MIT Media Lab


The Media Lab, located in building E14, is dedicated to the betterment of humanity in all senses. They want to improve how people live, learn, express themselves, work and play. The internal architecture of the building itself encourages sharing, as the open atrium and all-glass walls allow views through the entire building via cubicles, labs, and offices. No secrets allowed in the Media Lab. Everyone can see you!

The Media Lab’s mission is fairly simple: to invent the future. They are using cutting edge technologies to create possibilities for new industries. One of the recent, and most notable inventions to come out of this building was the human-gaited mechanical prosthetic ankle, or biomechatronic foot, if you prefer the technical term. The design for this new prosthetic is adjusted from normal prostheses by allowing the tendon-like springs to bounce like a normal person, as well as employing special materials to maximize the comfort of the prosthetic where it meets the leg. Double amputees, like project lead Hugh Herr, can walk again with less effort and hardly visible differences in their stride.

Other notable inventions that were created or conceived inside this building: Google Street View, E-ink (for your Kindle or e-reader to look like paper), cars that fold in half to help with parking, and the crazy screen you see Tom Cruise using in Minority Report. Anything is possible!