Tag Archives: MIT

Cutest Robot Of The Year Is Also An Indie Filmmaker

15 Mar

Meet Boxie:

This adorable little guy is a social, semi-autonomous robot, designed and built by Alexander Reben of MIT’s Media Lab. Boxie will roam up and down a hallway until it finds a human willing to answer a couple of questions — and star in a little film it’s making. Boxie is equipped with a cocktail of sensors so that it can navigate human spaces, and a camera mounted in its head allows it to record what it sees — such as your face when you’re talking to it.

To interact with Boxie, you press buttons on the side of its head, color-coded green and red for positive and negative responses, respectively. (You can see the red button hiding behind the flap of Boxie’s “ear” in the picture above.)

Sample questions include queries about what the human Boxie is addressing does, additional personal details you’d like to share with Boxie, as well as asking obliging bipeds to carry it around (an accelerometer inside Boxie lets it know when it’s being more or when it’s put back down). Oh, and as you’ll see in the video below, Boxie will also coerce you into dancing, and play some sweet music to help you get your groove on.

Like any respectful robotic filmmaker, Boxie will allow those who talk to it to opt out of the film it’s making, which Boxie plans to publish on the MIT Media Lab.

(via Kevin Hall of Dvice)

Science Quickies

9 Mar

And now, a round up of articles that I meant to get around to posting, but forgot about or got distracted, and decided that linking them would be way easier instead.

Creating art with sound and sand. Capturing the beauty of acoustic physics.

MIT students can now become pirates. Yaaaaarg.

6 Terrifying Creatures Science Just Discovered. I personally think the devil worm is amazing. Also, the article has a bit of a misleading statement: Cryptococcus gattii, as fellow mycology nerds will know, is not newly discovered. What they’re referencing is a relatively newly discovered strain of C. gattii, reported in 2010.

The newly discovered 42 foot, 1.3 ton ancient snake is actually pretty damn awesome, and I sorta want one. The picture comparing the vertebrae of it vs. an anaconda really shows you how big this snake was.  

Oldest Organism With Skeleton Discovered in Australia. Can we say d’awww?

Simply possessing an extra gene makes adorable lab mice thinner and cancer-free. Not your average cancer research article.

Lower jaw shape reflects dietary differences between human populations. Excuse me as I gratify my inner anthropology nerd.