Items tagged with mit

There's no question that artificial intelligence and robotics technology will soon become an even more pervasive force in our daily lives. From self-driving cars to robotics dogs that can empty the dishwasher and fetch us a beer, things are looking mighty good for the future. Now, the folks at Google Robotics are making huge strides in developing robots that are less dependent on their human handlers. While today's autonomous robots use reinforcement-learning algorithms that rely more on trial and error (with a lot of human intervention during this process) in a preset virtual environment to navigate obstacles and perform certain tasks, Google researchers have taken things to the next level with... Read more...
A robot hand called Dactyl has successfully solved a Rubik's cube using a training regime that the AI behind the scenes created. The deal here isn't so much that it was able to solve the Rubik's cube, but that it did the task with a new level of dexterity. The robot arm was able to solve the '80s puzzle game with a single hand. Solving the puzzle cube with a single hand is a big deal, according to roboticist Dmitry Berenson from the University of Michigan. The manipulation required to rotate the parts of the cube is much "harder" than rotating the entire cube. Robots traditionally only manipulate objects in simple ways.  Roboticists use simulation to reduce the amount of real-world training... Read more...
What if you could customize your clothes, vehicles, and other possessions on a whim? MIT scientists have come closer to making every DIYer’s dream a reality with the invention of a new spray-on ink that can change colors and patterns. Scientists at MIT‘s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have created “PhotoChromeleon Ink”. The new ink mixes cyan, magenta and yellow photochromic dyes together. Photochromism is the darkening, lightening, or the color change of an item when it is exposed to electromagnetic radiation. The PhotoChromeleon Ink is able to change color when it is placed under ultraviolet (UV) lights. Users will be able to... Read more...
MIT has been working on robots going back for years, and with each new generation, the bots get more capable. The MIT Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory has trotted out a new robot that is called the Mini Cheetah, and as the name implies it is a smaller version of the full-size Cheetah robot. MIT has produced a new video that shows the Mini Cheetah prancing around in a deer-like manner. The larger Cheetah robot has various potential uses, including carrying loads for soldiers or workers out in the field. It might also be used for transporting injured people on a battlefield or disaster situation. Mini Cheetah is too small for that sort of work, but it is exceptionally agile. MIT says that the Mini... Read more...
Restoration projects that focus on old computers that have long since been replaced by newer equipment always pique our interest, but this one is different. Mike Stewart, a "space engineer extraordinaire and living Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) encyclopedia," is spearheading an effort to bring back to life arguably one of the most important computer systems ever built in US history. That's not hyperbole, folks. As fellow restorer Carl Claunch explains in a running log on his blog, this a block II AGC, the kind that was used on all manned flights into space during its era. It played a critical role in the NASA Apollo program, helping to navigate space flights to the moon. With the exception of... Read more...
Engineers and researchers are constantly on the lookout for new ways to find problems inside the human body that allow doctors to determine what's going on internally without having to resort to cutting. A team from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) led by Professor Dina Katabi is working on a new wireless system that the team likens to an in-body GPS system called ReMix. The system is designed specifically to locate ingestible implants inside the body using a low-power wireless signal from outside the body. MIT Prof. Dina Katabi The idea is that the ReMix wireless system could allow medical personnel to determine the exact location of ingestible implants... Read more...
MIT has created a new AI that we sincerely hope never escapes into the wild because this IS how you get Skynet. This AI is called Norman and it is a psychopath. How did Norman turn into a psycho? All the image data MIT fed Norman came from what it calls "an infamous subreddit" that the researchers refuse to name specifically due to its graphic content. However, the team does say that this subreddit is "dedicated to documenting and observing the disturbing reality of death." The goal with Norman was to prove that when people say that an AI can be biased and unfair, the fault isn't the algorithm but the biased data that the algorithm consumes. When an AI algorithm is trained as Norman was, it sees... Read more...
