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Press Release 12-188
2012 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Awardees Announced

MABEL bipedal robot, a novel ultralight metal, and an "around-the-corner" camera are NSF-supported technologies

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Image of the bipedal robot MABEL.

Jessy Grizzle of the University of Michigan and Jonathan Hurst of Oregon State University received a Popular Mechanics Innovator Award for their team's development of the MABEL bipedal robot. With a faster and smoother gait than any robot of its kind, MABEL is breaking new ground in robotics.

Credit: Rose Anderson and Catharine June, University of Michigan


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Image showing the experimental setup of the CORNAR system.

Experimental setup of the CORNAR system developed for capturing images of obscured objects using ultra-fast image processing for images created by reflected laser light. The research was conducted by Christopher Barsi, Moungi Bawendi, Otkrist Gupta and Ramesh Raskar of the MIT Media Lab and colleagues Andreas Velten of the Univ. of Wisconsin, Thomas Willwacher of Harvard University, and Ashok Veeraraghavan of Rice University, and the team recently won a Popular Mechanics Breakthrough award for their work.

Credit: Setup by Andreas Velten, photos taken by Christopher Barsi; MIT


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Photo of Caltech materials science expert Julia Greer holding micro-lattice ultralight metal.

Caltech materials science expert Julia Greer holding the product of her lab's research: two polymer micro-truss skeletons topped by a smaller, hollow nickel-phosphorous micro-truss. Greer and her collaborators Lorenzo Valdevit of University of California, Irvine, and Alan Jacobson, William Carter, and Toby Schaedler at Malibu, Calif., based HRL Laboratories received a Popular Mechanics Innovator Award for their team's development of micro-lattice ultralight metal.

Credit: Caltech photo by Lance Hayashida


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