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TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater spotlights multiple MIT research projects, including MIT Space Exploration Initiative’s TESSERAE, CSAIL’s Robocraft and the recent development of miniature flying robotic drones.

Fast Company

Rob Morris PhD ’14 has dedicated his career to easing access to mental health services online, reports Shalene Gupta for Fast Company. “When you search for a flight on Google, you get directed to these options that make you instantly buy a flight,” he says. “The interface is beautiful. But when you look up mental health, it’s not great. I want to do for mental health what Google did for flights.”

Forbes

Prof. Pattie Maes, and graduate students Valdemar Danry, Joanne Leong and Pat Pataranutaporn speak with Forbes reporter Stephen Ibaraki about their work in the MIT Media Lab Fluid Interfaces research group. “Their highly interdisciplinary work covering decades of MIT Lab pioneering inventions integrates human computer interaction (HCI), sensor technologies, AI / machine learning, nano-tech, brain computer interfaces, design and HCI, psychology, neuroscience and much more,” writes Ibaraki.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter David Abel spotlights the Mice Against Ticks project, which is aimed at preventing tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease through immunizing mice.  “With so many people suffering from Lyme every single day, which is an awful disease, we need a solution urgently,” explains graduate student and Mice Against Ticks research director Joanna Buchthal. “This offers a real, if revolutionary, way to tackle the problem.”

The Wall Street Journal

Neri Oxman, founder and former director of the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab, speaks with Wall Street Journal about how the work she started at MIT can impact the future of urban architecture. “As part of our research at MIT, we 3D-printed glass augmented with synthetically engineered microorganisms to produce energy [from the sun],” said Oxman. “This allows us to develop solar-harnessing glass façades that can act as a skin for pre-existing buildings.”

CNET

An MIT Media Lab team led by Ariel Ekblaw, director of the Space Exploration Initiative, has developed a robotic swarm of self-assembling robotic tiles that could be used for future in-orbit construction, reports Eric Mack for CNET. “If all goes well, MIT and [Ariel] Ekblaw hope that the technology will eventually be used for geodesic dome habitats beyond Earth, microgravity concert halls and space cathedrals,” writes Mack.

NBC News

Ariel Ekblaw, director of MIT’s Space Exploration Initiative, speaks with Denise Chow at NBC News about the increased opportunities in space and satellite research in recent decades. “If you were a Ph.D. student in the prior domain, it could have taken years and you may never have had a chance to actually deploy your research on the International Space Station,” said Ekblaw. “But now, within four to six years, we might do three or four missions to the International Space Station within that time.”

TechCrunch

Arun Saigal SB ’13, MEng ’13 and WeiHua Li ’BS ’14 MA ’15 co-founded Thunkable, an online platform developed to make building mobile apps easier, writes Ingrid Lunden for TechCrunch. “Saigal said that its initial focus was on consumers, which in itself is another big concept of the moment, that of the creator economy and users – not professional publishers and others – creating the content that the mass market is consuming,” writes Lunden.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Michael Blanding spotlights Prof. Hugh Herr’s work with Dr. Matthew Carty in developing a new amputation surgery called agonist-antagonist myoneural interface (AMI) procedure, which reconnects muscles to amplify electrical signals sent along the nerves. “My dream as a scientist is that a person with an arm amputation could play a Beethoven piece at normal speeds and dexterity – and for legs, that a person could dance ballet,” says Herr.

KUER

Prof. Ekene Ijeoma speaks with KUER’s Ivana Martinez about his group’s art project, “A Counting,” which spotlights people counting to 100 in their native languages. “I think [this is] speaking to ideas of what it means to live in this diverse society,” said Ijeoma. “And whether or not we're able to live up to the dream of this society, which is — we're a multicultural place. Can we actually be that?”

Inverse

Researchers from MIT have developed a new fabric that can hear and interpret what’s happening on and inside our bodies, reports Elana Spivack for Inverse. Beyond applications for physical health the researchers envision that the fabric could eventually be integrated with “spacecraft skin to listen to [accumulating] space dust, or embedded into buildings to detect cracks or strains,” explains Wei Yan, who helped develop the fabric as an MIT postdoc. “It can even be woven into a smart net to monitor fish in the ocean. It can also facilitate the communications between people who are hard of [hearing].”

TechCrunch

MIT startup Volta Labs is developing a new instrument that can automate the processes used to prepare genetic samples, reports Emma Betuel for TechCrunch. CEO and co-founder Udayan Umapathi ’17 is confident that with the right programming, the platform could allow “liquids to be manipulated in even more complex ways, like using magnetic fields to draw certain molecules out of samples for further analysis,” writes Betuel.

WHDH 7

Prof. Yoel Fink speaks with WHDH about his team’s work developing an acoustic fabric that can listen to and record sound, a development inspired by the human ear. "The fabric can be inserted into clothes to monitor heart rate and respiration. It can even help with monitoring unborn babies during pregnancy."

Bloomberg News

Bloomberg News spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a new material that works like a microphone, converting sounds into vibrations and then electrical signals. “The development means the possibility of clothes that act as hearing aids, clothes that answer phone calls, and garments that track heart and breathing rates,” writes Bloomberg News.

Popular Science

Researchers from MIT and the Rhode Island School of Design have developed a wearable fabric microphone that can detect and transmit soundwaves and convert them into electrical signals, reports Shi En Kim for Popular Science. “Computers are going to really become fabrics," says Prof. Yoel Fink. "We’re getting very close.”