How a Medical Stress Sensor Evolved Into a Beautiful Wearable For All

Seven years ago, an MIT professor named Rosalind Picard developed a wristband called iCalm to help autistic kids manage stress by measuring electrodermal activity on the skin. Today, Picard and her team want to put their device in your hands. What happened in between is a fascinating story about the role of accidental… » 11/19/14 2:03pm 11/19/14 2:03pm

How MIT Scientists Took This Amazing Photo With a Regular Old DSLR

When the Nikon D200 came out in 2005, it was a big hit. (At the time, Gizmodo said it was "pretty rawkin.") But would you believe that a decade-old camera design could handle ultra high speed photography, like the amazing bullet-blasted peanut butter cup shot above? Turns out, a well designed workflow is all it takes. » 11/03/14 1:32pm 11/03/14 1:32pm

Why MIT Media Lab Scrapped Its Old Logo After Just Three Years

Back in 2011, Gizmodo reported on MIT Media Lab's cool new logo: A self-generating algorithm that gave each and every team and employee within the organization their own unique logo. This month, the lab revealed a new identity, doing away with the old version after an extraordinarily short run. And they had a very… » 10/29/14 12:37pm 10/29/14 12:37pm

A Hacked Lamp Turns Multiple Mobile Devices Into a Single Giant Display

How many mobile devices do you carry with you on a daily basis? A couple of smartphones, and maybe a tablet? When you get to work that makes for quite a few displays floating around, and researchers at MIT have come up with software that can let them all function as one giant touchscreen, no matter how they're… » 10/24/14 9:35am 10/24/14 9:35am

Scientists 3D Printed Self-Assembling Wood and Carbon Fiber

For the most part, our wood and carbon fiber objects are solid, inert, and boring lumps. They don't bend or curl—or at least, they aren't supposed to. But MIT researchers have created wood and carbon fiber specially designed to be dynamic, conjuring up visions of wood furniture that self-assembles out of the flat pack… » 10/14/14 4:13pm 10/14/14 4:13pm

MIT Study Says Mars One Colonists Would Starve (Among Other Things)

Mars One may have taken us by surprise when the non-profit organization boldly announced that it would put colonists on Mars in the 2020s. We were even more amazed when legions of amateur astronauts signed up for a one-way ticket to the red rock. However, MIT students believe the effort, in its current form, is doomed… » 10/12/14 1:00pm 10/12/14 1:00pm

A Brief History of Scientists Hunting for Time Travelers

Time travel is possible—or at least a lot of serious physicists say so. It's probably not possible to pull it off in a souped-up Delorean, but there are wormholes, Tipler cylinders, and other Einstein-inspired theories for how it could work. Which raises the question: Why haven't we met any visitors from another time? » 10/09/14 3:03pm 10/09/14 3:03pm

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