DARPA

DARPA taps 8 organizations to develop futuristic armored cars

DARPA taps 8 organizations to develop futuristic armored cars

DARPA has announced that it awarded contracts to eight organizations under its Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program. The program seeks to produce ground-based armored vehicles that are able to withstand modern weapons but that reverse the trend of increased weight and other issues that affect mobility and speed. The contracts are going to Carnegie Mellon University, Southwest Research Institute, SRI International, and more.

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DARPA wants ‘shape-shifting’ vaccines that evolve with viruses

DARPA wants ‘shape-shifting’ vaccines that evolve with viruses

Vaccines are great, but they’re no match for most viruses in play at any given time. This is due largely in part to the ever-changing nature of viruses and the expense and difficulty in developing new vaccines to target them. DARPA wants that reality to change, citing the numerous concerning viruses, past and present, that affect humanity. Under the “INTERCEPT” program, DARPA seeks “shape-shifting” vaccines that adapt to kill off viruses as they evolve.

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DARPAs Gremlins are air-recoverable drones

DARPAs Gremlins are air-recoverable drones

Say the word Gremlins to any child of the '80s and we automatically assume you can't feed them after midnight. DARPA is working on a new program that it calls Gremlins, but rather than adorable little animals that turn murderous after late night snacks, the DARPA Gremlins are flying drone aircraft that are capable of being launched and recovered in the air. DARAP has awarded phase 1 contracts to four different companies to begin looking at ways to make the air-recoverable drone aircraft possible.

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DARPA’s TNT program aims to stimulate rapid learning

DARPA’s TNT program aims to stimulate rapid learning

DARPA has a new program that aims to speed up a person’s rate of learning via peripheral nerve stimulation. The agency cites interest in synaptic plasticity and cognitive skills training in particular, and seeks technology able to precisely activate peripheral nerves. The program, dubbed Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT), would reduce the Department of Defense’s training costs and speed up how quickly agents can be equipped with necessary skills and knowledge.

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DARPA Improv project seeks to weaponize your appliances

DARPA Improv project seeks to weaponize your appliances

DARPA’s back with yet another project, and this one aims to turn everyday, benign appliances and other electronics into weapons and other “unanticipated security threats.” No, the agency isn’t hoping to equip soldiers with modified home appliances — rather, it wants the hive mind to come up with novel and unexplored methods for turning easily accessible devices into things that could threatened national security, helping to bolster preventative technologies.

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DARPA VTOL X-Plane moves into phase 2 design with Aurora Flight Sciences

DARPA VTOL X-Plane moves into phase 2 design with Aurora Flight Sciences

DARPA wants a new unmanned aircraft that combined the best aspects of a helicopter with the best aspects of fixed wing aircraft. The program to create this new aircraft is called the VTOL X-Plane and DARPA has now announced that the project is moving into phase 2 design. The contact for this phase of the program was awarded to Aurora Flight Sciences.

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DARPA FLA program for autonomous drones flight tests begin

DARPA FLA program for autonomous drones flight tests begin

DARPA has announced that it has begun flight testing in its latest drone program called Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) and the initial round of tests was a success. The goal of FLA is to create small autonomous aircraft with sensors that allow the drones to avoid obstacles while achieving a desired speed of 20 meters per seconds. The main goal of the program is to develop and test algorithms that reduce the processing power, communications and human intervention needed for UAVs to perform certain low-level tasks.

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DARPA is launching an autonomous, submarine-hunting robot ship in April

DARPA is launching an autonomous, submarine-hunting robot ship in April

As the division of the US military most responsible high-tech developments, DARPA has announced that April will the launch of a futuristic ship that is designed to detect and fight submarines at sea. But the thing is, the ship doesn't even have a crew; it's completely autonomous. That means it's basically a robotic, submarine-hunting drone yacht. Unfortunately, because it's the military, they have to give it an acronym for its long, ridiculous name, instead of just calling it an "autonomous submarine hunter."

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DARPA FLA project drone zooms indoors at 45MPH

DARPA FLA project drone zooms indoors at 45MPH

DARPA’s Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program has resulted in a small drone that can zip through indoor corridors at just under 45MPH, doing so autonomously and without crashing. A specially crafted small drone was used, and it was equipped with a high-definition camera and a bunch of sensors onboard, enabling it to ‘see’ and avoid obstacles. The flight testing happened at the Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod.

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DARPA: ‘stentrode’ implant travels to brain via blood vessels

DARPA: ‘stentrode’ implant travels to brain via blood vessels

Under DARPA’s Reliable Neural-Interface Technology program, a team from the University of Melbourne has created a new device called a ‘stentrode’ that, when implanted near one’s brain, is able to read signals from neurons. The work was done as part of a DARPA project, and it is said to be safer than implants requiring brain surgery. The device is about the size of a paperclip, according to the researchers, and it is implanted through a blood vessel.

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DARPA program seeks brain-to-computer translator implant

DARPA program seeks brain-to-computer translator implant

DARPA has revealed details on a new program that is looking to create neural interface implants for transferring data between the digital world and the human brain. According to the research entity, this implant, should it be successfully developed, will serve as a translator for the data between the two, taking data from the brain and translating it into something for computers, and taking data from computers and translating it for the brain.

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DARPA’s BigDog robot put to pasture for being too noisy

DARPA’s BigDog robot put to pasture for being too noisy

It is probably a sad day for the robotics community. LS3, more popularly known as "BigDog" or even "AlphaDog", is practically being shelved. The quadruped robot, built by Boston Dynamics (before it was bought by Google) for DARPA, will no longer be the US military's dreamed pack mule in the field. Despite having all the flexibility, agility, strength, and even autonomy they'd want in a robot, BigDog apparently failed in one very critical criteria: it was just too noisy, making it dangerous to have around you in a hush hush operation.

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