MIT's robotics whizzes have created a new flying drone that can navigate unknown indoor areas all by itself. The tiny helicopter manages its explorations by using an onboard laser scanner to map out walls and windows.
The researchers started with a quad-rotor helicopter developed by Ascending Technologies GmbH, and outfitted the micro aerial vehicle with sensors and instruments galore. Their laser scanner setup combines with a mapping algorithm to help compensate for the lack of GPS navigation in most indoor areas.
No, that glowing pickle isn't a promotion for rave night at Katz's, it's a demonstration for how your TV works. In this ingenious twist on the classic potato clock, MIT professor Vladimir Bulovic transforms a humble full sour into a giant OLED pixel for our learning pleasure.
Scientists and students alike have previously launched low-budget balloons that rise to the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere, snapping unbelievable photos from near-space. But MIT's Icarus team managed the same feat using only off-the-shelf items, and for a measly cost of $150. Here's how they did it.
I was not screwing around. When I took the first physics class of my life, at age 35, it was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and my professor was Walter Lewin, one of that institution's most respected instructors. Lewin is a man so comfortable with his vectors that he diagrams them in front of a classroom audience while wearing Teva sandals.
OK, I wasn't really "at" MIT. And "took" the class may be a stretch. I was watching the video of one of Lewin's lectures from the comfort of my backyard in Brooklyn, and I too was wearing sandals (but not Tevas; I have standards).
MIT's Electric Vehicle Team is working on Project elEVen, an electric car which aspires to top 100 mph, travel 200 miles on a single charge, and rejuice in around 10 minutes.
The team is starting with a Lincoln Milan hybrid, whose engine they have gutted and converted to all-electric power. Their goal is to create an electric car that has mainstream appeal, both in looks and performance, while staying true to an all-electric design.
Trash becomes invisible to most people as soon as they haul their trashcans out to the curb. Now MIT wants to change that by using tiny smart tags that will broadcast the location of 3,000 pieces of rubbish as they travel through the urban ecosystem and beyond.
Chris Varenhorst, the MIT engineering student responsible for this hydraulic-powered door that can be opened with the tap of an iPhone app or the rap of a secret knock sequence, says that after a long day of studying, he doesn't want to waste time messing with keys. We have a different theory.
A father-and-son team study the science -- and art -- of folding
By Emily StonePosted 04.27.2009 at 12:13 pm 2 Comments
In the computer science lab where they work at MIT, Erik and Martin Demaine have a three-foot-tall metal and plastic sculpture that resembles a sleek, modernist version of a child's Tinkertoy creation.
Houses are normally fairly stationary objects, and that's not considered a bad thing. But innovation never stands still, and a new prototype house that can walk on six legs has been built . The house is ten feet high, powered by solar panels, and is outfitted with a kitchen, toilet, bed, and wood stove. Last week, the house, a collaboration between MIT and the Danish design collective N55, took a journey through Cambridgeshire in England as part of an art project at the Wysing Art Center. Designed to move at the muscle speed of a human, the house walked at about five kilometers an hour around the 11-acre campus. (See video)
Traffic delays are the bane of any commuter—even those who use a GPS, which warns you about traffic jams on your route to work. The reason: getting real-time data is difficult as the traffic information is routed from the scene to a massive database that only feeds GPS units on regular intervals.