Robotics
Business
Web and Communications
Biomedical

Other


Robotics

TR35: Andrea Thomaz
Robots that learn new skills the way people do. [print-special section]
Helping Robots Get a Grip
A new approach lets dexterous robotic hands grasp easily.
Cutting-Edge Robots Show Off in Japan
ICRA 2009 will showcase everything from tree-climbing machines to robots that politely ask for directions.
Making Robots Give the Right Glances
By mimicking nonverbal actions, robots could become better assistants.
A Step Toward Robo-Science
Robots capable of making simple scientific discoveries could transform drug testing.
Machines for Living
Holly Yanco, SM ’94, PhD ’00, develops robots to help people in the home and in the field. [print-MIT alum profile]
The Year in Robotics
Advances in robotics for personal assistance, medicine, and the military in 2008.
Voyage of the Bacteria Bots
Self-propelled microbots navigate through blood vessels.
Robot Mimics a Canine Helper
A robot inspired by helper dogs could assist the disabled and the elderly.
Building a Self-Assembling Stomach-Bot
Modules that self-assemble inside the stomach could perform more-sophisticated diagnosis and treatment.
Controlling a Gut Bot’s Position
A swallowable robot can be stuck and unstuck to a spot on command.
A Robot That Learns to Use Tools
By shoving objects around on a table, UMan figures out how they work.
The Flight of Dragonfly Robots
Researchers are testing whether robotic dragonflies could be agile and elusive fliers.
A Robotic Helping Hand
Georgia Tech’s prototype robot responds to instructions given with an ordinary laser pointer.
Snakelike Robots for Heart Surgery
More-flexible robots could allow for less-invasive operations.

Blogs

Robots ‘Evolve’ the Ability to Deceive
An experiment shows how “deceptive” behavior can emerge from simple rules.
Modeling Sneaky Robots
Researchers create a stealth-mode behavior.
Recycling Robot Shows Clutter-Sorting Skills
A new vision system can identify objects within clutter.
Robot Plays Follows the Leader
Image-recognition software and an infrared camera let this robot follow people in different environments.
Tiny Machine Commands a Swarm of Bacteria
The bacteria propel the machine in different directions.
Precision Control of Micro Machines
Researchers demonstrate a new way to refine magnetic control of tiny robotic pushers.
Teleoperated Design Revealed for Assistant Robots
A system lets users manage a team of robots through cloud computing.
Robots Get Down to Business
At a conference in Boston, companies demonstrate robots for education, bomb disposal, agriculture, and more.
A Robot That Knows When to Back Off
A modified Roomba tries to detect, and avoid, stressed-out users.
iRobot Cofounder Developing UAVs for Search and Rescue
Helen Greiner’s stealth-mode robotics company will focus on emergency response.
Robot Scientist Designs Its Own Experiments
A robotic system can design and carry out experiments on its own.
A Robot Music Instructor
A clever flute-playing robot can teach beginners and play in a band.
Sticky Space Spider
A robotic insect is designed to explore rough, alien terrain.
What Do Wheelchairs and Video Games Have in Common?
Professor develops a more intuitive robotic assistant.
Biomedical Robots Galore
Scientists from across the world gathered for the IEEE BioRob 2008 Conference.
Robotic Device Takes Stunning Panorama of the Inauguration
Pick out individual faces in this 1,474-megapixel image of the 2009 ceremonies.
Cheaper Robot Rehabilitation
A modified 3-D game controller helps improve fine motor control.
How to Make UAVs Fully Autonomous
A smarter vision system could help robotic aircraft detect airborne obstacles.
Robotic “Spiderman” Device Unveiled
A new grappling hook could let robots swing from tree to tree.
A Robot That’s Learning to Smile
The UCSD robot watches itself to learn how to pull new facial expressions.
A Soldier’s (Robotic) Best Friend
BigDog could save lives in the field.

Business

Social Games that Sway
With the rise of social networks, game designers are finding new paths to desired outcomes.
Augmented Reality Lacks Bite for Marketers
Companies are experimenting with adding AR layers to real-world scenes. So far, it’s not doing much to boost business.
Keeping the Personal Touch without Getting on a Plane
Companies are turning to high-end communication systems to reduce their carbon footprints and travel expenses.
Preventing Customers from Getting Stressed Out
Measuring people’s physical reactions helps companies improve the user experience.
Crowds of Workers, on Demand
Companies are turning to crowdsourcing middlemen to make “good” crowds.
Google’s Ultra-Real-Time Messaging Tool Lives On
The company halted its work on Wave, but aspects of its radical approach to communication have been reincarnated for business collaboration.


