An integrated system for perception-driven autonomy with modular robots

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The theoretical ability of modular robots to reconfigure in response to complex tasks in a priori unknown environments has frequently been cited as an advantage and remains a major motivator for work in the field. We present a modular robot system capable of autonomously completing high-level tasks by reactively reconfiguring to meet the needs of a perceived, a priori unknown environment. The system integrates perception, high-level planning, and modular hardware and is validated in three hardware demonstrations. Given a high-level … Read more

Automated system identifies dense tissue, a risk factor for breast cancer, in mammograms

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Researchers from MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have developed an automated model that assesses dense breast tissue in mammograms — which is an independent risk factor for breast cancer — as reliably as expert radiologists. This marks the first time a deep-learning model of its kind has successfully been used in a clinic on real patients, according to the researchers. With broad implementation, the researchers hope the model can help bring greater reliability to breast density assessments across the nation. … Read more

Machine-learning system tackles speech and object recognition, all at once

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MIT computer scientists have developed a system that learns to identify objects within an image, based on a spoken description of the image. Given an image and an audio caption, the model will highlight in real-time the relevant regions of the image being described. Unlike current speech-recognition technologies, the model doesn’t require manual transcriptions and annotations of the examples it’s trained on. Instead, it learns words directly from recorded speech clips and objects in raw images, and associates them with … Read more

Artificial intelligence system uses transparent, human-like reasoning to solve problems

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A child is presented with a picture of various shapes and is asked to find the big red circle. To come to the answer, she goes through a few steps of reasoning: First, find all the big things; next, find the big things that are red; and finally, pick out the big red thing that’s a circle. We learn through reason how to interpret the world. So, too, do neural networks. Now a team of researchers from MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Intelligence … Read more

Tested: How Dynamic Vibration System adds a new dimension to gaming

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To get the verdict on DVS and gaming we recruited, mobile, gaming, and all-round tech guru Tom Wiggins to put the feature through its paces. Tom, over to you… Mobile phones have been vibrating since the mid-nineties, but until Sony’s Xperia XZ2 came along, they did little more than discreetly let you know when you had a text or a call coming in. But Sony’s latest smartphone comes with one particular feature that sets it apart from the crowd:  Dynamic … Read more

Quadrotor Safety System Stops Propellers Before You Lose a Finger

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With spinning hoops to detect obstacles combined with electromagnetic braking, this quadrotor safety system is both effective and cheap Photo: Evan Ackerman/IEEE Spectrum Quadrotors have a reputation for being both fun and expensive, but it’s not usually obvious how dangerous they can be. While it’s pretty clear from the get-go th… IEEE Spectrum Robotics