Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Dream Machine

PostedJune 22, 2018

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Lede: Creative people like Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Salvador Dali have said great ideas often came to them as they fell asleep.

Randy Atkins: That dreamy, semi-conscious period between being awake and asleep is called…

Adam Horowitz: …Hypnagogia. It’s a state of mind that we know is productive from people’s personal experience, but we haven’t figured out quite how to harness it.

Randy Atkins: Adam Horowitz, an MIT grad student, is engineering a way in. He’s part of team developing a device that’s strapped around two fingers and your wrist, monitoring when you’re in hypnagogia using known biological signals. It’s wirelessly connected to a small robot that can suggest a dream subject in your ear at just the right time, then…

Adam Horowitz: …lets you drop into stage two sleep just for a few minutes and then it wakes you up out of it and it reminds you that you’re dreaming and it asks you for a report.

Randy Atkins: The robot records your groggy, but potentially genius, thoughts for later playback and recollection. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.