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Mashable

Mashable video producer Jules Suzdaltsev shares that MIT scientists and a team of researchers have successfully created full-scale, self-navigating robotic boats ready to wade through the Amsterdam canals. “The boats use GPS, lidar, cameras and control algorithms to reach their full self-navigating capabilities,” writes Suzdaltsev.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Kristin Toussaint spotlights how researchers from CSAIL and the Senseable City Lab have worked with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions on developing a robotic boat now ready to be used in the canals of Amsterdam . “It’s a kind of dynamic infrastructure that can adapt to the needs of a city as they change, and help Amsterdam decongest its street and better use its waterways,” says Toussaint.

Reuters

Reuters reporter Toby Sterling spotlights how MIT researchers have been working with Amsterdam’s Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions to develop a self-driving watercraft for transporting passengers, goods and trash through the canals. “We have a lot of open water available in the canals,” says Stephan van Dijk, Amsterdam’s Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions Innovation Director. “So, we developed a self-driving, autonomous ship to help with logistics in the city and also bringing people around.” 

Los Angeles Times

Writing for The Los Angeles Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti spotlights how the City of Helsinki in Finland hosted an Energy Challenge aimed at solicit ideas to accelerate the city’s transition to green energy. “Helsinki and its Energy Challenge hold lessons for the rest of the world. The first is that climate efforts must balance competition with collaboration,” writes Ratti. The contest “allowed Helsinki to synthesize a diverse array of skills and visions.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Aaron Pressman spotlights MIT startup Superpedestrian, a scooter rental service. “Superpedestrian’s scooters, packed with sensors, GPS, and a cellular connection, don’t need to be parked in a dock,” writes Pressman. “Instead, the company scatters them around cities in convenient locations.”

Associated Press

An electric, autonomous boat developed by MIT researchers is being tested in the canals of Amsterdam as part of an effort to ease traffic, reports Aleksandar Furtula and Mike Corder for the AP. The Roboat project is aimed at developing “new ways of navigating the world’s waterways without a human hand at the wheel,” write Furtula and Corder. “The vessels are modular so they can be easily adapted for different purposes, carrying cargo or workers.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that people tend to follow a predictable travel pattern that remains consistent in countries around the world. The findings could help urban planners “better understand how populations interact with their surroundings, as well as assist city planners with zoning, infrastructure and other development decisions,” writes Hays.

Motherboard

Researchers from the MIT Senseable City Lab have uncovered a new travel pattern in human mobility that remains consistent across four continents, reports Beck Ferreira for Motherboard. “The notion that distance and frequency of visitation are related is in accordance with intuition,” the researchers explain. “What is surprising is that the relationship between these two quantities can be described by a simple and clean mathematical law.” 

Bloomberg

Writing for Bloomberg, Prof. Carlo Ratti and Saskia Sassen of Columbia University explore how to help rebuild cities in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. “We have the duty to recapitalize our cities — not in financial terms, but in terms of their ‘living’ capital, shoring up their human reserves,” they write.

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Paul Berger highlights Superpedestrian, an MIT startup and electric scooter company that secured $60 million in funding. Berger notes that Superpedestrian “spent more than four years designing a vehicle intelligence system that can diagnose and maintain itself.”

Popular Mechanics

MIT researchers have unveiled a new autonomous modular boat, called the Roboat II, which that uses lidar, GPS and other sensors to navigate its surroundings, reports Kyro Mitchell for Popular Mechanics. The Roboat II “can attach itself to other Roboat II’s to form one large vessel, which is then controlled by a main ‘leader’ boat.”

The Guardian

Guardian reporter Rhi Storer spotlights how researchers from the MIT Senseable City Lab developed a self-driving and navigating robot that could be used to help clean up oil spills. “This technology was conceived to be deployed anywhere it was needed – in oceans, rivers, or seas,” explains Prof. Carlo Ratti. “We all need to be accountable for the environment. Some accidents are still bound to occur, so we still need to develop mitigation or cleaning strategies.” 

Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Carlo Ratti explores the importance of public spaces in bringing people together. “Public space is performing its primordial function: revealing fault lines in our society and helping to reconcile them,” writes Ratti. “This is a particularly important activity today, as the growth of digital communication is leading to increased polarization.”