Are you one of those people that is constantly being criticized for mumbling or speaking too softly; so much so that no one can clearly understand what you're saying? That may not be a problem for a new communication device from MIT called the AlterEgo. AlterEgo is a rather odd-looking wearable device that mounts to your head and wraps around the back of your neck. Electrodes mounted on the device are than able to identify neuromuscular signals in the jaw and face to read a human's subvocalization. Subvocalization refers to the muscular movements that are made when we almost imperceptibly say words to ourselves. Other people might not be able to pick up the subtle lip and muscular movements that... Read more...
MIT is poised to make a massive investment into the future of nuclear fusion power. This move is significant because fusion power is potentially inexhaustible and produces zero carbon emissions. Fusion power could quite literally change the world as we know it today. MIT has announced a new collaboration with a private company called Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) that will see $50 million poured into the creation of a working fusion power plant. MIT and CFS want to perform rapid, staged research that will lead to a new generation of fusion experiments and ultimately power plants based on advancement in high-temperature superconductors. The work will be built on decades of federal government... Read more...
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have announced a new power generating device that is able to use temperature fluctuations to create electricity. The technology is based on principals of thermoelectric devices able to generate power when one side of the device is a different temperature than the other. The device the MIT team has created doesn't require two different temperature inputs at the same time, rather this device harnesses changes in ambient temperature to create electric power as a virtually perpetual renewable energy source. MIT's Thermal Resonator - Virtually Infinite Power Source? The new system is called a thermal resonator and has the potential for... Read more...
Most consumers do not own a 3D printer, though perhaps one day that will change. For now, 3D printing at home remains a niche obsession, however the barriers of entry have started to come down with some models focusing on ease-of-use and others aiming for relatively low price points. Some combine both. One thing that probably has to change, however, is the speed at which 3D printers operate. Well, a team of engineers at MIT are on it, with a 3D printer that can print in minutes what would take most 3D printers hours. The system they developed is based on fused deposition modeling (FDM), which is an additive manufacturing (AM) technology commonly found in the majority of 3D printers out there... Read more...
One of the challenges that exists for self-driving cars is being able to anticipate the unseen, such as a child running out from behind a tree and into the road. But what if there were cameras mounted to the car that could somehow see hidden objects? Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a clever algorithm that allows cameras to detect people and objects hidden behind corners. The implication of this technology extends beyond autonomous vehicles and into a wide range of fields, including emergency response situations. Rather than wander into an area without known what might be found on the other... Read more...
Remember when a 1TB hard drive seemed enormous? There was also a time when the idea of having even 8GB of memory in our personal computers seemed like extreme overkill. Today, that's basically the starting point for most PCs. As time goes on, and tech improves, even today's storage types and sizes are bound to seem hilariously lacking. For storage and memory companies, the challenge is to shrink dies ever smaller, or increase the amount of data that can be crammed into mechanical storage. Both methods need to continue progressing at a smooth enough rate so as to not bottleneck the other. Just as mechanical storage used to be the biggest bottleneck in our desktops, today's solutions are proving... Read more...
It seems as though a new, promising battery tech that will boost the runtimes of our mobile devices is always just around the corner. Numerous companies and research labs make wide-eyed promises that seem unbelievable, and of course, they never deliver. However, one company, SolidEnergy, thinks that it has cracked the code when it comes to delivering longer-running batteries. And the company promises to market its batteries by the end of this year… if all goes according to plan. SolidEnergy is an MIT spinoff and says that its lithium-metal batteries can have up to double the energy capacity of today’s lithium-ion batteries. The battery is labeled as being just as safe and reliable, while offering... Read more...
Researchers at MIT have taken the concept of a temporary tattoo and launched it into the technology age. Using a process that creates conductive circuit designs that can be easily transferred to the surface of human skin, in addition to surface-mounted microcontrollers or LEDs, the researchers have developed user interfaces and simple displays that can be installed on human skin as wearable technology. The team at MIT is calling it DuoSkin. An NFC Capable DuoSkin Device There are three main steps in the process of creating a functional DuoSkin tattoo. First, graphic design software is used to sketch out the circuit. Then a stencil is made of the sketch and gold leaf (or an alternative conduction... Read more...
