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Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

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TechCrunch

MIT researchers have developed a new machine learning system that can help robots learn to perform certain social interactions, reports Brian Heater for TechCrunch. “Researchers conducted tests in a simulated environment, to develop what they deemed ‘realistic and predictable’ interactions between robots,” writes Heater. “In the simulation, one robot watches another perform a task, attempts to determine the goal and then either attempts to help or hamper it in that task.”

Popular Mechanics

MIT researchers have developed a new atomic clock that can keep time more precisely thanks to the use of entangled atoms, reports Leila Stein for Popular Mechanics. “If all atomic clocks worked the way this one does then their timing, over the entire age of the universe, would be less than 100 milliseconds off,” Stein writes.

CNBC

CNBC reporter Charlie Wood features tProf. Connor Coley's work developing a new system that could be used to help automate molecule manufacturing. “It tries to understand, based on those patterns, what kind of transformations should work for new molecules it’s never seen before,” says Coley.

Science

Writing for Science, Derek Lowe spotlights how MIT researchers are developing a platform that could be used to automate the production of molecules for use in medicine, solar energy and more. “The eventual hope is to unite the software and the hardware in this area,” reports Lowe, “and come up with a system that can produce new compounds with a minimum of human intervention.”

IEEE Spectrum

Prof. Max Shulaker has fabricated the first foundry-built silicon wafer, a monolithic 3D carbon nanotube integrated circuit, reports Samuel K. Moore for IEEE Spectrum. “We’ve completely reinvented how we manufacture this technology,” explains Shulaker, “transforming it from a technology that only worked in our academic labs to a technology that can and is already today working inside a commercial fabrication facility within a U.S. foundry.”

Mashable

In this video, Mashable spotlights how MIT researchers have developed an origami-inspired soft robotic gripper that can grasp a wide variety of objects. 

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Mark Wilson writes that CSAIL researchers have developed a new soft robotic gripper that is modeled after a Venus flytrap. “Dubbed the Magic Ball, it’s a rubber and plastic structure that can contract around an object like an origami flower,” Wilson explains.

The Verge

CSAIL researchers have developed a new robotic gripper that contains an origami skeleton, enabling the device to open and close like a flower and grasp a variety of delicate and heavy objects, reports James Vincent for The Verge “By combining this foldable skeleton with the soft exterior, we get the best of both worlds,” explains Prof. Daniela Rus, director of CSAIL.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater writes that researchers at CSAIL and Harvard have developed a soft robotic gripper that can both handle delicate objects and lift items up to 100 times its own weight. “The gripper itself is made of an origami-inspired skeletal structure, covered in either fabric or a deflated balloon,” explains Heater.

NIH

A team of researchers led by Prof. J. Christopher Love has developed a system to produce on-demand clinical-grade vaccines and drugs, writes Dr. Francis Collins on the NIH Director’s Blog. In addition to allowing on site production for hospitals the systems could also “produce biologic treatments specially tailored to attack the cancer of a particular individual,” suggests Collins.

Stat

Writing for STAT, Karen Weintraub spotlights Prof. J. Christopher Love’s work developing a new desktop drug manufacturing process that can produce thousands of doses of biopharmaceuticals on demand. “I think in the long run there’ll be an opportunity to think about manufacturing for patients in a new way,” says Love.

CNN

This CNN video profiles the new Cheetah 3 robot, which can avoid obstacles and climb stairs without using external visual sensors. CNN notes that the cheetah, “relies on ‘feel’ in place of cameras or sensors, using ‘blind locomotion.’”

Boston Globe

Elise Takahama writes for The Boston Globe that MIT researchers have developed a new technique to create “xenoproteins,” manmade proteins that could be used to battle infectious diseases like Ebola. Unlike drugs developed with natural proteins, the xenoproteins, “are more stable, easier to administer, and manufactured more quickly,” Takahama explains.

Newsweek

A new study by MIT researchers shows how stress can lead people to make risky decisions, reports Kristin Hugo for Newsweek. “The study lends insights into how neurological disorders affect people. It could be the stress of dealing with inabilities to function properly and staving off cravings, compounded with the chemical effects on the brain, that are influencing people’s uninhibited behavior.”

Boston Globe

Using video to processes shadows, MIT researchers have developed an algorithm that can see around corners, writes Alyssa Meyers for The Boston Globe. “When you first think about this, you might think it’s crazy or impossible, but we’ve shown that it’s not if you can understand the physics of how light propagates,” says lead author and MIT graduate Katie Bouman.