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BBC

Prof. Neil Gershenfeld and graduate student Amira Abdel-Rahma speak with BBC Digital Planet reporters Gareth Mitchell and Ghislaine Boddington about their research developing tiny robots that can assemble themselves into structures, vehicles or even larger robots. “The main objective of this research is the robot can have a few choices,” says Abdel-Rahma. “First it can build the structure, the second choice is it could self-replicate or clone… the third, it could evolve and build a bigger robot.”

Fox News

Paul Best reports for Fox Business on how MIT researchers are developing tiny robots with built-in intelligence that can allow them to assemble into structures, vehicles or even larger robots.

Popular Science

Researchers from MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms are developing fully autonomous robots that can work together to assemble “almost any conceivable structure or product, including bigger iterations of themselves as their projects scale larger,” reports Andrew Paul for Popular Science. “Potential uses include building structures to aid in protection against sea level rise and coastal erosion,” writes Paul, “as well as 3D printed houses and space habitat construction.”

TechCrunch

Researchers from MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms are developing robots that can effectively self-assemble and could even build large structures, reports Brian Heater for TechCrunch. “At the system’s center are voxels (a term borrowed from computer graphics), which carry power and data that can be shared between pieces,” writes Heater. “The pieces form the foundation of the robot, grabbing and attaching additional voxels before moving across the grid for further assembly.”

Scientific American

MIT scientists have developed a miniature antenna that could one day be used to help safely transmit data from within living cells “by resonating with acoustic rather than electromagnetic waves,” reports Andrew Chapman for Scientific American. “A functioning antenna could help scientists power, and communicate with, tiny roving sensors within the cell,” writes Chapman, “helping them better understand these building blocks and perhaps leading to new medical treatments.”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo spotlights Jens Andersen’s book “The Lego Story,” which explores how MIT researchers worked on the development of LEGO’s buildable robotics kits. Former president and CEO of Lego, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen’s “faith in the concept of learning through play took a big leap forward in the late 1980s, when LEGO and the MIT Media Lab developed software for LEGO’s own models in the LEGO Technic line,” writes Andersen.

Forbes

Prof. Daniela Rus, director of CSAIL, speaks with Forbes reporter John Koetsier about the future of robotics. “I have been on a quest to have universal machines,” says Rus. “My idea is to create universal robot cells that could combine to form different types of machines, each with the same capability.”

Mashable

MIT’s mini cheetah robot was taught how to goal keep using simulation, reports Emmett Smith for Mashable. “The robot was able to block 87.5 percent of the shots taken, which is just slightly above the best professional goalies in the English Premiere League,” writes Smith.

TechCrunch

In a new paper, MIT researchers detail the use of reinforcement learning to teach MIT’s mini cheetah robot to play goalie in a soccer match, reports Brian Heater for TechCrunch. “In this work, we focused solely on the goalkeeping task, but the proposed framework can be extended to other scenarios, such as multi-skill soccer ball kicking,” the researchers explain.

Bloomberg

Researchers from MIT and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions have been developing an electric autonomous trash boat, reports Sarah Holder for Bloomberg. The boats “could reduce noise, pollution, and congestion, thus improving the quality of Amsterdam’s historic cityscape.”

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Pranshu Verma spotlights Prof. Kevin Chen’s research creating flying lightning bug robots that could be used to pollinate crops in vertical farms or even in space. “If we think about the insect functions that animals can’t do,” says Chen, “that inspires us to think about what smaller, insect-scale robots can do, that larger robots cannot.”

Newsweek

Hasier Larrea MS ’15 - CEO of Ori, a company that creates expandable tiny apartments - writes for Newsweek about his journey and inspiration for developing expandable housing options. Larrea writes that Ori is focused on creating, “expandable urban apartments that are more flexible, functional, affordable and sustainable—in short, living spaces that can suit the amazing diversity of people who want to live in the world's most incredible cities.”

Politico

Prof. Cynthia Breazeal discusses her work exploring how artificial intelligence can help students impacted by Covid, including refugees or children with disabilities, reports Ryan Heath for Politico. “We want to be super clear on what the role is of the robot versus the community, of which this robot is a part of. That's part of the ethical design thinking,” says Breazeal. “We don't want to have the robot overstep its responsibilities. All of our data that we collect is protected and encrypted.”

Popular Mechanics

MIT researchers have developed firefly-inspired robots that can emit light while flying, reports Popular Mechanics. “The robots may be able to converse with one another because of this electroluminescence and, for instance, a robot that finds survivors while on a search-and-rescue mission, within a fallen building, could use lights to alert others and request assistance.”

Popular Mechanics

The MIT mini cheetah broke a speed record after learning to adapt to difficult terrain and upping its speed, reports Rienk De Beer for Popular Mechanics.