Remember in the Matrix movies how humanity in the future was reduced to serving as the batteries for powerful and intelligent machines? Well, some researchers at MIT are working on technology that’s seemingly similar, although it doesn’t mean we’re doomed to a dystopian future of being trapped in pods that feed off our life forces. Instead, these researchers have figured out a way to convert the mechanical energy that we create when walking into electrical energy that can be used to charge electronic devices. In other words, as long as you’re physically on the move somewhere, your battery could recharge itself in perpetuity. More →
Here’s a clever technological breakthrough that could help the environment in two ways. MIT announced this week that some of its researchers have figured out a way to make solar cells using parts from discarded car batteries that would otherwise have simply gone to waste. Essentially, the researchers have figured out how to extract lead from old car batteries and use it as a component in solar cells that they say are just as efficient as solar cells produced with “high-purity, commercially available starting materials.” More →
Given recent news that popular online anonymity tool Tor might not be as completely secure as many of us had assumed, we were intrigued to see that some researchers at MIT are now claiming that they’ve created a way to send completely “untraceable” text messages. A team at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has developed a text messaging system that they say “provides a strong mathematical guarantee of user anonymity, while, according to experimental results, permitting the exchange of text messages once a minute or so.” More →
Over the past several years, the touchscreen interface has increasingly become one of the most common ways that we interact with our electronic devices.
Our smartphones have touchscreens, our computers have touchscreens and even some of our remote controls have touchscreens — but MIT’s latest invention could change the way that we think about touching our devices. More →
Leave it to the brilliant minds at MIT to come up with a device so technologically advanced that you’re not quite sure if you should be excited or perhaps a little bit nervous about its long-term ramifications.
Recently, scientists at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory came up with a device that can effectively see through walls and identify which persons are standing behind it.
The future is here, and apparently it’s being created in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The stuff that’s going on in the robotics world these days is absolutely mind blowing. Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the incredible work being done by Boston Dynamics (now owned by Google), what with their impressive fleet of robotic creations that can walk upright like humans, do pushups, and even reach speeds as fast as 28.3 miles per hour in a full on sprint. And, of course, there’s Asimo, the robot from Honda that becomes more human-like with each passing year.
Sometimes, though, the advancements we see in robotics can be a little bit alarming. Case in point: take a look at the following video from the MIT Mechanical Engineering Biomimetic Robotics Lab.
Remember Boston Dynamics’ robot cheetah that can run at speeds topping 28 mph on a treadmill indoors, and which now belongs to Google? Well, that’s not the only robot cheetah in town, as MIT also has developed a similar robot, MIT News reports. And as seen in an awesome new video, this crazy robotic cheetah can now run around outside without being tethered. More →
Being able to extract audio from a soundless visual recording is something that intelligence agencies will likely one day use – if they don’t already do it – for their operations. Researchers from MIT, Microsoft and Adobe have managed to create an algorithm that can reconstruct audio “by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in video,” like bags of chips found in the same room with a target, as well as other objects including aluminum foil, the surface of a glass of water, and the leaves of a plant. More →
Living in the desert no longer has to mean being parched for drinking water. MIT has posted a video this month that shows how some researchers from its School of Engineering are working with researchers at the Pontificial University of Chile in Santiago to design a system for collecting fresh drinking water from fog that regularly rolls through Chile’s otherwise arid coastal region. More →
FingerReader is the name of a wearable gadget that could help visually impaired people read printed text in books and even on electronic devices, thus opening up additional possibilities to them. Developed by MIT researchers, FingerReader wants to help the blind access more resources than what’s already available in braille format. TechCrunch reports that, according to a recent study from the Royal National Institute of the Blind in Britain cited by one of the researchers, in 2011 only 7% of books are available in large print, unabridged audio and braille. More →
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have come up with a radar-like 3D motion-tracking system that can spot body movement through walls, Engadget reported. Called WiTrack, the system uses wireless signals that are 100 times less powerful than usual Wi-Fi and 1,000 times less powerful than cellular signals, to track movement. Unlike similar technologies employed in some of the current gaming consoles that require the user to be in the same room with the tracking device or wear some sort of receiver, the WiTrack system works without such restrictions. More →
The engineering minds at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology scoff at the eight-core processors being used in the next-generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles. PCWorld reports that MIT scientists have designed an experimental processor that has a whopping 110 cores and that purportedly makes computing vastly faster and more power efficient. The engineers designed the chip’s 110 cores to essentially replace its entire cache with a “shared memory pool” that reduces the amount of traffic inside the chips. The new processor is still in its experimental stages, however, and MIT postgraduate student Mieszko Lis tells PCWorld that “it’s not the kind of thing you buy for Christmas.”
Some believe a future full of massive, gesture-controlled computer displays like the ones seen in Twentieth Century Fox’s Minority Report are an inevitability, and a prototype PC designed by an intern with the Microsoft Applied Sciences Group may be among the first steps in making that future a reality. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ph.D student and MIT Media Lab research assistant Jinha Lee recently set out to change the way we interact with desktop computers. While progress has been made with 3D display technology, 3D has not yet proliferated in the personal computing space and Lee wants to change that. The end result of his work is a fascinating desktop computer with a transparent 3D display and a unique gesture-based interface that could change the way we use computers. More →