Understanding relativity is hard but playing games is easy. What’s a physicist to do? Why, make a game about walking near the speed of light, of course, silly! → Read More
Distance learners rejoice! Harvard University and MIT jointly announced their new non-profit edX online learning initiative in Cambridge earlier today, which aims to both enhance on-campus teaching and make courses from both schools available to people around the world for free.
“This is the single biggest change in education since the printing press,” said Anant Agarwal, newly-installed… → Read More
A Boston startup that makes energy auditing software for the commercial buildings industry, Retroficiency, raised $800,000 in a seed round led by energy management services firm World Energy Solutions (NASDAQ: XWES), and joined by a number of angel investors including Jean Hammond and Jill Preotle (both early investors in ZipCar) the companies announced today.
Facility managers, auditors or… → Read More
As TechCrunch readers know by now, I speak my mind and don’t shy away from controversy. I am even more provocative when I talk to students. My goal is to make them think outside the box. I encourage students not only to challenge authority, but also to challenge me. I tell them that with my research on globalization, entrepreneurship, and U.S. competitiveness, I am learning as I go; no one has… → Read More
I’m hanging out at the MIT Media Lab today and watching some of the great presentations by some of the Lab’s current members and alumni. For example, Ramesh Raskar is currently showing off his system of Femtosecond Transient Imaging, essentially a type of camera that can take pictures around corners using high speed lasers. The project has been designed to “see” around… → Read More
MIT researchers tested the first prototype of the Seaswarm, a pack of robots that use nanotechnology to suck up oil from the surface of the ocean and for immediate processing.
When completed, the robots will be able to travel along oil-spilled waters, collecting oil more cheaply and efficiently than oil skimmers. The robots are large: 16 feet in length and seven feet in width. They push a… → Read More
MIT students have developed the “Copenhagen Wheel”, a device intended to be attached to any standard bicycle to turn it into an electric. The Wheel contains a motor, batteries, and gear system all inside a single hub, and is intended to help cyclists with hilly terrain and over long distances. Interestingly, there are also sensors that will link with cycling-related mobile apps. Of course, the hub… → Read More
It’s interesting to see pictures of areas of your city or town from the past, and it can be even more interesting to try to reproduce those pictures. Typically, it’s very difficult to get everything to line up exactly right, but researchers at MIT are developing software to automate the process. → Read More
Remember the DARPA red balloon challenge back in December? DARPA launched ten red balloons across the country and offered $40,000 to the first group of people who could identify the exact locations of all ten. All sorts of teams with different strategies participated, with the winning team coming from MIT.
Well, it turns out that TechCrunch helped find three of those balloons, more than any… → Read More
Have you ever wanted to reach out and strangle someone during a conference call? Well now you can. MIT’s crazy MeBot is a tiny robot that sits on your desk and moves around, allowing remote communication partners to roam around your office when you’re talking to them. → Read More
If we’re going to be killed by swarming robots, they might as well look good doing it. Scientists at the MIT SENSEable City lab created a 3D display using tiny remote controlled helicopters that float in patterns in the air and light up, thereby creating a volumetric display. → Read More
Your next Ford might have flowers, pastel colors, or calming scents coming from the interior. All of this will be aimed at reducing stress, and allow the driver to better connect with their vehicle. → Read More
This might be the display you are looking for. The MIT media lab just announced the creation of a new display technology that will read your hand gestures in order to manipulate images on the screen. While it’s not *technically* the Force, it’s still pretty cool. → Read More
One of the best things about being an academic is being able to mold young minds and guide them to success. When one of my students, Andrew Leblanc told me he was entering the Duke Startup Challenge Elevator Pitch Competition, I told him to come and see me and do a practice run. After all, I had judged several of these contests at Duke and other universities. I thought I knew what worked.
After… → Read More
Go here and put your name in the box. Just do it. It’s awesome.
The project, called Personas, comes from the MIT Media Lab built by Aaron Zinman. Basically, it takes your name and searches the web for some context around it. It then takes the words and sites it finds to build a profile of your presence on the web. Or in MIT-speak using words like “corpus”: → Read More
Baseball is a national sports in Japan and so it was just a matter of time for this baseball- and robot-crazy country to invent (industrial) robots that are able to play baseball. The 2-robot team can’t run around and doesn’t look human, but both machines are able to throw and bat the ball in quite an impressive way. → Read More
http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/1243511167 Students at MIT are building an electric car capable of being recharged in about ten minutes. Granted, the kind of power that’s necessary to do that would be enough “to blow the fuses on 20 residential homes at once,” according to project team member and MIT student Radu Gogoana. → Read More
EurekaFest is a yearly event held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that showcases the prototype inventions of high school students from around the country. The inventions consist of various gadgets and devices aimed at helping solve real-world problems. → Read More
Those eggheads at MIT are at it again, this time creating a “sixth sense” gadget. It’s basically a combined scanner and 3D projector (with a touchscreen-like surface). Say, for example, you’re at the store looking at different boxes of cereal. You scan the box of Lucky Charms with the gadget, which then scans the internet for, I don’t know, nutritional information and a history of the… → Read More
MIT professor Hal Abelson started today’s final presentation for the school’s “Building Mobile Applications” class by saying, “A course like this couldn’t have existed ten years ago… maybe not even a year ago. Courses like this right now are unique, but in two years they’ll be completely ordinary.” What’s extraordinary is that on top of a full college course-load at one of the… → Read More