Floating Nuclear Reactors Might Make More Sense Than You'd Think

At a symposium held by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers this week, a team of MIT engineers will present an idea that seems to tempt fate: A floating nuclear reactor, anchored out at sea, that would be immune to tsunamis and earthquakes. Is it really that crazy of a plan? » 4/16/14 2:00pm Wednesday 2:00pm

Self-Stacking Building Blocks Are Nothing Short of Magic

Deciding that the lowly building block was due for an upgrade, researchers at MIT have created something amazing. The simple-looking M-Blocks are made from an aluminum frame filled with electronics, an electric motor that can spin up to 20,000 rpm, and a flywheel. And they can perform some amazing feats without any… » 4/16/14 1:20pm Wednesday 1:20pm

Anybody With a Printer Can Make These Origami-Inspired Robots

We were promised robots. The future, science fiction told us, would be a world swarming with automatons that did all the jobs we didn't want. But you know what? Robots are really expensive and hard to build. Two MIT scientists want to change all that with inkjet printers and techniques borrowed from origami. » 4/11/14 4:20pm 4/11/14 4:20pm

Watch an Incredible Interactive Table Morph To a Person's Movements

Just five months ago, MIT's Tangible Media Group was showing off a physical interface that mimics you in real time. This week in Milan, the team unveiled the next iteration of the system that's much larger and even more sophisticated. You're going to want to click through for the videos. » 4/11/14 9:42am 4/11/14 9:42am

New awesome videos show how mesmerizing that morphing table is

It still looks like magic. To be honest, I haven't ruled out magic as a reasonable explanation for this yet yet. The MIT morphing table that lets you create a virtual version of you has some new tricks up its sleeves and they're just as impressively mesmerizing as the first time we saw it. Watch it control the red ball … » 2/07/14 11:01pm 2/07/14 11:01pm

Super stealth MIT camera can take 3D images in complete darkness

Anyone with a smartphone knows how impossible it is to take pictures in the dark. At best you get a picture that looks like a pile of dark to darker grains of sand. Researchers, however, have come up with a better way. They've been able to take 'ultra sharp images' with little to no light. Basically, it's creating… » 12/02/13 11:13pm 12/02/13 11:13pm

Whoa, This Handheld Router Only Cuts Where Needed To Reveal 3D Models

Researchers at MIT have developed a handheld milling machine that turns anyone into a skilled sculptor. Like with a 3D printer, users start with a 3D model on a computer, but instead of a machine laying down layers of plastic, the handheld mill removes only what's needed from a solid block of material to eventually… » 11/21/13 6:30pm 11/21/13 6:30pm

These Cubes With No Moving Parts Are Actually Self-Assembling Robots

There's no shortage of proposed ideas for self-assembling robots, but they're usually either incredibly complex or just a little boring. In contrast, these adorable little cubes have no obvious moving parts—but can still climb over and around one another, leap through the air, or roll across the ground. » 10/04/13 8:55am 10/04/13 8:55am

MIT Has Taught Incompetent Robots How To Ask For Help

Well, well, well. They were more than happy to take all of our best assembly line and theme park greeter jobs, but now—thanks to researchers at MIT—the robots of the world have learned how to ask humans for help. Soon they'll be pleading with the creators they've vowed to replace, in plain English, for assistance with … » 9/12/13 2:40pm 9/12/13 2:40pm

Meet the Drone That's Guiding New Students Around MIT This Fall

Navigating a new campus is all part of the nostalgic movie montage that is freshman year of college. The changing leaves! The quaint Gothic architecture! The... drone tour guide? That’s the concept behind Skycall, a playful prototype that's designed to help visiting Harvard students find their way around MIT’s… » 9/11/13 5:20pm 9/11/13 5:20pm

Tiny Satellite Antennas Are the Coolest Party Balloons You Never Had

There's a small army of adorable, little, (sometimes) phone-powered satellites out in space, circling the globe. And while they're damn impressive for their size, they face some challenges. They don't have much room for antennas, for instance. But MIT's new inflatable balloon antennas should change all that. » 9/10/13 10:40am 9/10/13 10:40am

MIT's Fog Harvester Is a Better Way To Get Water From Thin Air

Fog harvesting systems—giant nets that collect and funnel billions of tiny drops of water into a reservoir—are already in use in parts of the world where rainfall is rare. But researchers at MIT, working with experts from the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago, Chile, have found a way to vastly improve those… » 9/03/13 2:40pm 9/03/13 2:40pm

Forget Your Farecard and Use One of These Hip RFID Rings Instead

Farecards are annoying. They're usually flimsy and easy-to-lose, and depending on what city you live in, they can be impossible to swipe. Why not integrate a more high-tech solution into the system? And hey, why not make it a little bit fashionable too? Well, that's exactly what these MIT students did. » 8/26/13 4:40pm 8/26/13 4:40pm

An Interactive Ruler Shows How OLEDs Will Make Mundane Objects Smarter

We’ve heard a lot about how OLEDs are poised to change everything from televisions to smartphones. But a group of researchers at MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group are applying OLEDs too more mundane objects, too—like plain old rulers. And the results are surprisingly cool. » 7/29/13 4:00pm 7/29/13 4:00pm

The NSA Hated Civilian Encrypted Data Way Back in the 1970s

In the 1970s, civilian researchers at places like IBM, Stanford and MIT were developing encryption to ensure that digital data sent between businesses, academics and private citizens couldn't be intercepted and understood by a third party. This concerned folks in the U.S. intelligence community who didn't want to get… » 7/24/13 3:01pm 7/24/13 3:01pm

Let's Hope These Self-Assembling Flat-Pack Structures Inspire Ikea

A bunch of geniuses from Harvard, MIT, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute are about to make your life a heck of a lot easier the next time you move into a new place. They've all been working together to develop flat-pack structures using shape memory polymers that can self-assemble into 3D structures when a charge is … » 7/15/13 4:00pm 7/15/13 4:00pm