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Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (eecs)

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TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater spotlights RFusion, a fully-integrated robotic arm developed by MIT researchers that “uses an RF antenna and camera mounted to an arm to find lost objects.”

Scientific American

Scientific American reporter Sophie Bushwick writes that MIT researchers have developed a new system that can interpret shadows that are invisible to the human eye. “The system can automatically analyze footage of a blank wall in any room in real time, determining the number of people and their actions,” writes Bushwick.

Mashable

Mashable reporter Emmett Smith spotlights how MIT researchers have created a new toolkit for designing wearable devices that can be 3D printed. “The researchers used the kit to create sample devices, like a personal muscle monitor that uses augmented reality,” explains Smith, “plus a device for recognizing hand gestures and a bracelet for identifying distracted driving.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Steve Lohr spotlights the origin and history of MIT startup Gingko Bioworks, a synthetic biology company founded with a “shared belief that biology could be made more like computing with reusable code and standard tools instead of the bespoke experiments of traditional biology." Jason Kelly ’03, PhD ’08, one of the founders of MIT startup Ginkgo Bioworks and the company’s chief executive, explains that “the ultimate goal for Ginkgo is to make it as easy to program a cell as it is to program a computer.”

Boston Magazine

Boston Magazine reporter Tom McGrath spotlights Prof. Tim Berners-Lee’s crusade to rethink the Web and build a new platform that can help users control the digital data they share. Berners-Lee’s platform, Solid, is aimed at ensuring that for the “first time ever, we users—not big tech companies—will be in control of our data, which means that websites and apps will be built to benefit us and not them,” writes McGrath. “That, in turn, could mean revolutions in things that really are consequential, from healthcare and education to finance and the World Wide Web itself.”

The Economist

The Economist spotlights alumna Lisa Su S.B. ’90, S.M. ’91, PhD ’94, who is the chief executive of the chip maker AMD. “I learned that when I chose something very difficult, and did well, it would give me great confidence for the next challenge,” says Su.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater writes about Inkbit, a CSAIL spinout, which is developing self-correcting 3D printing technology. “Its primary differentiator from the slew of existing 3D printers is a vision and AI system designed to identify and correct mistakes during the printing process,” writes Heater.

Forbes

Institute Prof. Barbara Liskov, Prof. Dina Katabi, Prof. Dava Newman, Prof. Daniela Rus and a number of MIT alumnae and MIT Corporation members have been named to the Academic Influence list of the most influential women engineers in the world, reports Michael T. Nietzel for Forbes.

The Wall Street Journal

MIT researchers have developed a new robot that can help locate hidden items using AI and wireless technologies, reports Benoit Morenne for The Wall Street Journal. “The latest version of the robot has a 96% success rate at finding and picking up objects in a lab setting, including clothes and household items,” writes Morenne. “In the future, this home helper could also retrieve a specific wrench or screwdriver from a toolbox and assist a human in assembling a piece of furniture.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Siobhan Roberts spotlights how Prof. Erik Demaine and his father Martin Demaine, a robotics engineer at CSAIL and an artist-in-resident at EECS, are designing “‘algorithmic puzzle fonts,’ a suite of mathematically inspired typefaces that are also puzzles.” The Demaines explained that: “Scientists use fonts every day to express their research through the written word. But what if the font itself communicated (the spirit of) the research? What if the way text is written, and not just the text itself, engages the reader in the science?”

The Boston Globe

Ginkgo Bioworks founders Jason Kelly PhD ’08, S.B. ’03 and Reshma Shetty PhD ’08 speak with Boston Globe reporter Scott Kirsner about the inspiration for and growth of the company, which is focused on manipulating genetic material to get living cells to perform new jobs. Shetty notes that the Ginkgo Bioworks team is “dedicated to making biology easier to engineer."

Popular Mechanics

MIT researchers have developed new programmable fibers that could help transform clothing into wearable computers, reports Kyle Mizokami for Popular Mechanics. “The polymer fibers contain hundreds of tiny silicon microchips that, once electrified, can sustain a digital connection across tens of meters,” Mizokami writes.

Forbes

Forbes contributor Eric Tegler spotlights how MIT researchers are developing a fiber with digital capabilities. “Individuals wearing garments with digital fibers could be alerted to vital information about their physiology and environmental exposures, and share health/injury and location data with support forces,” Tegler explains.

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that researchers from MIT and other institutions have developed a programmable digital fiber that can capture, store and analyze data. The technology could “be paired with machine learning algorithms and used to make smart fabrics to record health data and aid medical diagnosis,” writes Hays.

Associated Press

An electric, autonomous boat developed by MIT researchers is being tested in the canals of Amsterdam as part of an effort to ease traffic, reports Aleksandar Furtula and Mike Corder for the AP. The Roboat project is aimed at developing “new ways of navigating the world’s waterways without a human hand at the wheel,” write Furtula and Corder. “The vessels are modular so they can be easily adapted for different purposes, carrying cargo or workers.”