“Peel-and-go” Printable Structures Fold Themselves

“Peel-and-go” Printable Structures Fold Themselves

“As 3-D printing has become a mainstream technology, industry and academic researchers have been investigating printable structures that will fold themselves into useful three-dimensional shapes when heated or immersed in water. In a paper appearing in the American Chemical Society’s journal Applied Materials and Interfaces, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and colleagues report …

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How neural networks think

How neural networks think

“Artificial-intelligence research has been transformed by machine-learning systems called neural networks, which learn how to perform tasks by analyzing huge volumes of training data. During training, a neural net continually readjusts thousands of internal parameters until it can reliably perform some task, such as identifying objects in digital images or translating text from one language to another. But on their …

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IBM and MIT Bet That Materials and Quantum Advances Will Supercharge AI

IBM and MIT Bet That Materials and Quantum Advances Will Supercharge AI

“new $240 million center at MIT may help advance the field of artificial intelligence by developing novel devices and materials to power the latest machine-learning algorithms. It could, perhaps, also help IBM reclaim its reputation for doing cutting-edge AI. The project, announced by IBM and MIT today, will research new approaches in deep learning, a technique in AI that has …

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New robot rolls with the rules of pedestrian conduct

New robot rolls with the rules of pedestrian conduct

“Just as drivers observe the rules of the road, most pedestrians follow certain social codes when navigating a hallway or a crowded thoroughfare: Keep to the right, pass on the left, maintain a respectable berth, and be ready to weave or change course to avoid oncoming obstacles while keeping up a steady walking pace. Now engineers at MIT have designed …

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Strength of global stratospheric circulation measured for first time

Strength of global stratospheric circulation measured for first time

“When commercial airplanes break through the clouds to reach cruising altitude, they have typically arrived in the stratosphere, the second layer of Earth’s atmosphere. The air up there is dry and clear, and much calmer than the turbulent atmosphere we experience on the ground. And yet, for all its seeming tranquility, the stratosphere can be a powerful conveyor belt …

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Drones relay RFID signals for inventory control

Drones relay RFID signals for inventory control

“Radio frequency ID tags were supposed to revolutionize supply chain management. The dirt-cheap, battery-free tags, which receive power wirelessly from scanners and then broadcast identifying numbers, enable warehouse managers to log inventory much more efficiently than they could by reading box numbers and recording them manually. But the scale of modern retail operations makes even radio frequency ID (RFID) scanning …

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Experiments confirm theory of “superballistic” electron flow

Experiments confirm theory of “superballistic” electron flow

“When many people try to squeeze through a passageway at the same time, it creates a bottleneck that slows everyone down. It turns out the reverse is true for electrons, which can move through small openings more quickly when travelling in large groups than when flying solo. The theory of so-called superballistic flow predicts that electrons can pass more easily …

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Monitoring network traffic more efficiently

Monitoring network traffic more efficiently

“In today’s data networks, traffic analysis — determining which links are getting congested and why — is usually done by computers at the network’s edge, which try to infer the state of the network from the times at which different data packets reach their destinations. If the routers inside the network could instead report on their own circumstances, network analysis …

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Custom robots in a matter of minutes

Custom robots in a matter of minutes

“Even as robots become increasingly common, they remain incredibly difficult to make. From designing and modeling to fabricating and testing, the process is slow and costly: Even one small change can mean days or weeks of rethinking and revising important hardware. But what if there were a way to let non-experts craft different robotic designs — in one sitting? Researchers from …

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Fusion heating gets a boost

Fusion heating gets a boost

“The Plasma Science and Fusion Center explores a new recipe for heating plasma. In the quest for fusion energy, scientists have spent decades experimenting with ways to make plasma fuel hot and dense enough to generate significant fusion power. At MIT, researchers have focused their attention on using radio-frequency (RF) heating in magnetic confinement fusion experiments like the Alcator C-Mod …

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