Showing posts with label Darpa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Darpa. Show all posts

Friday, March 28, 2014

No Pentagon Money For Google's Robot Program

Google Rejects Military Funding In Robotics -- Defense Tech

Google doesn’t want the U.S. military’s money.

Even though the Internet search giant owns two companies that have contracts with the Pentagon, Google is choosing to forego military funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in at least one robotic competition.

Google bought the robotics firm Schaft that had developed a bipedal robot that won DARPA’s Robotics Challenge. The competition asked companies to develop a robot that could perform disaster response tasks to include navigating debris, climbing ladders and turning off a valve.

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My Comment: Too bad .... without this cooperation U.S. troops will probably not be able to benefit from this cooperation.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

DARPA's X-Plane Concepts Revealed

Phantom Swift, built by Boeing, features two large lift fans ¿ inside the fuselage ¿ that provide efficient vertical lift. Once the aircraft transitions to cruise mode, the fans are covered. It also features smaller ducted fans on the wingtips that provide forward thrust, and provide additional lift and control in hover.

The X-Plane Revealed: US Military Concepts That Can Fly Like A Plane And Hover Like a Helicopter -- Daily Mail

* Four companies have been chosen to develop concepts
* A winner is expected to be chosen in 2015 - with the first test flights scheduled for 2017
* Will be able to fly as fast as a conventional plane, but land anywhere like a helicopter

The US Military has revealed plans for a radical new type of military aircraft - which can take off and land like a helicopter, but fly like a plane.

Called the VTOL X-Plane, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded four firms contracts to develop concept planes.

It is hoped they will begin flight tests in 2017, and be able to fly as fast as a conventional plane, but also land anywhere like a helicopter.

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More News On The X-Plane

X Plane: One step closer to the next military breakthrough -- FOX News
Futuristic Vertical-Flight Aircraft Move Closer to Reality -- NBC
With VTOL X-Planes, DARPA aims for a futuristic lift -- CNet
DARPA contracts for experimental VTOL aircraft design -- UPI
Radical X-Plane Concepts Taking Shape -- Discovery
DARPA's New X-Planes Won't Need Runways—Or Pilots -- Motherboard
Darpa Awards Final VTOL X-Plane Contracts -- AIN Online
US Department of Defense Launches Programme to Improve Unmanned Vertical-Flight Aircraft -- IBTimes
DARPA developing ‘radical’ copter/plane hybrid -- Defense Systems
DARPA awards Phase 1 contracts for VTOL X-Plane program -- Gizmag

My Comment: These concepts look like they came from a Terminator movie.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Darpa Wants To Put Lasers On Fighter Jets

DARPA Putting Laser Turrets On Fighter Jets Next Year -- DVice

Our first foray into laser-equipped combat aircraft was the Airborne Laser Testbed, a Boeing 747 with a gigantic chemically-pumped megawatt laser turret in its nose. It was pretty awesome from a conceptual standpoint, but it didn't work very well, and was scrapped last year.

This doesn't mean that the idea of high-powered lasers on aircraft doesn't make a lot of sense, and DARPA is still for ways to make it work. It's working on two at the moment: the High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS), and Aero-Adaptive/Aero-Optic Beam Control (ABC).  

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More News On DARPA Wanting To Put Laser Weapons On Fighter Jets

US Military Will Install Laser Turrets on Bombers and Fighter Jets -- Gizmodo
U.S. fighter jets to use Star Wars-style onboard laser weapons by 2014 -- Science Recorder
DARPA plans to put laser turrets on fighter jets in 2014 -- Slash Gear
Pentagon wants laser weapons on fighter jets -- TG Daily
The Pentagon Plans To Test More Airborne Laser Weapons As Soon As Next Year -- Popular Science Lasers on planes to be tested by US military -- Global Post

Friday, January 4, 2013

What's On Darpa's 2013 Wish List?

U.S. Navy Diver DARPA wants a new dive suit that automatically monitors the diver's physiology and adjusts his or her air mixture accordingly. U.S. Navy

On DARPA's 2013 Wish List: Extreme Diving, Portable Brain Reading, And Gravity Vision -- Popular Science

The Pentagon's mad scientists want to bring brain scans to the smartphone, swarming satellites to space, and self-healing software everywhere.

DARPA solicitation days are like Christmas morning for technology nerds, occasions whose bounty defense tech geeks look forward to precisely because we have no idea what we are going to get. And in case you thought DARPA might scale back its far-out R&D ambitions in light of impending defense budget cuts, be advised: the DoD’s blue-sky researchers fear no fiscal cliff (in fact, it has likely already developed a self-assembling hypersonic vehicle that will automatically scramjet the agency to safety should any cliff, fiscal or otherwise, be autonomously detected). So what does DARPA want in 2013? Read on.

