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The iconic MIT home page Spotlight features a daily-changing image and design that focuses on advances in research, technology and education taking place at the Institute. Though some Spotlights do run multiple days - for example Friday's spot usually runs through the weekend, we work very hard to maintain the daily-changing tradition. We've combed our servers and have compiled a digital archive of the Institute home page through the years - well over 2000 images. Enjoy!
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Cephalopod camouflageToday’s Spotlight features an image courtesy of the researchers. It shows textures (top) and fluorescent light (bottom) produced by a new synthetic elastomer material that can mimic some of the camouflage abilities of octopuses and other cephalopods.

Cephalopods, which include octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish, are among nature’s most skillful camouflage artists, able to change both the color and texture of their skin within seconds to blend into their surroundings — a capability that engineers have long struggled to duplicate in synthetic materials. Now a team of researchers has come closer than ever to achieving that goal, creating a flexible material that can change its color or fluorescence and its texture at the same time, on demand, by remote control.

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The MIT home page Spotlight showcases the research, technology and education advances taking place at the Institute every day.

What makes it as a Spotlight image is an editorial decision by the MIT News Office based on factors that include timeliness, promotion of MIT's mission, the balance of interest to both internal and external audiences, and appropriateness.

We do welcome ideas and submissions for spotlights from community members, but please note we are not able to accommodate all requests. We are unable to run event previews or promotions as spotlights; for those looking to promote an event, we are happy to include your listing as an event headline on the homepage (when space is available). For more information, e-mail the spotlight team.

Request a Spotlight or Event Headline, here.
Special delivery

Special delivery

Today’s Spotlight, by Christine Daniloff/MIT, features a photograph of a quadrotor carrying a package that is courtesy of the researchers.

In the near future, the package that you ordered online may be deposited at your doorstep by a drone. To ensure safe, timely, and accurate delivery, drones will have to be able to deal with a degree of uncertainty in responding to, say, a shift in position due to winds, sensor measurement errors, or a drop in fuel — but such “what-if” planning typically requires massive computation, which can be difficult to perform on the fly.

Now MIT researchers have come up with a two-pronged approach that significantly reduces the computation associated with lengthy delivery missions.

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