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ONR-funded guided rockets hit fast-moving targets in test

November 30, 2011 3:44 am | News | Comments

A weapon prototype developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) successfully hit two high-speed boat targets during recent testing. ONR researchers produced the Low-Cost Imaging Terminal Seeker, a suite of low-cost technologies that modify existing helicopter-borne rockets into precision-guided weapons.

3D printer used to make bone-like material

November 30, 2011 3:06 am | by Eric Sorensen, WSU science writer | News | Comments

It looks like bone. It feels like bone. For the most part, it acts like bone. And it came off an inkjet printer. Washington State University researchers have used a 3D printer to create a bone-like material and structure that can be used in orthopedic procedures, dental work, and to deliver medicine for treating osteoporosis.

Pilotless planes fly with help of drone phone

November 8, 2011 7:13 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Imagine controlling an airplane in flight just by holding your iPhone out in front of you: tilting it in the direction you want the plane to travel, or raising it to make the plane fly higher. Or tapping a point on a map on the screen, and having the plane automatically fly to the designated spot. Now, imagine if the plane itself were a continent away from where you're doing this iPhone-based controlling. What might seem like a figment of the imagination is actually fact.


Advanced mathematical techniques enable better AUV navigation

November 8, 2011 3:42 am | by Nancy Stauffer, MIT Energy Initiative | News | Comments

Since the 1970s, when early autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) were developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, scientists there have tackled various barriers to the design of robots that can travel autonomously in the deep ocean. Part two of the four-part series examines how advanced mathematical techniques enable AUVs to survey large, complex, and cluttered seascapes.

Mask-bot: A robot with a human face

November 7, 2011 7:22 am | News | Comments

A prototype of a new robot face that teams in Germany and Japan have developed ingeniously solves the problem of how to make realistic human features from a variety of angles. A projector accurately beams a human face onto the back of the mask, changing the face on demand.

China spacecraft dock together in orbit over Earth

November 3, 2011 4:57 am | by Gillian Wong, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Shenzhou 8 craft that was launched by China Tuesday docked today with the already orbiting Tiangong 1 module. The maneuver puts the country closer to manning its own space station, which could occur within the next decade. The U.S. and Russia are the only other countries to master the space docking technique.

Tank robot drives itself up the wall

November 2, 2011 12:54 pm | News | Comments

Researchers in the U.K. have built a tank-like robot that has the ability to scale smooth walls. It gets its ability from tiny mushroom cap-shaped fibers on its treads that use van der Waals forces to adhere to flat surfaces. Inspired by the feet of geckos, the robot could find use in power plants or search and rescue.

Sandia's Annular Core Research Reactor conducts 10,000th operation

November 2, 2011 5:07 am | News | Comments

With a muffled "pop," a flash of blue light, and a few ripples through 14,000 gallons of deionized water, Sandia National Laboratories' Annular Core Research Reactor (ACRR) recently conducted its 10,000th operation.


Boston Dynamics’ BigDog gets a humanoid buddy

November 1, 2011 8:12 am | News | Comments

The robotics company famous for building BigDog, a four-legged robot that moves in a fashion that is both strange and disturbingly life-like, has added arms to its two-legged variant, PETMAN. A new video from Boston Dynamics shows in the anthromorphic robot in motion.

LHC proton run for 2011 reaches successful conclusion

November 1, 2011 4:35 am | News | Comments

After some 180 days of running and four hundred trillion proton proton collisions, the Large Hadron Collider's (LHC's) 2011 proton run came to an end at 5:15 p.m., October 30, 2011. For the second year running, the LHC team has largely surpassed its operational objectives, steadily increasing the rate at which the LHC has delivered data to the experiments.

Robot roach sheds light on evolution of flight

October 18, 2011 5:32 am | News | Comments

When engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, outfitted a six-legged robotic bug with wings in an effort to improve its mobility, they unexpectedly shed some light on the evolution of flight.

All for one, 'R-one' for all

October 11, 2011 12:44 pm | News | Comments

Robots for everyone. That's James McLurkin's dream, and as the director of a Rice University robotics laboratory, he's creating an inexpensive and sophisticated robot called the "R-one" to make the dream a reality.

