The programs that DARPA runs often result in some of the coolest hardware and gear for military and civilian use being invented. One of the cool things that DARPA and its contractors have been working on are holographic goggles that give soldiers a bit of augmented reality on the battlefield.
I like robots as much as the next geek, but some of them creep me out a bit. I blame it on Hector and Terminator scaring me as a kid. DARPA has some out there projects that often turn into some interesting finished items that may one day see the battlefield.
A company called AeroVironment has developed an awesome unmanned aircraft for DARPA that is tiny and designed to look like a hummingbird. The little flying machine uses two wings that flap to hover in the air and fly in any direction. The total weight of the aircraft is two-thirds of an ounce and that includes batteries and a camera.
The Transformer project, or TX, from DARPA has been moving forward in its development stages pretty steadily. It wasn't too long ago that we first reported about the project, and at the end of September we told you that DARPA was one step closer to making the Transformer project the real deal. And now it looks like, thanks to some cost reports and design elements, the military may be getting their hands on a flying Humvee sooner than we ever believed.
As far as technology goes, and the gadgets that we love, the military tends to get the best of the best. Prototypes come and go out of the military on a daily basis, and unfortunately a lot of them don't make it to the battlefield. But, when one looks, and potentially works, as good as this one from Lockheed, it would be a surprise to not find that it gets fully tested and pushed out onto the field in record time. The Integrated Spotter Scope (ISS), is a working model of a scope that automatically adjusts for the elements of nature, as well as the range from the target.
Back in April, a project that was originally found in some government documents a year before, broke cover thanks to a PDF document that had been made public. That project was known as the Transformer project, and the idea was to make an amalgamation of the military's Humvee (or any armored truck, for that matter), and a helicopter. Pipe dreams for those at DARPA was the general consensus, but it seems the government agency was very serious about their efforts, and now thanks to an aerospace defense company, the Transformer project is one step closer to becoming a reality.
Lockheed Martin is one of the biggest arms contractors that supplies all manner of high tech gear for the military. The name is most closely associated with aircraft, but the company is much more than that. Lockheed Martin has announced that it has won a new DARPA contract to develop a scope for soldiers.
DARPA is one of those agencies that must have a room filled with geniuses, all sitting around trying to come up with the latest and greatest in technology and equipment. Of course, we don't think they get to see the most recent science-fiction movies, and that's why these ideas seem to always feel a little too reminiscent of something we've seen before, but we won't hold that against them. This time around, they've got something planned that will bring together the military's juggernaut vehicle, the Humvee, and combine it with something like a helicopter. Or a hover craft. Or just a flying car from Sim City 2000.
DARPA is always coming up with interesting new military technology that we just can't help but talk about. For instance, their new DBAC device could be used to save lives in the field. That's definitely pretty cool by us.
New concepts and science breakthroughs are always interesting to read up on. That's why when I saw what DARPA was up to yesterday, I just had to write about it for you all. DARPA is working to develop a submersible aircraft. Yup, you read that right.