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My Comment: I call this the "golly-gee' stuff from Popular Science.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Darpa Is Still Developing Robots

Meet ‘Robbie’: Darpa’s Seeing, Feeling, Two-Armed Robot -- Danger Room

It’s only been three months since the Pentagon’s latest robot — the one able to staple paperwork and answer phone calls with a single autonomous arm — demonstrated some of those amazing skills. Now, the freaky humanoid ‘bot is back. And this time, he has two arms. And a name.

Meet Robbie. This particular robot was designed by RE2, a robotics firm in Pittsburgh, which showed him off to IEEE Spectrum at their International Conference on Robotics and Automation last week. RE2 was one of six teams initially contracted by Darpa, the Pentagon’s robo-loving research agency, to work on their Autonomous Robotic Manipulation (ARM) program. Launched two years ago, the program aims to develop robots that can perform complex tasks with minimal input from their human overlords.

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My Comment: I guess this program stems from the military's dream of having their terminator robots.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Why Did Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle Test Failed?

An artist's rendering of the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2. (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency / April 20, 2012)

Pentagon Releases Results Of 13,000-Mph Test Flight Over Pacific -- L.A. Times

The results are in from last summer’s attempt to test new technology that would provide the Pentagon with a lightning-fast vehicle, capable of delivering a military strike anywhere in the world in less than an hour.

In August the Pentagon's research arm, known as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, carried out a test flight of an experimental aircraft capable of traveling at 20 times the speed of sound.

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Update: DARPA releases cause of hypersonic glider anomaly -- AP

My Comment: Now we know why the test failed .... but with no money in the budget for additional tests, it looks like this research is going to be put on hold for now.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Latest Advancements To The Military Robot (And Family) Designed To Replicate A Human

Climbing Stairs And Push Ups: The Latest Advancements To The Military Robot (And Family) Designed To Replicate A Human -- Daily Mail

What could be more intimidating than a military-crafted robot? How about one that can walk on two legs and in its latest advancement, do push ups and climb stairs?

With funding by the US Department of Defense's Advanced Research Project Agency the walking two-legged PETMAN humanoid robot has been advanced to do just that - and quite possibly faster than many Americans can, while certainly not expressing their fatigue.

Read more

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Pentagon Wants Augmented Reality Displays

Startup Innovega will supply augmented-reality contact lenses and glasses to DARPA.
(Credit: Innovega)

Pentagon Eyes Augmented Reality Displays -- CNET

DARPA orders prototypes of Innovega's iOptik displays that use special contact lenses so a person can focus both on images shown on the lenses and far-away objects for augmented reality.

The Defense Department has reportedly ordered augmented-reality displays from startup Innovega, only a week after Google disclosed its own augmented-reality project.

Bellevue, Wash.-based Innovega has signed a contract to supply the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) with a prototype of its iOptik spectacles and accompanying contact lenses, Innovega's CEO Steve Willey told the BBC. The augmented-reality system could improve the awareness of soldiers in the field, he said.

Read more

My Comment: This is far-out-there stuff.

More here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

DARPA Wants Humanoid Robots

DARPA's Robotics Challenge is a contest to design robots for dangerous disaster relief situations from natural or industrial disasters. (Credit: DARPA)

Disaster Zone Robot Competition Announced By Pentagon -- BBC

A competition to develop next-generation robots capable of saving lives in disaster zones has been unveiled by the Pentagon's advanced research laboratory.

Darpa says it wants "adaptable robots with the ability to use human tools - from hand tools to vehicles".

It plans to hold a series of emergency response physical challenges.

A $2m (£1.3m) prize is being offered to the team with the best technology. The competition begins in October.

The agency says it hopes software engineers, video game developers and other experts from fields outside robotics will take part "to increase the diversity of innovative solutions".

Read more ....

