129 stories
Boston Crunch
This year's TechCrunch Boston Meetup and Pitchoff features a roster of cool startups
(image via Mike Schneider -@schneidermike)
On Thursday evening, 10 local startups will take the stage at the Boston TechCrunch Meetup + Pitchoff to compete for a spot at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York City. TechCrunch's East Coast editor John Biggs and reporter Jordan Crook will be in town for the event, which is co-hosted by VentureFizz, NextView Ventures, and General Assembly, and will be held at The Estate. Read More
a three dimensional education
NVBOTS raises $2 million to bring a 3-D printing curriculum to schools
Samples of 3-D printed objects that teachers can use in their lesson plans. (Photo via NVBots)
Many educators agree that teaching STEM subjects requires hands-on, experiential education (as opposed to "teaching to the test"). But the tools and materials they need to do so are often too costly or too scarce in the budget-stretched world of education. Boston-based NVBOTS, a MassChallenge alum with roots at MIT, provides one solution for schools struggling to fund hands-on experiences in subjects like physics, biology, and math. The company has created a 3-D printing system for schools that includes printer hardware, software that's easy to use, and printing materials like plastic. Their goal is to make it simple for teachers to integrate 3-D printing into their regular classroom activities. Read More
Innovation Economy
A star still waiting to be born in Kendall Square
Halls - Color
If you last visited Kendall Square 10 years ago and returned to the Cambridge neighborhood today, you’d think Jack had sprinkled around a bushel of magic beans. New buildings have sprouted, bars and restaurants have opened, and an East Coast Google campus has been completed. You can even ice skate in the winter or rent a kayak in the summer. But one thing that hasn’t changed is Glenn KnicKrehm’s empty gravel lot in the heart of the square. The precious acre of property is still surrounded by chain-link fence, and KnicKrehm is still spinning his vision of building a $300 million arts and culture complex called the Constellation Center. Read more in my latest Innovation Economy column in The Boston Globe.    
Robots on demand
Uber's partnership with CMU brings the future of robot taxis into focus
Mercedes-Benz demoed its autonomous concept car during the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 5, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
In success or scandal, Uber's drivers play a central role in defining the company's identity. On Wednesday, Governor Charlie Baker announced an intention to develop clearer licensing rules for such services to operate within Massachusetts. But one day, Uber may be able to skirt these altogether by removing the driver from the equation. This week the company announced a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, a pioneering center for autonomous vehicles research. Word is, Google is planning a competing service of its own. Read More
Strength in numbers
MIT's entry in Dubai's 'Drones For Good' contest is a drone swarm that can land on water
The Waterfly drones represent a future where swarms of robots can fly together, land in water, sample it to detect algae or contaminants, and take off once again. (Image: Senseable City Labs)
When a team from MIT's Senseable City Lab flew to Dubai this weekend to participate in Drones for Good, a contest hosted by the UAE government, they brought a swarm of five amphibious drones in tow. Their project, dubbed "Waterfly," mimics a swarm of dragonflies. Each Frisbee-like device is just over four pounds, and together, they can communicate with each other, fly collaboratively, and land on bodies of water to collect samples for environmental testing. The team will have them on display at the contest semifinals this week at Dubai's Internet City. Read More
too hot to handle
Remember that time Mayor Curley asked MIT for flamethrowers to melt the snow?
The year 1948 was a bit of a doozy in terms of snowfall in the Commonwealth, with record-setting numbers logged after several storms. But after the city of Boston was pummeled with 89.2 inches, Mayor James Curley sent a letter to the president of MIT asking for help. Would the Institute please ready a flame-throwing apparatus to get rid of the stuff when it melted? Read More