Sunday, December 15, 2013

Traveling: MIT Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA)

(Drivebycuriosity) - Do you like robots? If you come to Boston you might enjoy the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston USA ( The museum belongs to the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the gigantic U.S. scientific research centers.

They have now an exhibition of robots, like artificial arms and feet that are controlled by computers. The show refers to Prof. Norbert Wiener who taught at the MIT (wikipedia). This mathematician coined the term "cybernetics", about machines that control themselves with the help of sensors. You could find the basic idea in an air conditioning system, that might be set to keep the room temperature at 70 F. If its sensors show that the room is warmer than 70 F, than the system responds and starts to cool down, if the temperature falls below 70 F, the system responds again and starts warming. Self driving cars by Google are a more advanced example of such cybernetic systems.

Some of the displayed robots are cybernetic machines, that control themselves. This is a part of an ongoing program to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI), meaning highly complex software systems that can learn and maybe think like a human being.

Another exhibition shows kinetic art (through November 30, 2014). There you can see displays that are moving. Some are driven by motors others by impulses created by the visitors.

The museum also offers a collection of holograms that create fascinating 3-dimensional images.

Though March 17, 2014 you also can marvel at some photographs by Stanley Greenberg. The show is called "Time Machines" and takes a glance on some of the gigantic particle accelerators like the  "Large Hadron Collider (LHC)" in Geneva, Switzerland.


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