The Sensory City Philosopher

Prof. Carlo RATTI (MIT-DUSP) Ratti had met with fellow lab members to review their progress on the Roboat, one of their latest endeavors. Later this summer, in a collaboration with technologists in Amsterdam, they’ll deploy prototypes of the world’s first fleet of autonomous boats. These would not only transport goods and people on Amsterdam’s canals sans captain, but also gather remote environmental data and reassemble into bridges on command, Transformers-style. A model roughly the size of a large suitcase sat on the opposite wall, all translucent plastic and glittering motherboards. Roboat is a typical lab project in a couple of ways, first in that it is another entry into the “internet of things,” those blinking, scanning, wifi-connected objects that increasingly blanket our homes, cars, and public spaces. And second, the Roboat isn’t designed to solve anything, per se. It’s more like a proposal, with lots of different use cases.


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