Web and Communications

The Evolution of Retweeting
Formalizing the retweet may change people’s behavior.
Rogue Pharmacies Dominate Bing’s Ads
Illegitimate pharmacies account for 90 percent of drug ads on Microsoft’s Bing, according to a new report.
Search Spammers Hacking More Websites
The head of Google’s Web-spam-fighting team warns that spammers are increasingly attacking websites.
TR35: Shahram Izadi
An intuitive 3-D interface helps people manage layers of data. [print-special section]
Open-Source Data Glove
AcceleGlove can be programmed for many applications. [print-Hack]
Cell Phones That Listen and Learn
New software tracks a user’s behavior by monitoring everyday sounds.
Faster Internet on the Road
A new system boosts mobile uploads from vehicles.
Second Skin Captures Motion
A new system could make special effects more affordable.
A Mobile Mesh Network Goes Nuclear
Backpacks that detect nuclear material form a wireless mesh network.
Popularity Poll Ranks Startups
Measuring online buzz could help investors, a company claims.
Moore’s Law
The computer chip has evolved from a simple integrated circuit to a microprocessor with millions of transistors. [print-Photo Essay]

Blogs

Illegitimate Pharmaceutical Ads Prolific on Yahoo
The majority of the search engine’s drug ads are from rogue online pharmacies, according to researchers.
DNA Origami for Faster, Smaller Computer Chips
Using DNA structures, researchers may be able to construct tinier, cheaper chips.
China Relents on Censorship Software
Green Dam won’t be enforced on private computers.
Mesh Network Monitors Volcanoes
Sensors dropped onto Mount St. Helens relayed data after forming an ad-hoc network.
A Clever Use for Baby Snapshots
Constant logging could help spot problems in kids.
The Stranger Side of CHI 2009
Some of the odder inventions demoed at the Computer-Human Interaction Conference.
Mapping Disasters in 3-D
Software based on PhotoSynth can model the scene of a disaster.

Biomedical

Artificial Protein Mimics Blood
A man-made protein that carries oxygen could lead to artificial blood.
Stretched Nerve ‘Bridges’ Trigger Repair
The tissue creates a scaffold for nerve tissue regeneration.
TR10: Paper Diagnostics
George Whitesides has created a cheap, easy-to-use diagnostic test out of paper. [print]
Detecting Brain Chemicals
A new device could help with deep brain stimulation.
Diagnosing Disease with Paper and Tape
By adding tape, researchers can make more-complex tests that are portable and cheap.
Wireless Detectors for Dementia
Researchers hope that radio transmitters can warn of cognitive decline earlier.
Lab-on-a-Chip Made of Paper
Paper-based microfluidic devices could yield cheap, disposable diagnostic tests.
Breath Analyzer Monitors Drug Compliance
A new device could lead to better clinical trials.
A Faster Way to Detect Heart Attacks
A diagnostic chip tests saliva to determine if someone is having a heart attack.
Striped Camouflage
Researchers find stealthy way to enter cells. [print]
Clothes That Monitor Health
A new patch tracks electrolyte levels in sweat.

Blogs

Testing for Malaria On-the-Go
A small, rugged device is reliable even in harsh conditions.

Other

Gecko Tape That Lets Go
Special tips on gecko hairs can grip and release.
Fuel-Cell Power-Up
A new process increases the energy output of methanol fuel cells by 50 percent. [print-Demo]
Microbes for Off-the-Grid Electricity
A new company is bringing microbial fuel cells to Africa.
Nature’s Photonic Crystal
Scientists find an elusive diamond structure in a Brazilian beetle.
MIT’s Solar Pioneer
Spying on the sun’s “marvelous beasts.” [print]

Blogs

Beetles Use Nanostructures for Color
Tiny structures in beetle exoskeletons reflect luminescent green.
A Dirt-Bag Fuel Cell
A simple microbial fuel cell could offer reliable power in the developing world.
Phoenix Landing
Mars spacecraft successfully reaches red planet’s arctic.