I’m at the National Science Foundation in Washington, DC for the annual Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation meeting. Mark Yim gave the talk for our group, discussing progress on the Autonomously Reconfigurable Stochastic Factory. Robots building robots building robots. There are some amazing far-out projects here: attempts to reinvent the electrical grid, embed sensing in transportation systems, and map the brain. A lot of stem cell projects. Francisco Valero-Cuevas showed some research that uses a computational system to animate cadavers! But I’m surprised to see that the majority of the talks are sort of poorly presented with text-only powerpoints. Maybe this is where they send the projects that have cool ideas but not quite enough charisma for TED.