More News On DARPA's Quest For A Humanoid Robot

US military offers millions for the first humanoid robot -- MSNBC
Seeking Robots to Go Where First Responders Can’t -- New York Times
DARPA Wants Humanoid Robots That Can Drive Tractors, Open Doors and Save the Day -- Popular Science
DARPA: Build us robots that drive -- and use power tools -- CNET
DARPA Seeking to Build (Friendly) Terminators -- PC Mag
The U.S military wants YOU, to build a humanoid robot -- Ubergizmo
DARPA Challenge Seeks Robots To Drive Into Disasters -- Information Week
DARPA wants rescue robots, offers $2M prize -- TG Daily
Humanoid Robots DARPA Hopes Will Save Human Lives -- Atlantic Wire
DARPA's Next Grand Challenge - Humanoid Robots -- The Future Of Things
DARPA's next Grand Challenge to focus on humanoid robots -- Endgadget
Pentagon eyes 'human like' handyman robots: But why? -- RT

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Here Comes The Humanoid Robots

As if existing robots, like the Army's Battlefield Extraction Assist Robot (BEAR), weren't humanoid enough -- Darpa wants next-gen robots to resemble us even more. Photo: U.S. Army

Military Wants Humanoid Robots In The Driver's Seat -- MSNBC/Innovation

New job demands include steering a vehicle and climbing a ladder.

A U.S. military agency once focused on self-driving robot cars has turned its attention to humanoid robots that could roam tomorrow's battlefields. An upcoming announcement suggests the military wants robots that can steer a vehicle from the driver's seat, use a key to open a locked door, climb a ladder and perform handyman repairs.

The robots must also have the brains to carry out their jobs with only loose supervision from humans, based on the unofficial leak of a new Grand Challenge for humanoid robots hosted by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Such details emerged from a talk by Gill Pratt of DARPA at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Industry Day held on March 20, according to the robotic news portal Hizook.

Read more

More News On The U.S. Military wanting Humanoid Robots

DARPA seeks humanoid robots in Grand Challenge -- CNET
Darpa’s Next Grand Challenge: Build Us Lifelike, Humanoid Robots -- Danger Room
Humanoid Robot Creation Becomes New Focus for DARPA -- Tech & Biz
DARPA Wants Humanoid Robots That Can Drive Tractors, Open Doors and Save the Day -- Popular Science
Pentagon eyes 'human like' handyman robots: But why? -- RT
DARPA's next Grand Challenge to focus on humanoid robots -- Endgadget
The U.S military wants YOU, to build a humanoid robot -- Ubergizmo
New DARPA Grand Challenge to make humanoid robots -- Next Big Future

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Former DARPA Chief Talks At TED

Former DARPA Chief Regina Dugan Talks Hypersonic Gilders and Hummingbirds at TED -- Popular Science

PopSci’s favorite DARPA head turned Google exec has done her turn at TED, and the video has just hit the wires. Titled “From Mach-20 Glider to Hummingbird Drone,” Dugan’s theme of discouraging the fear of failure is a retrospective on DARPA’s technological milestones and how the nerds at DARPA reached them by believing in impossible things.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DARPA Wants Swarms of Cheap And Disposable Satellites

SeeMe Satellites The SeeMe program would give warfighters the ability to receive timely imagery of their specific overseas location directly from a small satellite, all at the press of a button. DARPA

DARPA Wants Swarms of Cheap, Disposable Satellites That Take Pictures On Demand -- Popular Science

Warfighters have plenty of eyes in the sky, with a massive drone fleet and a satellite network that can spot their locations on the ground. But satellites are only helpful when they’re overhead, and battlefield situations can’t wait for orbital physics. To solve this problem, DARPA wants a swarm of cheap satellites nestled between the big ones up above and the aerial drones down below. The satellite swarm would be positioned in tactical orbits and able to send a space-based image back to any individual who wants a picture.

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My Comment: This is taking surveillance and reconnaissance to an entirely different level.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Darpa's Robot Sets Racing Record

Video: Darpa’s Robotic Cheetah Sets Racing Record -- Danger Room

Trust me, gym rat. Your outrageously badass treadmill workout has nothing on this.

The Pentagon’s far-out research agency, Darpa, has just released a new video of its Cheetah ‘bot — designed to mimic the rapid movements of cheetahs, the speediest animals in nature — absolutely killing it on a laboratory treadmill.

Read more

My Comment: That's fast .... and I am sure with time they will develop new robots that will be even faster.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Find The U.S. Military's Hidden QR Codes

Find The Military's Hidden QR Codes And Rake In $40,000 -- MSNBC/Innovation

You'll likely need your social media networks for scavenger hunt contest already under way.

Got a smartphone? You can win up to $40,000 if you're first to find all of the U.S. military's special QR codes hidden across the continental United States. But the huge geographical scope of the contest means that people will probably need to turn to their social media networks to find all the codes.

There's a reason why the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to watch code hunters collaborate on Facebook and Twitter. It planned out the " DARPA CLIQR Quest " as a real-life game to simulate how the public can help find essential resources during national emergencies — a very real concern for the military when responding to humanitarian crises or disasters such as the Haiti earthquake of 2010.

Read more

DARPA Launches QR-Locating Game As Test Of Distributed Resource Gathering -- Tech Crunch

My Comment: My prediction .... a winner will be announced very soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DARPA's Plan To Revolutionize Auto Manufacturing

Adaptive Vehicle Make: DARPA's Plan To Revolutionize Auto Manufacturing -- Popular Mechanics

The Pentagon's mad scientists aim to throw out the way vehicles are currently built and replace it with a model in which parts could be 3D-printed, designs will be entirely digital, and the wisdom of the crowd will design the military's next vehicle.
The defense research group DARPA wants better vehicles, and it wants them faster and cheaper. To make it happen, the Pentagon's mad scientists are taking a cue from computer-circuit builders.

During the 1980s, the integrated-circuit-manufacturing industry began a sea change away from the traditional manufacturing model: Design was separated from manufacturing as a stand-alone function, with designers outsourcing manufacturing to dedicated fabrication plants, or fabs. The result has been an industry more responsive to the rapid pace of innovation that we all know and love today.

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My Comment: So much for making the simple jeep.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Darpa's Budget Spared From Drastic Cuts

Darpa Dodges Obama Budget Death Ray, Keeps Its $2.8 Billion -- The Danger Room

For most of the U.S. military’s far-flung community of scientists and engineers, Monday was a day to pop a Xanax. Not only did the Defense Department announce a cut of more than $2 billion from is research and development budget for next year, but the Pentagon also said it would slow down production of new ships, spy drones, stealth jets, and combat vehicles — leaving a military that’s a bit creakier and older than before, and threatening the funding of thousands in the slide-rule set. Gulp.

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More News On Darpa's Budget

DARPA's budget haircut only a light trim -- Defense Systems
Darpa dodges Obama’s budget cuts -- Smart Planet
DARPA's budget and projects for Fiscal year 2013 -- Next Big Future

My Comment: No budget cuts for now .... but if sequestration comes into play, expect a slash and burn situation when it comes to all budgets .... Darpa's included.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Evolution Of Micro-Air-Vehicles (MAV)

Cyborg Beetle Aktakka, et al. via PhysOrg

Scientists Fit Cyborg Beetles With Generators That Turn Their Own Wings Into Power Plants -- Popular Science

No more battery-driven bugs for DARPA.

For years now, DARPA and other free-thinking research institutions have been developing micro-air-vehicles (MAV), usually modeled after insects. But building a tiny, lightweight flying robot is tough when you need a power supply--like an onboard battery--to keep the MAV flying. Then researchers turned to insect mind control--implanting live insects with machinery that lets humans manipulate their movements--but the problem remained: neural control hardware requires a battery to run.

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My Comment: The tools for surveillance are getting smaller and smaller.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The U.S. Military Wants To Reach The Stars

Space Travel: Finding The Technology To Traverse The Stars -- L.A. Times

The research-and-development arm of the U.S. military is launching a 100-Year Starship Study to find the technologies necessary for interstellar travel.

What will it take to build a spaceship capable of traveling to the stars? And what if you wanted it to be ready to launch in just 100 years?

It may sound like the premise of a science fiction show or reality TV series. But these are serious questions being asked by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the research-and-development arm of the U.S. military.

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My Comment: This is $500,000 that we will never see again.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Evolution of DARPA's Robotic Hummingbird

Video: The Evolution of DARPA's Robotic Hummingbird, From Start to Finish -- Popular Science

Of all the DARPA projects we follow here at PopSci--and regular readers know that we follow a lot of them--perhaps none has been quite so fascinating as the Nano Air Vehicle (NAV) program, a.k.a. the robotic hummingbird, which culminated earlier this year in a working prototype. So you can imagine our delight when DARPA released this short video chronicling the bird’s journey from drawing board to early prototype to crash test dummy to eventual functioning, camera-equipped nano air vehicle that fits in the palm of a hand.

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My Comment: I can easily see soldiers having this tech in their arsenal 5 years (or more) from now.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Darpa Is Looking At Young Minds For New Ideas

FIRST Robotics Competition Taking a cue from the FIRST Robotics Competition, DARPA is offering prize-based challenges to inspire high school students to design new robots. FIRST

Seeking New Defense Robots, Darpa Gives Fabrication Technology To High Schoolers -- Popular Science

Taking a page from advertising strategy, DARPA is hoping to get ‘em while they’re young. The military’s mad-science wing wants various organizations to put manufacturing equipment in 1,000 high schools around the world, part of a new program called “MENTOR” — Manufacturing Experimentation and Outreach. The partnership will include new prize-based challenges to inspire a new generation of defense manufacturers.

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