I was in geek paradise this afternoon, and reveled in it. I visited CSAIL and the coolness of the cutting edge research that's going on at building 34 (I am @ MIT after all, of course I share a love for numbers with my fellow engineers :) took my breath away. The CSAIL lab is my Mecca - I became an engineer because I wanted to build robots and intelligent machines. It was good to be in my element after a long time, and it struck me how much I missed engineering and building cool things. The last time I built something really cool was when I designed a Lego Mindstorms robot to collect the dirty coffee mugs my room mate would leave strewn around our apartment. My co-bot (coffee-robot) would collect all the dirty mugs and move them to a spot I'd marked on the kitchen floor with reflective tape. Seems like a lifetime ago.
We visited Russ Tedrake's lab and saw autonomous flying robots and little dog. Robot locomotion has come such a long way since I was in grad school in 1998. I was incredibly impressed with Little Dog's obstacle detection and circumvention mechanisms. It left me longing to pursue a PhD @ CSAIL after the MBA.. I suspect I would be very happy if I became a lifer at MIT, the place just inspires me.
How any of this relates to entrepreneurship - I wonder if there are formal channels available to commercialize the research that comes out of CSAIL. I intend to find out. Stay tuned for the answer.