Archive for August, 2011

Robot makes cookies (almost) from scratch

Publication:   Date: August 3, 2011   View Article

The future of robots is shaping up to be wonderful for couch potatoes: they can fetch beers, fold laundry, and now they can even bake cookies.

This latest breakthrough comes from the Distributed Robotics Lab at MIT where graduate student Mario Bollini is plugging away at code that allows robots to make decisions for themselves as they accomplish specific tasks.

Sensors to avert ‘carmageddons’

Publication:   Date: August 1, 2011   View Article

The much-hyped carmageddon predicted last month for Los Angeles never materialized when a stretch of highway was closed to allow a bridge demolition, but commuters may not be so lucky if one of the nation’s thousands of deteriorating spans suddenly collapses.

That’s the sort of scenario that Medhi Kalantari hopes to avoid with the deployment of wireless sensors on the nation’s — and world’s — aging bridges. One in four U.S. highway bridges is either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, according to a 2009 estimate by the U.S. Society of Civil Engineers.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach