Floating Nuclear Reactors Might Make More Sense Than You'd Think

At a symposium held by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers this week, a team of MIT engineers will present an idea that seems to tempt fate: A floating nuclear reactor, anchored out at sea, that would be immune to tsunamis and earthquakes. Is it really that crazy of a plan? Read More >>

Watch an Incredible Interactive Table Morph to a Person's Movements

Just five months ago, MIT's Tangible Media Group was showing off a physical interface that mimics you in real time. This week in Milan, the team unveiled the next iteration of the system that's much larger and even more sophisticated. You're going to want to click through for the videos. Read More >>

Anybody With a Printer Can Make These Origami-Inspired Robots

We were promised robots. The future, science fiction told us, would be a world swarming with automatons that did all the jobs we didn't want. But you know what? Robots are really expensive and hard to build. Two MIT scientists want to change all that with inkjet printers and techniques borrowed from origami. Read More >>

Watch This Chain of Beads Dash Across the Room All On Its Own

When you put chains and physics together, you get results that are borderline magic, and this experiment from MIT proves it. No, this chain doesn't seem to float in mid-air, but it does walk across the room. Read More >>

Fearless Scientists Attempt to Make Dark Matter in a Lab, Probably Endangering Us All

Dark matter -- we don't properly know what it is, or what it does, but there's a good chance that the stuff exists out in the cosmos thanks to gravitational evidence, even if it's otherwise invisible. Call me a coward, but on the basis that we've no real idea what dark matter is, I'd say we should play it safe and not start mucking around trying to create the stuff. You know, in case it causes the end of the world or something. Read More >>

Wristify Is a Radiator and Air Con You Can Wear Like a Watch

Heating a whole house come the winter months gets pricey. What if there was something you could wear (other than twelve layers of your nan's lovingly knitted jumpers) that could heat just you, and not the entire room around you? Read More >>

Tiny Satellite Antennas Are the Coolest Party Balloons You Never Had

There's a small army of adorable, little, (sometimes) phone-powered satellites out in space, circling the globe. And while they're damn impressive for their size, they face some challenges. They don't have much room for antennas, for instance. But MIT's new inflatable balloon antennas should change all that. Read More >>

Let's Hope These Self-Assembling Flat-Pack Structures Inspire Ikea

A bunch of geniuses from Harvard, MIT, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute are about to make your life a heck of a lot easier the next time you move into a new place. They've all been working together to develop flat-pack structures using shape memory polymers that can self-assemble into 3D structures when a charge is applied. Which means that one day assembling that Expedit bookshelf you got from Ikea could be as easy as plugging it in. Read More >>

Buildings Based On Human Bone Structure Could Be the Future of Cities

Biomimicry borrows design solutions from the embedded intelligence within animals' bodies—chiefly from other species. But occasionally, it also borrows from within the human body. For example, a new study from MIT suggests that buildings of the future could be built with super-strong materials based on the structure of human bones. Read More >>

How Talking To Your Computer Can Improve Your Social Skills

People with a fear of social situations are often labelled as loners and ostracised, but in reality social phobias are incredibly common. For example, how many of us get anxious about speaking in front of a large crowd? And to help people over come these fears, researchers at MIT have developed an interactive program that coaches people through social interactions, which boosts their confidence. Read More >>

happy hour
Drinks-On With the World's Biggest, Baddest Bartending Robot

At the Google I/O after-party the other night, there was one bartender in particular that stood out. It wasn't the drink he made, or the friendly chatter. It was more than he weighed several tonnes and could break you with the flick of the wrist. Meet the Makr Shakr. Read More >>

monster machines
NASA's Laser Satellite Could Deliver Fibre-Optic Speeds from Lunar Orbit

For all of their advanced technologies, modern satellites still rely on low-bandwidth radio transmitters to communicate with ground control. But they could soon be upgraded to beyond broadband speeds once NASA's new laser-based communication system prototype gets off the ground. Read More >>

MIT's Developing a Chip That Makes You a Better Smartphone Photographer

Most of the post-processing done by a camera is handled by software that MIT researchers believe could be a lot smarter, faster, and user-friendly. So they're developing a single chip that can handle these operations with remarkable efficiency. Read More >>

Anonymous Hacks MIT in Aaron Swartz's Name

The Internet is dealing with the suicide of gifted programmer and activist Aaron Swartz in a variety of ways — but Anonymous is responding with what it does best. Two of MIT's sites have been hacked into memorials. Read More >>

This Polymer Film Flexes Like an Artificial Muscle

This polymer film is expanding and contracting like a muscle, and looks pretty alive doing it, but the energy is coming from water vapor, not black magic. Go figure. Read More >>

MIT's Reconfigurable Robots Are Tiny Transformers That Will Turn Into Anything

The idea of transformers is cool even when they just turn from one thing to another, so how much cooler would they be if they could form into anything? That's the goal MIT aims to achieve with their tiny reconfigurable chain links that could be the Swiss Army knife of robotics. Read More >>


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