a variety of unique mechanical properties, such as the ability to produce a twisting motion when squeezed. These subunits could potentially be assembled by tiny robots into a nearly limitless variety of objects with built-in functionality, including vehicles, large industrial parts, or specialized robots that can be repeatedly reassembled in different forms.

by   -   October 23, 2020
MorphSensor glasses
An MIT team used MorphSensor to design multiple applications, including a pair of glasses that monitor light absorption to protect eye health. Credits: Photo courtesy of the researchers.

By Rachel Gordon

We’ve come a long way since the first 3D-printed item came to us by way of an eye wash cup, to now being able to rapidly fabricate things like car parts, musical instruments, and even biological tissues and organoids

by   -   September 16, 2020

By Anne Trafton

During the current coronavirus pandemic, one of the riskiest parts of a health care worker’s job is assessing people who have symptoms of Covid-19. Researchers from MIT, Boston Dynamics, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital hope to reduce that risk by using robots to remotely measure patients’ vital signs.

by   -   August 12, 2020

One of the biggest challenges in computing is handling a staggering onslaught of information while still being able to efficiently store and process it.

By Adam Conner-Simons

Big data has gotten really, really big: By 2025, all the world’s data will add up to an estimated 175 trillion gigabytes. For a visual, if you stored that amount of data on DVDs, it would stack up tall enough to circle the Earth 222 times. 

by   -   July 15, 2020

By Rachel Gordon
The opposing fingers are lightweight and quick moving, allowing nimble, real-time adjustments of force and position.
Photo courtesy of MIT CSAIL.

For humans, it can be challenging to manipulate thin flexible objects like ropes, wires, or cables. But if these problems are hard for humans, they are nearly impossible for robots. As a cable slides between the fingers, its shape is constantly changing, and the robot’s fingers must be constantly sensing and adjusting the cable’s position and motion.

by   -   May 6, 2020


By Peter Dizikes

This is part 3 of a three-part series examining the effects of robots and automation on employment, based on new research from economist and Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu. 

by   -   May 6, 2020
A new study co-authored by an MIT professor shows firms that move quickly to use robots tend to add workers to their payroll, while industry job losses are more concentrated in firms that make this change more slowly.
Image: Stock photo

This is part 2 of a three-part series examining the effects of robots and automation on employment, based on new research from economist and Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu. 

by   -   May 6, 2020

MIT professor Daron Acemoglu is co-author of a new study showing that each robot added to the workforce has the effect of replacing 3.3 jobs across the U.S.
Image: Stock image edited by MIT News
By Peter Dizikes

This is part 1 of a three-part series examining the effects of robots and automation on employment, based on new research from economist and Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu.  

by   -   March 24, 2020

A simulation system invented at MIT to train driverless cars creates a photorealistic world with infinite steering possibilities, helping the cars learn to navigate a host of worse-case scenarios before cruising down real streets.

By Rob Matheson

A simulation system invented at MIT to train driverless cars creates a photorealistic world with infinite steering possibilities, helping the cars learn to navigate a host of worse-case scenarios before cruising down real streets.  

by   -   March 11, 2020

Roboticists are developing automated robots that can learn new tasks solely by observing humans. At home, you might someday show a domestic robot how to do routine chores.
Image: Christine Daniloff, MIT

By Rob Matheson

Training interactive robots may one day be an easy job for everyone, even those without programming expertise. Roboticists are developing automated robots that can learn new tasks solely by observing humans. At home, you might someday show a domestic robot how to do routine chores. In the workplace, you could train robots like new employees, showing them how to perform many duties.

by   -   January 23, 2020

An AI model developed at MIT and Qatar Computing Research Institute that uses only satellite imagery to automatically tag road features in digital maps could improve GPS navigation, especially in countries with limited map data.
Image: Google Maps/MIT News

By Rob Matheson

A model invented by researchers at MIT and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) that uses satellite imagery to tag road features in digital maps could help improve GPS navigation.  

by   -   December 18, 2019

A researcher’s hand hovers over the water’s surface in the Intelligent Towing Tank (ITT), an automated experimental facility guided by active learning to explore vortex-induced vibrations (VIVs), revealing a path to accelerated scientific discovery.
Image: Dixia Fan and Lily Keyes/MIT Sea Grant

By Lily Keyes/MIT Sea Grant

In its first year of operation, the Intelligent Towing Tank (ITT) conducted about 100,000 total experiments, essentially completing the equivalent of a PhD student’s five years’ worth of experiments in a matter of weeks.

by   -   December 7, 2019

An MIT-invented model demonstrates an understanding of some basic “intuitive physics” by registering “surprise” when objects in simulations move in unexpected ways, such as rolling behind a wall and not reappearing on the other side.
Image: Christine Daniloff, MIT
By Rob Matheson

Humans have an early understanding of the laws of physical reality. Infants, for instance, hold expectations for how objects should move and interact with each other, and will show surprise when they do something unexpected, such as disappearing in a sleight-of-hand magic trick.

by   -   December 7, 2019

MIT researchers have invented a way to efficiently optimize the control and design of soft robots for target tasks, which has traditionally been a monumental undertaking in computation.

by   -   November 21, 2019

The new “growing robot” can be programmed to grow, or extend, in different directions, based on the sequence of chain units that are locked and fed out from the “growing tip,” or gearbox.
Image courtesy of researchers, edited by MIT News

In today’s factories and warehouses, it’s not uncommon to see robots whizzing about, shuttling items or tools from one station to another. For the most part, robots navigate pretty easily across open layouts. But they have a much harder time winding through narrow spaces to carry out tasks such as reaching for a product at the back of a cluttered shelf, or snaking around a car’s engine parts to unscrew an oil cap.