MIT.nano awards inaugural NCSOFT seed grants for gaming technologies

MIT.nano has announced the first recipients of NCSOFT seed grants to foster hardware and software innovations in gaming technology. The grants are part of the new MIT.nano Immersion Lab Gaming program, with inaugural funding provided by video game developer NCSOFT, a founding member of the MIT.nano Consortium. The newly awarded projects address topics such as 3-D/4-D data interaction and analysis, behavioral learning, fabrication of sensors, light field manipulation, and micro-display optics.  “New technologies and new paradigms of gaming will change the way researchers conduct their work by enabling immersive visualization and multi-dimensional interaction,” says MIT.nano Associate Director Brian W. Anthony. “This year’s funded projects highlight the wide range of topics that will be enhanced and influenced by augmented and virtual reality.” In addition to the sponsored research funds, each awardee will be given funds specifically to foster a community of collaborative users of MIT.nano’s Immersion Lab. The MIT.nano Immersion Lab Continue reading MIT.nano awards inaugural NCSOFT seed grants for gaming technologies

This flat structure morphs into shape of a human face when temperature changes

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have designed 3-D printed mesh-like structures that morph from flat layers into predetermined shapes, in response to changes in ambient temperature. The new structures can transform into configurations that are more complex than what other shape-shifting materials and structures can achieve. As a demonstration, the researchers printed a flat mesh that, when exposed to a certain temperature difference, deforms into the shape of a human face. They also designed a mesh embedded with conductive liquid metal, that curves into a dome to form an active antenna, the resonance frequency of which changes as it deforms. The team’s new design method can be used to determine the specific pattern of flat mesh structures to print, given the material’s properties, in order to make the structure transform into a desired shape. The researchers say that down the road, their technique may be used to design deployable structures, Continue reading This flat structure morphs into shape of a human face when temperature changes

NASA Hiring Engineers to Develop “Next Generation Humanoid Robot”

It’s been nearly six years since NASA unveiled Valkyrie, a state-of-the-art full-size humanoid robot. After the DARPA Robotics Challenge, NASA has continued to work with Valkyrie at Johnson Space Center, and has also provided Valkyrie robots to several different universities. Although it’s not a new platform anymore (six years is a long time in robotics), Valkyrie is still very capable, with plenty of potential for robotics research.  With that in mind, we were caught by surprise when over the last several months, Jacobs, a Dallas-based engineering company that appears to provide a wide variety of technical services to anyone who wants them, has posted several open jobs in need of roboticists in the Houston, Texas, area who are interested in working with NASA on “the next generation of humanoid robot.”