Nidhi Subbaraman is a staff writer at BetaBoston, reporting on science, research, technology, and any combination of those. Before this, Subbaraman covered science and tech at NBCNews.com. Her work has also appeared online at MIT Technology Review, Fast Company, New Scientist, Nature News, and others. She hearts robots.
School kids at soccer practice could use solar panels lying out in the field to charge their smartphones. A mix-in for concrete could keep buildings cooler longer, cutting the cost of air conditioning. A gel that dries to a crisp could soak up water and swell, transforming into a single-layer, mess-free base on which you can grow a garden indoors.
These are the visions of a better world from emerging engineers tackled at MADMEC, the annual design competition hosted by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. Read MoreVox populiAs Climate Summit approaches, the UN is watching your tweets about climate change
The bubble-head space suit is an icon, an emblem of great innovation and achieving big dreams. But it's also entirely too puffy for its own good. The gas pressure that keeps the astronauts safe inside also restricts movement.
For better or worse, the traditional spacesuit's days may be numbered. Read More
A hackathon organized by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the MBTA, and MassTech jump-started the development of a new crop of apps for public transit in Greater Boston. The results, presented in Cambridge last week, included a tracker for the Pebble smartwatch and a real-time subway tracker for the Windows phone. Read MoreBetter, stronger, softer MIT's tentacle robot is an expert navigator and soft as chewing gum
Tesla has won right to sell its electric cars directly to consumers in Massachusetts, through online sales or from a swanky mall store, rather than through independent car dealerships, the Boston Globe reports. Read More
A soft, wearable exoskeleton under construction has received a $2.9 million shot of funding from DARPA, Harvard University and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Design announced Thursday. Also, New Balance, Boston maker of 3D printed shoes, will be a collaborator on the "wearable robot" project going forward.
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