Four research projects publicized by the News Office have recently generated substantial interest from industry after short articles on the projects appeared in the magazine Design News.
Every month the News Office produces MIT Research Digest, a tip sheet for reporters featuring seven to eight brief summaries of research. Design News, which is distributed to design engineers, has reprised four Research Digest stories in recent issues.
Each Design News story includes a number that readers can use to request further information. The magazine then forwards these requests to the News Office, which in turn sends them to the researcher. The MIT projects featured in Design News and the number of industry queries follow.
Cleo the Micro-Robot
This story has generated 87 requests for further information since publication in the February 20 Design News. It described a robot that could some day be capable of moving through a patient's colon to the site of a polyp or other problem and surgically removing it. Arthur Shectman, a senior in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is currently working on the robot; the work was begun by senior James McLurkin of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Auto Hydrocarbon Conditions
This story described how MIT researchers are able to directly observe how liquid fuel enters the cylinder of an automobile engine when the engine is starting up-a condition conducive to the creation of hydrocarbons, key ingredients in the formation of smog. The work, led by Professor Wai Cheng of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Energy Laboratory, was published in Design News March 27. It has generated 45 queries.
MIT researchers led by Professor Michael Triantafyllou and graduate student David Barrett of the Department of Ocean Engineering are developing a robotic fish that could lead to a better propulsion system for autonomous underwater vehicles. Robotuna was featured in Design News on April 10; 30 companies have requested further information.
The Check is in the E-Mail
This story described a software package for automated "reading" of handwritten material that could help streamline the general system of check processing. The work, led by Amar Gupta, a senior research scientist at the Sloan School, was described in the April 24 Design News. To date it has generated 43 queries.
If you have an item to contribute to the Research Digest, please contact Elizabeth Thomson at
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 24, 1995.