MIT Media Lab

11 stories
Global Good
MIT and the shortcut to Nirvana
A team from MIT visits a Kumbh site. Photo via Ramesh Raskar.
It is the largest religious gathering on earth. The colorful and chaotic Kumbh Mela, (Kumbh, for short), a triennial event hosted by one of India’s four second-tier cities, draws devotees by the millions. Now, thanks to Ramesh Raskar, a MIT Media Lab professor whose hometown, Nashik, is the venue for upcoming Kumbh, it has drawn tech-minded folks from Boston as well. Read More
cutting edge
'Descience' fashion show at MIT displays the glamorous side of science
descience-small
Glowing LEDS, geometric silks, 3-D-printed headdresses, and cage-like bras were on display at a science-themed fashion show at the MIT Media Lab this week, each a daring blend of science and style. The garments were the product of a mind-meld between teams of scientists and designers from across the world, as part of the first-ever Descience contest. Read More
Tapping entrepreneurialism
MIT spinout Sanergy targeting clean sanitation for all of Kenya (and beyond)
sanergy

While we fret over our first-world problems, there are nearly 2.5 billion people without access to something we’ve long taken for granted in the United States—adequate sanitation. And it’s a deadly problem: An estimated 1.6 million children die yearly from diarrheal disease as the result of inadequate sanitation.

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Eve's distant cousin?
Robot startup Jibo unveils a multi-purpose 'social bot' for the home
Jibo founder Cynthia Breazeal and software architect Jonathan Ross with a Jibo prototype. Photo by Scott Kirsner/BetaBoston.
Roomba hunts dust bunnies. Autom helps you shed pounds. But Jibo wants to be the first multi-purpose robot for your home — a countertop assistant that can snap family photos, remind you of the day's schedule, relay messages, entertain children with interactive stories, and facilitate videoconferences. The $499 product is being unveiled today, but won't be available until late in 2015. Read More
Still stealthy after all these years...
'Social robot' startup Jibo attracts new investors, preps for product launch
Still frame from Cynthia Breazeal's 2011 TED Talk about her research on "social robots" at the MIT Media Lab.
I've been following Jibo since last January, when I first told you the "social robot" startup had snagged some initial funding from Charles River Ventures. Now, Jibo founder Cynthia Breazeal has taken a leave from MIT's Media Lab to run the company. Jibo has brought on some additional investors, and begun hiring a handful of employees from companies like iRobot Corp. and Netflix. And a new placeholder website and Facebook page suggest an unveiling of the product is imminent. Read More
Big thinkers
Hugh Herr and the MIT Media Lab killed it at TED
MIT had a huge showing at this year's TED Conference, the prestigious get-together in Vancouver for global do-gooders and big thinkers. Seven of this year's speakers are affiliated with the MIT Media Lab, the center known of its cutting-edge technology tinkering. They included the lab's co-founder Nicholas Negroponte and its current director Joi Ito. Media Lab Prof. Hugh Herr explained how he designed a prosthetic leg for Boston Marathon bombing victim Adrianne Haslet-Davis. Media Lab research scientist John Werner was there and took more than 3,000 photos of the talks that wrapped up last week. He put a lot of them on Vimeo Wednesday, shown above. So far, from the MIT crowd, it looks like only Herr's video has been posted: But TED is still posting new videos from the conference, which are collected here.