MIT stories

 
15-year-old Kelvin Doe lives in Sierra Leone. Electricity in his area is erratic, only turning on a handful of times each month. What can you do? Well, this very clever teen went about finding a solution and he ended up building a battery to power his family home.
 
For all our advances in science and technology, the inner workings of the human brain remain largely a mystery when it comes to some of our habits and addictions. But a new research study from MIT has offered new insight into how we might be able to directly control those habits with simple bursts of light.
 
It's one of those nagging problems science has yet to solve: how do we save Earth if one of our asteroid neighbors starts heading our way? We've noodled everything from tractor beam, lasers, and even nuking them Armageddon style. A new proposal joining the chorus suggests hitting asteroids with white paintballs could do the trick — first by steering them off course with the force of impact, then by using the force of reflected sunlight bouncing off the paint to slowly move the offender out of the way.
 
Satellites, like the people who make them, come in all shapes and sizes. Their parts do as well. And while some thrusters are large and impressive, some satellites need smaller ones. So Paulo Lozano at MIT decided to build a rocket thruster the size of a penny.
 
Remember the chase scene in Evil Dead 2, where the titular dead hunted Bruce Campbell all through the inside of the cabin? Well MIT's Robust Robotics Lab has successfully reenacted that scene using a camera mounted on a small robotic plane that is able to autonomously fly indoors and maneuver around obstacles.
 
Thirsty? No? You will be. It's just a matter of time. It's also just a matter of time until the expansion of humanity makes fresh water a more precious commodity than a new iPhone, but graphene sheets with lots of little holes in them could soon solve the problem by making fresh water from salt water with incredible efficiency.
 
Do you ever watch your local TV weather report and find yourself overcome with excruciating jealousy due to the fact you don't have your own personal Doppler radar? Of course you do. It's a normal reaction. Why do they get all that neat radar gear while you remain utterly blind to the velocities at which clouds — let alone everyday objects — are speeding to or away from you?

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