It’s time to recognize the trusty sidekicks to this year’s important stories, without which, technology news would be a whole lot less mesmerizing.
2016 was a big year for technology—virtual reality got more hands-on, robots got a lot smarter, and researchers learned how to study individual human cells with unparalleled precision. How best to visualize some of these wonders? With mesmerizing GIFs. Here are the best ones used in MIT Technology Review articles this year.
The good news: work on housecleaning robots is underway. The bad news: it’s slow going.
A researcher demonstrates a cleaning technique for the robot.
The robot learns on its own how to use that cleaning technique with new tools and new messes.
The billionaire is the first major donor to back the idea of creating an atlas of all human cells.
Individual cells can be studied by capturing them in micro-droplets, such as inside this microfluidic channel.
The manufacturing giant put a $73 million R&D facility next to a 48-year-old turbine factory. The goal is better, faster innovation through processes like additive manufacturing.
GE demonstrates its additive manufacturing process.
New hand controllers make virtual reality much more compelling.
Touch controllers bring your hands into virtual reality.
By putting Boston Dynamics up for sale, the search giant may be acknowledging how hard it is to turn impressive humanoid robots into a viable product.
A big part of the garment-making process is still done by hand. Now some clothing makers hope to end that.
Just add water. That’s the appeal of a new freeze-dry method that turns DNA and other molecules into small reaction pellets needed to make a wide range of pharmaceuticals.
Adam Bry's company, Skydio, is "building a drone for consumers that understands the physical world, reacts to you intelligently, and can use that information to make decisions."
Fanuc, a company that produces robot arms for factories, is trying to get them to learn on the job.