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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.

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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.

It's alive! Space station's humanoid robot awake

August 22, 2011 12:33 pm | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

Ground controllers turned Robonaut on Monday for the first time since it was delivered to the International Space Station in February. The test involved sending power to all of Robonaut's systems. The robot was not commanded to move; that will happen next week. It is, however, tweeting now.

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.

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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.

Throttle Control System Is Designed for Harsh Environments

August 5, 2011 7:46 am | Product Releases | Comments

Haydon Kerk has recent designed a new type of linear actuator to control the power to a cement mixer aboard a piece of heavy construction equipment. The actuator is completely sealed to withstand dirt, debris, heat, and moisture.

Using beach cameras for scientific analysis

July 22, 2011 6:08 am | News | Comments

For 25 years, scientists have employed a network of land-based video cameras called Argus stations to monitor coastal surf zones in an effort to learn about the ever-changing dynamics of the surf zone. Now scientists at Oregon State University are working to incorporate a new resource into the Argus system—beach cameras.

New ASTM additive manufacturing specification

July 21, 2011 8:20 am | News | Comments

The additive manufacturing industry will greatly benefit from a new ASTM International standard that will allow computer-aided design programs, scanners, and 3D graphical editors to communicate with 3D printers and additive manufacturing equipment. The standard will answer the growing need within the industry for a standard interchange file format that can work with features such as color, texture, material, substructure, and other properties of a fabricated target object.

EOS and EADS IW collaborate on eco-assessment of DMLS technology

July 21, 2011 8:07 am | News | Comments

EOS, a manufacturer of laser sintering systems, in collaboration with EADS Innovation Works (IW), has started work on a study to understand the potential of the direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) process to generate savings in the use of energy and raw materials.

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Nuclear reactor robo-patrol

July 21, 2011 5:40 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers are working on egg-sized robots that are designed to dive into nuclear reactors and swim through underground pipes, checking for sign of corrosion. The underwater patrollers, equipped with cameras, are able to withstand a nuclear reactor's extreme, radioactive environment, and can transmit images in real-time.

Fermilab experiment discovers heavy relative of the neutron

July 20, 2011 12:34 pm | News | Comments

Scientists of the CDF collaboration at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory announced the observation of a new particle, the neutral Xi-sub-b, which contains a strange quark, an up quark, and a bottom quark (s-u-b).

Cameras supply expert help from a distance

July 11, 2011 9:00 am | News | Comments

An augmented reality solution developed by engineers in Germany is designed to allow technicians to record malfunctioning machines with a camera fixed to the back of a laptop monitor attached to a swivel arm. The system lets technicians perform repairs with the help of visual aids, and without having to interrupt their work by talking on the telephone.

Deep ocean drillers battle the crust’s hardest rocks

June 30, 2011 12:36 pm | News | Comments

The drilling team from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) have pushed Hole 1256D, a deep scientific borehole, more than 1,500 m below the seafloor and into the Pacific Ocean's igneous crust. They are now encountering metamorphic rocks that is sometimes even tougher than the most resilient of hard formation drilling and coring bits.

Interagency collaboration aims to bring advanced robotics to all

June 30, 2011 6:41 am | News | Comments

NASA, NIH, NSF and USDA are combining forces to fast-track the development and use of co-robots in the U.S. that work cooperatively with people. A solicitation for proposals for the new National Robotics Initiative (NRI) was recently released along with the establishment of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. Investments in NRI may reach $50 million in the first year.

The future of chip manufacturing

June 30, 2011 3:56 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

MIT researchers show how to make e-beam lithography, commonly used to prototype computer chips, more practical as a mass-production technique.

Battelle licenses body measurement technology for apparel applications

June 28, 2011 4:23 am | News | Comments

Battelle has granted an exclusive license for a technology that will help clothing shoppers find better fitting clothes easily and quickly, as well as assess their overall fitness.

Fermilab experiment weighs in on neutrino mystery

June 27, 2011 5:28 am | News | Comments

Scientists of the MINOS experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory announced the results from a search for a rare phenomenon, the transformation of muon neutrinos into electron neutrinos. The result is consistent with and significantly constrains a measurement reported by the Japanese T2K experiment, which announced an indication of this type of transformation.

Giant solar telescope mirror takes shape

June 23, 2011 1:14 pm | by Daniel Stolte, University Communications | News | Comments

When finished, the 4.2-meter mirror being crafted by the Univ. of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope in Hawaii will be the largest telescope mirror ever pointed at the sun. Complicating the task of polishing this mirror is the shape: the telescope’s design calls for a complex off-axis paraboloid surface.

500-year-old hair tells story of royal mercury poisoning

June 23, 2011 4:25 am | News | Comments

Hair breaks. It singes. It falls out. It might not be the strongest feature of living human bodies, but hair is one of the best-preserved tissues of dead ones, providing a record of diet, age, metabolism, and sometimes, even the cause of death. With intense beams of x-rays at Brookhaven's National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), a team of researchers is using hair samples collected from the decomposed bodies of two 15th-century Italian royals to determine how they really died.

Hot air is re-routed into energy savings

June 16, 2011 8:33 am | News | Comments

Students in California are taking what would normally be annoyance and making it an asset. They are working to implement a system that uses heat that collects in a home’s attic to warm a thermal closet that would dry clothes. Supplemented by power from a roof-mounted solar cell, the closet could cut electricity bills up to 16%.

Smart cars that are actually smart

June 14, 2011 4:50 am | by Emily Finn, MIT News Office | News | Comments

MIT mechanical engineers are working to develop a new intelligent transportation system (ITS) algorithm that takes into account models of human driving behavior to warn drivers of potential collisions, and ultimately takes control of the vehicle to prevent a crash.

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