MIT Made a Smartphone Control a Computer With a Simple Touch

Have you ever held your smartphone up to your laptop screen and thought about how cool it would be if the two devices could work together, physically? Well now, thanks to a team from the MIT Media Lab, they can. New software lets you use your smartphone as an extra interface for a computer, and it looks awesome. » 9/15/14 4:33pm 9/15/14 4:33pm

Watch and Squirm As This Robot Tentacle Snakes Through a Fake Pipe

It must be 'let's creep out the populace's month over at MIT because in addition to revealing the school's untethered robot cheetah today, there's another video showing the latest progress on its development of a highly articulated robot snake. Which is cool, because everyone loves snakes, right? Especially when… » 9/15/14 1:28pm 9/15/14 1:28pm

MIT's Robot Cheetah Now Runs Free Without Cables Or a Leash

A lot of robots in development are able to perform amazing feats in a laboratory setting when they've got plenty of tethers and cables keeping them perpetually powered and safe. The real test of their capabilities is when they're forced to explore and interact in a real-world environment, like the robot cheetah that… » 9/15/14 10:04am 9/15/14 10:04am

The ATLAS Humanoid Robot Has Advanced To the Level Of a Lazy Teenager

The first videos we saw of DARPA's advanced ATLAS robot it was just an infant, learning to walk and balance on its own. During the DARPA Robotics Challenge the humanoid robot handled itself like a capable child. And now almost a year later the folks at MIT are happy to announce that ATLAS has finally reached the level… » 9/05/14 11:55am 9/05/14 11:55am

MIT Scientists Say Humans Would Rather Take Orders From Robots

Welp. This is how it all begins. Bow on bended knee before your robot overlords. New research from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) shows (with science!) that when working in groups of three—two humans, one robot—us lowly bags of flesh and blood would rather the robot just take over. » 8/24/14 5:00pm 8/24/14 5:00pm

MIT Explains How To Turn an Old Car Battery Into a Working Solar Cell

There are over 1 billion cars in the world, and the vast majority of them use batteries made from lead. As lithium batteries replace these old timers, eventually there may be many of the lead suckers sitting in landfills. Which is why MIT wanted to find a way to reuse them—by turning them into a new kind of solar… » 8/18/14 4:22pm 8/18/14 4:22pm

These Typefaces Are Tiny Math Puzzles Made by MIT Scientists

When quickly sending an email, creating a company logo, or writing a post about mathematical typefaces, hundreds of thousands of fonts exist to help express a specific mood or feeling though we rarely escape the realm of a well-known few. Although it's well-documented that creating fonts can be an art, two… » 8/14/14 3:43pm 8/14/14 3:43pm

MIT Invented Magnetic Hairs That Can Make Water Flow Uphill

Inspired by the coats of fur on some animals, researchers at MIT have developed a flexible skin-like material covered in thousands of tiny magnetic hairs that can move in varying directions in the presence of a magnetic field. That might not seem particularly useful, until MIT points out that the new material can be… » 8/06/14 4:50pm 8/06/14 4:50pm

MIT Scientists Figured Out How to Eavesdrop Using a Potato Chip Bag

In a scenario straight out of "Enhance, enhance!," MIT scientists have figured out that the tiny vibrations on ordinary objects like a potato chip bag or a glass of water or even a plant can be reconstructed into intelligible speech. All it takes is a camera and a snappy algorithm. Take a listen. » 8/04/14 2:33pm 8/04/14 2:33pm

MIT Wants To Give Our Hands Two Extra Robot Fingers

First it was an extra set of shoulder-mounted robot arms, but now MIT feels that humanity could also benefit from a couple of extra robotic fingers on each hand. Faye Wu and other researchers at the school have been developing SR—or supernumerary robotic—fingers that work alongside your existing digits to make… » 7/17/14 1:57pm 7/17/14 1:57pm

3D-Printed Ice Cream Guarantees the Perfectly Balanced Cone

The MIT students who hacked together a Cuisinart soft-serve machine, a Solidoodle, and a freezer to create this wonderful 3D ice cream printer have no plans to commercialize it; they just built it as a proof-of-concept. And that's too bad, because if perfected this machine has the potential to engineer a perfect ice… » 7/17/14 9:49am 7/17/14 9:49am

MIT Thinks Lighting Drones Could Be the Perfect Photography Assistants

If you've ever been to a photography set, you've probably noticed how much time the photographer and their assistants take to perfectly position the lighting—only to have their efforts foiled when the model moves. That's why researchers at MIT are proposing using drones as lighting, as they can constantly ensure… » 7/11/14 3:20pm 7/11/14 3:20pm

This Heater Knows Where You Are and Only Warms the Space You're Using

A heater that follows you around might sound like something out of The Jetsons, but it's very much a reality for an MIT research group that wants to revolutionize the way we heat our buildings. They've invented a system called Local Warming, which tracks your location using Wi-Fi and only heats your immediate vicinity. » 6/11/14 11:20am 6/11/14 11:20am

This Map Shows You The Fastest Way to Get Anywhere In Your City

Conventional wisdom (especially when it's raining) whispers in your ear that you can get anywhere in your city fastest by jumping in a car. Turns out in many cases, that is probably not true. Now you can easily see which mode of transit will deliver you to your destination faster, wherever you are. » 6/06/14 4:00pm 6/06/14 4:00pm