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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.”

Inside Science

MIT researchers are developing an electronic skin that can withstand sweating, reports Karen Kwon for Inside Science. The researchers “punched holes on the e-skin to match the size of sweat pores and the distance between them. Then, inspired by kirigami, the team cut away even more material between two holes in an alternating pattern,” writes Kwon. The resulting pattern “could tolerate bending and stretching more than the conventional e-skin with simple holes.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Mark Wilson writes that MIT researchers have created a carpet embedded with sensors to help track your workout. Dubbed the Intelligent Carpet, it “can distinguish 15 different actions with 97.8% accuracy, including squats, push-ups, bends, and rolls.”

Popular Mechanics

MIT researchers have developed new programmable fibers that could help transform clothing into wearable computers, reports Kyle Mizokami for Popular Mechanics. “The polymer fibers contain hundreds of tiny silicon microchips that, once electrified, can sustain a digital connection across tens of meters,” Mizokami writes.

Forbes

Forbes contributor Eric Tegler spotlights how MIT researchers are developing a fiber with digital capabilities. “Individuals wearing garments with digital fibers could be alerted to vital information about their physiology and environmental exposures, and share health/injury and location data with support forces,” Tegler explains.

Mashable

Mashable spotlights how MIT’s baseball pitching coach is using motion capture technology to help analyze and teach pitching techniques. Using the technology, Coach Todd Carroll can “suggest real-time adjustments as a player is pitching so that just one session using the technology improves their game.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that researchers from MIT and other institutions have developed a programmable digital fiber that can capture, store and analyze data. The technology could “be paired with machine learning algorithms and used to make smart fabrics to record health data and aid medical diagnosis,” writes Hays.

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.”

NOVA Next

Hanna Ali of NOVA Next speaks with Prof. Desiree Plata about methane emissions and Prof. Tim Swager about his work developing sensors that could allow users to “see” methane, track down its source and mitigate impacts. “You probably hear headlines all the time, ‘Everywhere we look for plastics in the environment, we find them,’” Plata says. “The same is true of most industrial chemicals, but the problem is I can’t pull out my cell phone and take a picture of [them]. Tim’s sensors are helping to close that gap.”

Axios

Axios reporter Bryan Walsh spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a new way for chemical signals in spinach leaves to transmit emails. “The system could help provide an early warning system for explosives or pollution, but really, we just want to know what the spinach are thinking,” writes Walsh.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Adele Peters spotlights Prof. Michael Strano’s work exploring how to embed nanoparticles into plant leaves, as part of an effort to see if they could serve as sensors. “We started asking the question, can we make living plants to do some of the functions that humans do by stamping things out of plastic and circuit boards—things that go into landfills?” says Strano.

Guardian

MIT researchers have developed a way to embed spinach leaves with sensors, which would allow them to serve as sensors that could monitor groundwater for contaminates, reports The Guardian. “Plants are very environmentally responsive,” explains Prof. Michael Strano. “If we tap into those chemical signaling pathways, there is a wealth of information to access.”

Economist

Research scientist Brian Subirana speaks with The Economist’s Babbage podcast about his work developing a new AI system that could be used to help diagnose people asymptomatic Covid-19.

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Linda Rodriguez McRobbie spotlights Cyborg Botany, a project at the Media Lab aimed to tap into how plants react to their environments. The researchers grew plants with “conductive wires in their intercellular spaces. That allowed the plants to become inconspicuous motion sensors, sending a signal via microelectrodes to a laptop every time someone walked by.”