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Robotics

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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.”

Fast Company

Graduate student Ken Nakagaki’s tiny transformable robots, called Hermits, have changeable mechanical shells that allow the robots to acquire new capabilities, reports Mark Wilson for Fast Company. The Hermits project has been selected as the winner of Fast Company’s 2021 Innovation by Design Awards in the Student category. 

Forbes

Forbes reporter Aayushi Pratap spotlights Vicarious Surgical, an MIT startup and surgical robot company aimed at making “abdominal surgery faster, easier and subject to fewer complications, starting with hernia repairs.”

Here & Now (WBUR)

Here & Now’s Scott Tong speaks with Gideon Gil of STAT about a new technique for amputation surgery developed by researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital that recreates muscle connections and restore the brain’s ability to sense where and how one’s limbs are moving.

Mashable

MIT researchers are using magnets to help improve control of prosthetic limbs, reports Emmett Smith for Mashable. “The researchers inserted magnetic beads into muscle tissue to track the specific movements of each muscle,” reports Smith. “That information is then transferred to the bionic limb, giving the users direct control over it.”

Fast Company

Professor Xuanhe Zhao and his colleagues have developed a new soft robotic prosthetic hand that offers the wearer more tactile control. “You can use it to grab something as thin and fragile as a potato chip, or grasp another hand in a firm-but-safe handshake,” writes Mark Wilson for Fast Company. “By design, this rubbery, air-filled hand is naturally compliant.”

Dezeen

Dezeen reporter Rima Sabina Aouf writes that MIT researchers have created an inflatable prosthetic hand that can be produced for a fraction of the cost of similar prosthetics. “The innovation could one day help some of the 5 million people in the world who have had an upper-limb amputation but can't afford expensive prostheses.”

Mashable

Engineers at MIT have developed a soft, inflatable, neuroprosthetic hand that allows users to carry out a variety of tasks with ease, reports Emmett Smith for Mashable. “People who tested out the hand were able to carry out quite complex tasks, such as zipping up a suitcase and pouring a carton of juice.”

PBS NewsHour

Research scientist Allan Adams speaks with PBS NewsHour reporter Isabella Isaacs-Thomas about the underwater robot he and his colleagues at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute developed to explore the mysteries of the ocean. “We [designed the radiometer] because we really want to see, how does the light interact with the biology?," says Adams. "How does the light drive — and not drive — the biological dynamics of this massive migration?”

Reuters

Reuters reporter Timothy Aeppel spotlights a new report by MIT researchers examining how automation is spreading to small and medium-sized factories in America. “Among the 34 companies with 500 employees or fewer in Ohio, Massachusetts and Arizona that the MIT researchers visited in their project, only one had bought robots in large numbers in the last five years,” writes Aeppel, “and that was an Ohio company that had been acquired by a Japanese multinational which pumped in money for the new automation.”

Forbes

Forbes reporters Amy Feldman and Aayushi Pratap spotlight Vicarious Surgical, a startup founded by MIT graduates that is developing a tiny robot paired with a VR headset for abdominal surgeries.

TechCrunch

Researchers at MIT CSAIL have developed a robotic arm that can put a vest on a human. “The promise of such technology is clear: helping people with mobility issues perform tasks that many of us take for granted,” writes Brian Heater for TechCrunch.

Fast Company

Researchers at MIT have developed a robot that can slide a vest onto a human arm, “which is an early but important step in creating a robot that could completely dress an aging or disabled person,” writes Mark Wilson for Fast Company. “In this work, we focus on a planning technique,” explains PhD candidate Shen Li. “If I dress a kid or adult, they might have different reactions. So you have to predict what they’ll do.”

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporters Angus Loten and Kevin Hand spotlight how MIT researchers are developing robots with humanlike senses that will be able to assist with a range of tasks. GelSight, a technology developed by CSAIL researchers, outfits robot arms with a small gel pad that can be pressed into objects to sense their size and texture, while another team of researchers is “working to bridge the gap between touch and sight by training an AI system to predict what a seen object feels like and what a felt object looks like.”

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.”