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Mashable

Researchers from MIT and Harvard have developed a hair-brushing robot, reports Mashable. “Thanks to a robotic arm and a sensorized brush plus computer vision for analyzing the curliness of hair, the robot’s brushing method is meant to minimize pain.”

Corriere della Sera

Researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed a robotic dog outfitted with a tablet that allows doctors to visit with emergency room patients remotely. “The robot could therefore avoid the risk of exposure to Covid-19 by healthcare professionals and help save the personal protective equipment necessary for each visit,” writes Ruggiero Corcella of Corriere della Sera.

New Scientist

In an article for New Scientist, Vijaysree Venkatraman reviews a new book by Kate Darling of the Media Lab, which explores whether we should think of robots as more like animals than humans. “Unlike animals, robots are designed, peddled and controlled by people, Darling reminds us. Her timely book urges us to focus on the legal, ethical and social issues regarding consumer robotics to make sure the robotic future works well for all of us,” writes Venkatraman.

 

USA Today

USA Today reporter Barbara VanDenburgh spotlights Media Lab research specialist Kate Darling’s new book, “The New Breed: What Our History with Animals Reveals about Our Future with Robots.” VanDenburgh writes that in the book, “An MIT Media Lab researcher and technology policy expert argues that treating robots more like we treat animals, with a bit of humanity, will serve mankind well.”

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater spotlights MIT startup Pickle, which has developed a package-picking robot dubbed Dill that “is capable of 1,600 picks per hour from the back of a trailer.” 

Wired

Writing for Wired, Media Lab research specialist Kate Darling makes the case that robots are more like animals than people. “Despite the AI pioneers’ original goal of recreating human intelligence, our current robots are fundamentally different,” writes Darling. “They’re not less-developed versions of us that will eventually catch up as we increase their computing power; like animals, they have a different type of intelligence entirely.” 

TechCrunch

MIT researchers have developed a new robot, dubbed RF Grasp, that can sense hidden objects using radio waves, reports Brian Heater for TechCrunch. “The tech allows RF Grasp to pick up things that are covered up or otherwise out of its line of vision,” writes Heater.

Mashable

CSAIL researchers have developed a new material with embedded sensors that can track a person’s movement, reports Mashable. The clothing could “track things like posture or give feedback on how you’re walking.”

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater spotlights how MIT researchers have devised a neural network to help optimize sensor placement on soft robots to help give them a better picture of their environment.

CNN

Prof. Gio Traverso speaks with CNN’s Jeanne Moos about his new study examining how comfortable patients were interacting with Dr. Spot, a robotic dog outfitted with a computer tablet that allows ER doctors to engage with patients remotely. “The robot looks like a dog, and dogs are endearing to many, so actually, the reception was very positive,” said Traverso.

NY Post

NY Post reporter Asia Grace writes that MIT researchers have found that patients are comfortable with allowing robotic assistants perform medical evaluations, as part of an effort to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. “People are very positive and accepting of robotic systems in health-care settings, particularly during the pandemic,” says Prof. Giovanni Traverso.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Nate Berg highlights Ori, an MIT startup that makes motorized furniture that can be used to transform small spaces. 

US News & World Report

Researchers from MIT have developed a new kind of surgery that could offer amputees better control of their muscles and prosthetic limbs after surgery, reports Cara Murez for U.S. News & World Report. “In this new type of surgery — called agonist-antagonist myoneural interface, or AMI — surgeons reconnect those muscle pairs so they retain the push-pull relationship they've always had and improve sensory feedback,” writes Murez.

New York Times

Profs. Daron Acemoglu and David Autor speak with New York Times columnist Kevin Roose about the impact of automation on the labor market. “A lot of professional work combines some element of routine information processing with an element of judgment and discretion,” says Autor. “That’s where software has always fallen short. But with A.I., that type of work is much more in the kill path.”

Mashable

Mashable reporter Jordan Aaron spotlights how MIT researchers have developed insect-sized drones that can flap their wings over 500 times per second, allowing them to withstand collisions. The drones are “powered by a small actuator, which gives them the ability to flap so fast.”