If augmented reality was an unknown to the world last month, it certainly isn't now, thanks to the insane popularity of Pokemon GO. That game has been responsible for opening many eyes to AR, and now, we've been seeing many comments floating about of how AR could prove more successful than VR. That's hard to argue, given everyone has a smartphone, but very few own a VR headset (which in itself will change once prices cater to the mainstream better). Well, hot on the heels of Pokemon GO's success comes MIT with one of the coolest AR projects we've ever seen. If not the coolest. The technology is called "Interactive Dynamic Video", and while you might be able to glean a bit about what it is from... Read more...
It's been a long time since webpages consisted of simple text. Today's webpages are far more complex with audio, video, fancy graphics, JavaScript, and everything else that goes into making an enticing portal. Browser makers have done an overall good job of keeping up with the times, but researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) say they've come up with a way to turbo charge page load times by 34 percent. Their framework for faster load times is called "Polaris," not to be confused with AMD's forthcoming GPU architecture (they're two completely separate things). What MIT has done is developed a method of mapping out the elements that comprise a webpage... Read more...
Could we soon see “Real Steel” or “Pacific Rim” come to life? It sure does at least look somewhat plausible, as MIT researchers have developed HERMES, an advanced robot that is capable of manipulating objects and environments in nearly the same way as humans do. But this isn’t just a project design of a robot only mimicking the actions of its human controller; it can also learn and make precise movements that weren’t possible with prior robots, thanks to its impressive sensor suite. The HERMES robot is controlled by a human operator who wears a remote controller exoskeleton. Movements carried out by the human operator are directly transferred to the humanoid robot with human-like reflexes and... Read more...
Researchers at MIT have come up with a new network design that exploits cheap, power-efficient flash memory without sacrificing the speed that supercomputing applications enjoy from Random Access Memory (RAM). What's appealing about the development is that flash memory is about ten times less expensive than RAM and consumes about a tenth as much power. The downside is that flash memory is only about a tenth as fast, though by utilizing MIT's new system, several common big data applications could use flash memory just as efficiently as conventional RAM. Not only that, the researchers presented evidence at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture that if servers executing a distributed... Read more...
Developing an application isn't a cake walk, although it can seem like one if all we're talking about is getting a program up and running. Perhaps the biggest chore with developing an app is securing it tight, analyzing the code until you arrive at Eye Strain City. Security is king. It's also time-consuming. MIT knows this reality all too well, so it's decided to do something to help ease the pain. The result is a system called CodePhage, one that takes advantage of other applications to help bolster the security in its own. I wouldn't blame you if you thought that such mechanics were impossible, but indeed they are. Rather than just analyze source code from other projects and assume snippets... Read more...
Recently, we’ve seen robots being developed that are used for security, delivering food, and even for customer service. This time around, researchers at the Biomimetic Robotics Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a robot that takes its cues from the world’s fastest land animal that will hopefully be able to replace humans in dangerous operations. Called the cheetah, this robot’s form and function takes its cues from the land animal of the same name. While it can’t match the animal’s speed of 59 mph right now, the bot is capable of running at speeds of more than 10 mph, jump to a height of around 16 inches, land safely, and still continue to gallop for at least... Read more...
Well here’s one: MIT researchers are developing a way to harvest energy from, off all things, water droplets. They discovered that when water droplets spontaneously “jump” away from a superhydrophobic surface, they generate a tiny electric charge. Condensation is the real mechanism for the movement of the water, and the team figured out that by using interleaved metal plates--particularly when adjacent plates have opposite charges--they could gather that energy and send it through an external circuit, thus powering small electronic devices. This machine harvests energy from water droplets What’s really cool about the whole thing is that it’s a passive process, meaning... Read more...
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