Researchers at MIT have discovered a way to move objects as heavy as a large white shark with their own hands. Take a look.


The rotating structures of Matter Design.

Matter Design and CEMEX Global R & D

  • Researchers at MIT have discovered a way to move heavy objects like a great white shark with their own hands.
  • One of the researchers, Brandon Clifford, recently launched the TED 2019 conference.
  • The key is to take advantage of the same methods used by ancient civilizations to build Stonehenge and Easter Island.
  • Clifford said his building blocks could last for an eternity.
  • Visit the Business Insider SA page for more stories.

The megalithic structures at Stonehenge have promised visitors for centuries, but scholars are still working to find out how they got there in the first place.

With an average weight of 25 tons per stone, it seems almost inconceivable that humans could carry it on their own, but a group of MIT researchers used a concealed construction method that made it all possible.

In 2014, researchers at the Matter Design design lab began to study how ancient civilizations built giant structures such as Easter Island and the Egyptian pyramids. Using stones that have the correct density and center of mass, they found that humans can actually move objects as heavy as a large white shark with their own hands.

The videos of the lab show people spinning gigantic stones that seem light as a feather, or mounting objects on stairs without the help of trucks or cranes.

To determine which building materials to use or where to place the center of mass, Matter Design relies on a computer algorithm. When the algorithm identifies a formula that does not work in real life, researchers can make adjustments to ensure that the object is mobile to humans.

"Of course there are many fights along the way," said Brandon Clifford, one of the partners in the lab, to Business Insider.

"[But] as we are projecting the element, we can always ensure that the center of mass is pulled to where it needs to go. "

Recently, Clifford debuted the lab's findings at the TED 2019 conference, which this year focuses on bigger ideas than life. He said the project could change the future of construction by allowing companies to build without cranes, which are often expensive or difficult to access.

In the future, companies will also be able to avoid the total demolition of structures. While the typical commercial building is designed to last about 30 to 60 years, Matter Design's structures can last forever, Clifford said. They can also be disassembled to form new configurations.

"We're trying to think not just about the end product, but elements that you can deploy around the world," said Clifford. "The project is not limited in scale."

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