Tuesday, 12 March 2019 00:00

Plane Flies with No Moving Parts

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently announced that they had built and flown the first-ever airplane without any moving parts. Rather than relying on turbines or propellers, the light craft receives its power from something termed an "ionic wind", described as a silent but powerful stream of ions that's made onboard the airplane, and which produces enough thrust to keep the plane flying over a steady, sustained trip.

The MIT craft also does not need fossil fuels to fly.

In a press release, Steven Barrett, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, said, “This has potentially opened new and unexplored possibilities for aircraft which are quieter, mechanically simpler, and do not emit combustion emissions.”

Published in Our Blog

A team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), along with some folks from McKinsey, recently succeeded in implementing machine learning to instruct computers on how to pick up on various emotional passages in movies.

In a McKinsey blog post, the team noted, “We developed machine-learning models that rely on deep neural networks to ‘watch’ small slices of video—movies, TV, and short online features—and estimate their positive or negative emotional content by the second.”

As a result, the blog post says, "Computers don’t cry during sad stories, but they can tell when we will."

The team cites the screening of a film, "Sunspring," written by an artificial-intelligence (AI) bot and screened at the SCI-FI LONDON film fest in 2016. The fact that a bot penned the script seems to have been the main draw of the flick -- and not necessarily because bots are poised to replace human screenwriters anytime soon.

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Surgical procedures can be extremely invasive, requiring patients to undergo anesthesia and spend weeks or months recovering. But new technology could make surgeries easier for both patients and medical professionals.

Using an accordion-shaped robot in capsule form, a team at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory believe surgeons can conduct surgeries without cutting into a patient. Doctors would generate a magnetic field that would allow them to move the robot inside the patient. The patient would merely take the pill, then wait for it to dissolve, at which point the robot would use origami-type technology to expand to 35 mm by 17 mm by 7.6 mm. Currently, the technique would be ideal for removing swallowed objects or getting medication to an internal wound.

Published in Our Blog
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