August 30, 2017
MIT researchers have developed a new “socially aware” robot that can follow the rules of pedestrian conduct, reports Ben Thompson for The Boston Globe. Thompson explains that the robot, “can seamlessly move with people in public spaces. The technology could eventually lead to robots that perform a variety of delivery and transportation tasks.”
UCLA Prof. Leonard Kleinrock, an MIT alumnus, speaks with PC Mag reporter S.C. Stuart about his work developing the mathematical theory of packet networks during his graduate studies at MIT. Kleinrock recounts how “that was a golden era at MIT and elsewhere in the research groups in the sixties, and I'll be forever grateful to ARPA's enlightened funding culture.”
Axios reporter Joann Muller spotlights Rivian, an electric-vehicle startup founded by MIT graduate RJ Scaringe. “If Rivian succeeds, the sharing of its technology could be one of the biggest reasons,” writes Muller. “Imagine companies like Amazon, Starbucks or Apple launching their own mobility fleets on top of a generic platform.”
MIT startup Nesterly is connecting young people looking for cheaper rents with older residents looking for assistance at home, reports Dugan Arnett for The Boston Globe. Arnett explains that Nesterly “works roughly on the principles of a dating app, with searchable online profiles and features that help work out details of a lease.”
Popular Science reporter Rob Verger highlights how an MIT spinout and MIT researchers are developing tools to detect depression. “The big vision is that you have a system that can digest organic, natural conversations, and interactions, and be able to make some conclusion about a person’s well-being,” says grad student Tuka Alhanai.
Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Eric Lander, president of the Broad Institute, argues for enabling cancer patients to become actively involved in cancer research. “Patients must have an active voice in decisions. Patient data should never be sold,” Lander writes. “Researchers anywhere should have rapid access to the de-identified clinical and genomic data, to ensure that anyone can make discoveries.”
Prof. Mark Harnett has found that each individual cell in the human brain could operate like a mini-computer, reports Clare Wilson for New Scientist. Wilson explains that “the study has revealed a key structural difference between human and mouse neurons that could help explain our superior powers of intelligence.”