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Speaking with WHDH, Prof. Kevin Cheng explains how he was inspired by the agility of insects to create tiny new drones that are acrobatic and resilient. “Think about a scenario, for example, a building collapse with people trapped inside, and what we’re thinking of is sending a swarm of drones into this collapsed building to search for survivors,” says Chen. “That’s something very difficult for traditional drones.”

Writing for, Mark Gartsbeyn highlights how MIT researchers have “developed tiny drones that can fly, dodge, and weave like actual insects.”


MIT researchers have developed tiny, agile drones with insect-like wings, reports John Biggs for Gizmodo. “The goal is to use these tiny, soft drones to explore close spaces where rigid drones will break on contact with hard surfaces,” writes Biggs.


TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater spotlights how MIT researchers have designed insect-sized drones that can withstand collisions. Heater notes that potential applications for the new drones include everything from “simple inspections currently being handled by larger models to pollination and search and rescue.”

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.”


MIT researchers have found that water can stay frozen, even when heated to boiling temperatures, when molecules are placed inside tiny carbon nanotubes, reports Sam Lemonick for Forbes. The researchers hope to use the “ice-filled tubes as wires to move protons,” a key step in creating hydrogen fuel cells.

IEEE Spectrum

Mark Anderson profiles Institute Professor Mildred Dresselhaus, recipient of the 2015 IEEE Medal of Honor, for IEEE Spectrum, chronicling her journey from a childhood passion for music to her pioneering research on carbon. Anderson writes that Dresselhaus has “blazed a path for researchers eager to exploit the magic of carbon computing.”


In an article for AAAS, Mark Parker spotlights the career of the “Queen of Carbon,” Professor Mildred Dresselhaus. “Dresselhaus earned the royal nickname through her definitive research on carbon, particularly her work on superconductivity and carbon nanotubes,” Parker writes.

The Guardian

The Guardian reports on new MIT research that shows that adding carbon nanotubes to plants can enhance the natural photosynthesis process. The bionic plants could be used to harvest sunlight or detect environmental pollutants.

USA Today

Writing for USA Today, Karen Weintraub reports on Professor Michael Strano’s work to give plants the ability to serve as sensors, antennae and power plants thanks to carbon nanotubes embedded inside the plant.

Scientific American

Writing for Scientific American, Geoffrey Giller explores a new device developed by MIT researchers that combines elements of both photovoltaic cells and solar-thermal thermal systems to generate power from the sun.

Los Angeles Times

“Researchers at MIT are giving plants super powers by placing tiny carbon nanotubes deep within their cells,” writes Deborah Netburn in a Los Angeles Times piece on bionic plants developed by MIT researchers.

US News & World Report

Alan Neuhasuser reporting for U.S. News & World Report examines how MIT researchers have embedded carbon nanotubes in plants, helping them collect more sunlight. The bionic plants could be used to detect explosives, chemical weapons and more, Neuhasuser reports.


“A team of biologists and engineers want to turn plants into chemical warfare detectors that can sniff out sarin gas or explosives. For now, though, they've succeeded in turning the flowering Arabidopsis thaliana into a pollutant detector using carbon nanotubes,” writes Wired reporter Liat Clark of the new bionic plants developed at MIT.

New Scientist

New Scientist’s Catherine Brahic reports on new bionic plants developed at MIT. The plants, which have an increased ability to photosynthesise thanks to nanomaterials embedded in their cells, could be used to create self-powering and self-repairing materials, new types of fuel cells and more, Brahic reports.