Contract awarded for ITER early delivery cooling water system equipment

October 10, 2011 4:49 am | News | Comments

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has awarded a $13.2 million task order to AREVA Federal Services for fabrication of five drain tanks for the ITER tokamak cooling water system. ITER is an international project to demonstrate the feasibility of commercial fusion energy.


Dark and bright: ESA chooses next two science missions

October 5, 2011 5:42 am | News | Comments

The powerful influence of the Sun and the nature of mysterious dark energy motivate ESA’s next two science missions. Solar Orbiter will venture closer to the Sun than any previous mission, and Euclid will be a space telescope designed to map out the large-scale structure of the cosmos.

A robot brain implanted in a rodent

October 3, 2011 8:54 am | News | Comments

With new cutting-edge technology aimed at providing amputees with robotic limbs, a Tel Aviv University researcher has successfully implanted a robotic cerebellum into the skull of a rodent with brain damage, restoring its capacity for movement.

SpaceX to attempt fully reusable orbital booster

September 30, 2011 1:01 pm | by John Antczak, Associated Press | News | Comments

California space-launch entrepreneur Elon Musk said Thursday his company will try to develop an orbital booster system with components capable of flying back to Earth for reuse. The complexities of the engineering have canceled previous efforts by others.

Berkeley Lab tests cookstoves for Haiti

September 28, 2011 2:07 pm | by Sabin Russell | News | Comments

Engineers in California who developed the fuel-efficient Berkeley-Darfur Stove for refugee camps in central Africa are now in Haiti, evaluating inexpensive metal cookstoves for the displaced survivors of last year’s deadly earthquake.

Eco aircraft to paint California skies green

September 21, 2011 8:08 am | News | Comments

Vying for a $1.65 million purse, the largest aviation prize ever offered, competitors in the Green Flight Centennial Challenge will take to the air this weekend. To qualify, the electric, biofuel, and hybrid-powered planes must exceed 200 passenger miles per gallon, about double what even the best large commercial jets now achieve.

Researchers develop smarter robot arms

September 21, 2011 4:31 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

By combining two innovative algorithms developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, researchers have built a new robotic motion-planning system that calculates much more efficient trajectories through free space. This will allow robots to execute tasks more efficiently and move more predictably.

Robots coming to aircraft assembly

September 16, 2011 9:29 am | News | Comments

Up to now, aircraft have been put together in huge assembly cells, but building the necessary facilities is expensive and time consuming. That is why Fraunhofer researchers have come up with a flexible assembly line concept that features robots working in the same way they do in automotive production.

Engineers invent a magnetic fluid pump with no moving parts

September 16, 2011 5:52 am | News | Comments

Used in Hollywood and the advertising industry to create exotic special effects, ferrofluids are seemingly magical materials that are both liquid and magnetic at once. In a study, a team from Yale University, with colleagues from the University of Georgia and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, demonstrated for the first time an approach that allows ferrofluids to be pumped by magnetic fields alone.

MIT research pushes the boundaries of 3D printing technology

September 14, 2011 4:28 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Imagine being able to "print" an entire house, a four-course dinner, or even a printer capable of printing yet another printer. These are research projects underway at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and just a few ways the Institute is pushing forward the boundaries of a technology it helped pioneer nearly two decades ago.

NRL robotic loader system achieves composite material testing milestone

September 6, 2011 7:31 am | News | Comments

The Naval Research Laboratory robotic materials testing system, NRL66.3, has achieved, to date, the highest industrial rates of fully automated production mode functionality known to NRL researchers, yielding a total of 216 specimen tests at a rate of 26 per hour under six-degrees of freedom multiaxiality conditions.

Ford and Toyota to collaborate on new hybrid system

August 22, 2011 12:11 pm | News | Comments

Two of the world’s top automakers have teamed up as equal partners to develop a hybrid drive system for rear-wheel-drive light trucks and SUVs.They will independently integrate the new hybrid system in their future vehicles separately.

Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment begins taking data

August 15, 2011 4:58 am | News | Comments

The Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment has begun its quest to answer some of the most puzzling questions about the elusive elementary particles known as neutrinos. The experiment's first completed set of twin detectors is now recording interactions of antineutrinos as they travel away from the powerful reactors of the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group in southern China.

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