Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is renowned for its innovative approach to education, giving students, faculty and alumni opportunities to experiment and excel in technologies of all kinds. Here are a few cool new things that the school is up to:
1. MIT’s bookstore, the MIT Coop, is now accepting bitcoins as payment for textbooks, clothing and other items offered on campus. To help get things started, MIT’s bitcoin club has raised a half-million dollars from alumni and other bitcoin users and plans to distribute $100 worth of bitcoin to each undergraduate student attending the school.
2. MIT’s Assistive Technology Club is running an Open Style Lab, bringing together design, occupational therapy and engineering students to create accessible clothing for the disabled. The mission: “To serve people with medical conditions that reduce their ability to independently dress themselves, or significantly limit the selection of clothing they can wear.”
3. MIT startup company, Ambri, is designing a low-cost, liquid metal battery which may “revolutionize the way the entire electric grid infrastructure is operated.” This type of technology could help stabilize energy availability and lower the cost of operations, making it a better option than the conventional plants.
4. MIT Connect, a new online portal showcasing all that the school is up to, is keeping prospective and current students better connected. This single site pulls together every social media post being made in connection with MIT into a single, well-designed online hub. With incredible visuals and better accessibility, parents and other interested parties can keep up with MIT’s social stream from their computer, tablet or smartphone.
5. MIT’s technology review team has Google revising its plans for a self-driving car. While the vehicles have so far successfully traveled over 700,000 miles, the technology’s reliance on maps and GPS could pose a problem. MIT researchers have asked the question of what happens when the vehicle comes to an unmapped area, or an issue arises with the map and the car gets the wrong destination. In response, Google’s car team announced that it is currently working on addressing such issues.