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Why MIT Students Are Living in a Box This Weekend

Five MIT students are working around the clock to innovate solutions to a problem.

While they may be thinking outside the box, they're working, eating and sleeping inside a glass box on MIT's campus.

"We decided to do this crazy event, like, we're going to place glass cubes, open the doors to innovation, put bright minds into a box, you give them a challenge and see what comes out," said MIT masters student Signe Lin Vehusheia, who's helping to oversee the project.

It's part of the second annual global "hack-a-thon" called "InCube."

MIT's is the first cube in the U.S. – partnering with Michigan-based medical technology company Stryker to solve a problem.

"We collectively thought about a problem, an unmet need that we could solve together, and that was to reimagine the ambulance of the future," said Bijoy Sagar of Stryker.

So while the students are tasked with trying to figure out a more efficient and effective way for ambulances to operate to try to improve survivability for people in need of emergency care, they can solicit ideas from MIT students, professors and even medical professionals.

"I think it's a great opportunity, especially they can get the feedback of people passing by," said Pam Difraia of MIT's Koch Institute.

"It seems like a very MIT thing to do," added freshman Holly Jackson.

"It's pretty crazy. I think it's awesome," Heather Huckins of the Koch Institute said. "It's a different way of trying to get together to figure out something."

And it could lead to real-world solutions outside the cube.

"I'm really excited to find out what they come up with and maybe some of those ideas will go into our products and our services and we can then work with healthcare providers to make this a better outcome for the patient," Sagar said.

The students will be in the cube until about noon on Monday, when they will present their ideas to the judges and a winner will be announced.

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