Last weekend in Boston for my dear friend’s wedding we had a few hours to kill before our flight home, so we stopped by the MIT Museum to hang out with some robots. Josh is an alumnus, so he gets free admission +1. Students, meanwhile, have to pay $5! Stay in school, kids.

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A LISP machine! You may remember Lisp from that Wizard book.

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I didn’t get a picture of the Black Falcon, but you can see it with its creator here. I was struck by the violent words and imagery used to design this “tool for minimally invasive surgery.” This is a tool for helping people, for saving lives, yet it looks like a gun and is described in terms of master/slave technologies. I wonder if a team of students designing such a device today would consider design elements and description to better suit the intended purpose.

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Pebbles, perhaps a precursor to the Mars Curiosity rover?

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Kismet, the sociable robot (inspired by kids)!

A video posted by @marythought on

The entire Arthur Ganson room was amazing, and I particularly liked this piece featuring a wishbone (or a “merrythought“) pulling an elaborate machine behind it. This is how I feel all the time.

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How kids and adults (presumably) view robot potential! Homework producers and dog walkers. Sign me up for both.

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This is cheating, because it’s not from the MIT Museum at all, rather from “The Martian” during the flight home. I just want to point out that computing never (rarely?) works this way. Unless you’re using Test Driven Development to rescue your fallen comrade on Mars, in which case, high-five!

Wedding #latergram

A photo posted by @marythought on


Bonus pic, Josh and I clean up nice!

The MIT museum is $10 general admission and well worth a visit if you’re in the area. It’s near a place named Dumpling Room that I wish I’d had the appetite for at the time, and Toscanini’s ice cream for dessert.