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Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS)

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Mashable

MIT researchers developed a new control system for the mini robotic cheetah that allows the robot to jump and traverse uneven terrain, reports Jules Suzdaltsev for Mashable. “There’s a camera for processing real-time input from a video camera that then translates that information into body movements for the robot,” Suzdaltsev explains.

The Hill

Writing for The Hill, Prof. Sanjoy Mitter, Prof. Munther Dahleh, research affiliate Le Xie and their colleagues underscore the need to build a “resilient energy ‘superhighway,’ an electric grid that delivers a wide portfolio of energy supplies to the end users in a reliable manner.” They add that: “Investments are needed both in building the backbone interconnections, as well as in upgrading the ‘last mile’ distribution grid.”

Engadget

Engadget reporter Jon Fingas writes that MIT researchers have developed a tiny computer chip small enough to fit on a honeybee-sized drone that can help the drone navigate. The technology could eventually be applied to, “smart pills that navigate to where they're needed, or virtually any vehicle that may need to last for a very long time on one battery charge.”

Salon

MIT researchers have developed a virtual reality system that can train drones to fly faster while also avoiding obstacles, reports Lauren Barack for Salon. Barack explains that the “researchers are programming the drones so they think they're in a living room or bedroom while they fly. They virtually see obstacles around them, but those impediments aren't really there.”

Fast Company

MIT researchers are using virtual reality to train autonomous drones to fly in a variety of environments, writes Steven Melendez for Fast Company. Future tests may train the drone to fly safely around humans “as if they were in the same area, enabling it to practice sharing a space without actually endangering any human lives,” Melendez notes.

Fast Company Generic Logo

Anant Agarwal, president of edX, and Kalyan Veeramachaneni, a principal research scientist at LIDS, are featured on Fast Company’s 2017 list of the “Most Creative People in Business.” Agarwal is celebrated for “mastering online education,” and Veeramachaneni for developing a system that enables humans and AI to work together to detect possible security threats.

Boston.com

Boston.com reporter Sanjay Salomon writes about how “Duckietown,” a model city developed by MIT researchers, could help make self-driving cars a reality. “We realized if you scale down autonomous driving to something very small there’s lots of research to do on a smaller scale with none of the logistical challenges of real autonomous vehicle research,” explains postdoc Liam Paull. 

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Mary Beth Griggs writes that in an MIT course students developed a fleet of duckie-adorned self-driving taxis for a village called “Duckietown.” “Each of the robot taxis is equipped with only a single camera, and makes its way around the roads without any preprogrammed maps." 

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Kevin Hartnett writes about a new study co-authored by MIT researchers that envisions a future without traffic lights. “When sensor-laden vehicles approach an intersection, they can communicate their presence and remain at a safe distance from each other, rather than grinding to a halt at traffic lights,” explains Prof. Carlo Ratti.

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Kelsey Atherton writes that MIT researchers have developed a model that would allow cars to travel through intersections by communicating with one another, eliminating the need for traffic lights. “Rather than traffic lights working as valves dictating which stream can flow, the cars themselves are adjusted, cleanly separated and passed along,” Atherton explains. 

CBS News

During this CBS Radio segment, Sam Litzinger spotlights a new model developed by MIT researchers that would allow sensor-enabled vehicles to travel safely through intersections without traffic lights. Litzinger explains that the researchers have developed “what amounts to a central nervous system that can connect intersections with an incoming vehicle.”

HuffPost

MIT researchers have found that communication between vehicles could ease traffic at intersections, writes Thomas Tamblyn for The Huffington Post. The researchers found that by communicating with one another, vehicles could maintain safe distances, removing the need for traffic lights. 

Live Science

Live Science reporter Tanya Lewis highlights Shigeru Miyagawa’s work exploring the origins of human language. Miyagawa's hypothesis, “could explain how human language, which can theoretically produce infinite meanings, developed from the limited forms of communication seen in the rest of the animal world,” Lewis reports.