DARPA

DARPA working on new GPS systems that needs no satellites

DARPA working on new GPS systems that needs no satellites

DARPA is always working on developing new technologies to help the military perform tasks that will protect the country and often that tech spills over into civilian life as well. One of the things that DARPA is working on right now is a reinvention of the GPS system that doesn't rely on satellites. This reinvention is part of DARPA's goal of ensuring American superiority in the air, maritime, ground, space, and cyber domains.

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DARPA “rethinking” how it develops new tech innovations

DARPA “rethinking” how it develops new tech innovations

DARPA has released its "Breakthrough Technologies for National Security" report, and in it the agency discusses its plans for the upcoming years. This time around, DARPA has laid out its plans to boost tech innovation to help it keep pace with the innovations being seen in other nations around the globe. The report claims the US is a technological leader in many areas, but that the wars it has been involved in over the last decade have required a lot of focus and during that time other nations have been moving quickly to close the gap.

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NVIDIA DRIVE PX self-driving car system demoed in tiny DARPA vehicle

NVIDIA DRIVE PX self-driving car system demoed in tiny DARPA vehicle

NVIDIA is showing a smart vehicle the size of a remote-controlled car called Project Dave this week at GTC 2015. This is a DARPA project which runs NVIDIA DRIVE PX - a smart system made to allow this vehicle to navigate on its own. Deep neural net in action. We first learned about NVIDIA DRIVE PX back at CES 2015 where it was just a mobile supercomputer. In Dave, 3.1 million connections are made, video is processed at 12 frames per second, and 38 million connections are made per second.

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DARPA’s “Dark Web” revealing Memex tool is also pretty scary

DARPA’s “Dark Web” revealing Memex tool is also pretty scary

In the realm of cybersecurity, balancing national security and personal privacy is undoubtedly a tough act to pull off. The Internet has long been held as the bastion of free speech, but it has also become a breeding ground and hiding place for miscreants. So it isn't surprising that law enforcers would want to penetrate all corners of the Web in order to catch the bad guys. That is exactly what DARPA's new search engine called Memex is trying to do, by diving even into the depths of the "Dark Web".

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Zooming contact lenses enlarge at a wink

Zooming contact lenses enlarge at a wink

A contact lens with a built in zoom that the wearer can switch at will between regular and telescopic vision could mean the end to dwindling independence for those with deteriorating eyesight, researchers suggested today. The rigid lens covers the majority of the front surface of the eye, including both the whites and the pupil, and contains an array of tiny aluminum mirrors that together can enlarge the world by 2.8x. Winking flips the view between regular and magnified.

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DARPA: Nothing on the Internet is secure, including cars

DARPA: Nothing on the Internet is secure, including cars

We are probably mostly aware of how the Internet has certain holes when it comes to security and privacy. But when the man in charge of hardening the US Department of Defense's computer networks and the Internet in general says that there is no real security on the Internet, people better take heed. Everything that we connect to the world-wide network can be open to attack, and these days, that almost literally means everything, from smartphones, to thermostats, to doorbells, and yes, even cars.

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DARPA wants to piggy-back satellites on jets to space

DARPA wants to piggy-back satellites on jets to space

Getting payloads from Earth and into space is shaping up to be big business, and now DARPA is weighing in with its own piggy-back proposal that could see jets help take satellites into orbit. Dubbed the Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA) program, the scheme isn't designed to challenge SpaceX and Boeing for their Launch America contracts, taxiing NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, but instead to act as a more affordable route to put up things like communication and weather satellites with relatively short notice. The goal is a roughly $1m delivery charge and, maybe more importantly, a far faster turnaround than existing methods.

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DARPA Atlas Robot keeps the feet, upgrades the rest

DARPA Atlas Robot keeps the feet, upgrades the rest

We've been following along with the development of the Atlas DRC robot with Boston Dynamics and DARPA now for some time. What we're seeing this week - today, in fact - is a much-improved release. This robot no longer need to be plugged in to the same degree it did in previous releases - it's also 75% redesigned. Only the lowest bit of the legs and the feet have been kept from the original design - everything else has seen significant change since the last time we saw this amalgamation of power.

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DARPA turns its sights on fast and agile UAVs

DARPA turns its sights on fast and agile UAVs

DARPA, ever busy with its mad scientist shenanigans, has turned its attention to UAVs (drones, if you will) and the possibilities they hold for quickly searching buildings that might otherwise be dangerous or difficult for military patrols to access. To make the process efficient, the latest program is drawing inspiration from various birds of prey, which can fly around at high speeds through complex areas, such as dense woods, something they demonstrate in a video using Goshawks as an example.

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Atlas robot tries to do the Karate Kid “Crane” stance

Atlas robot tries to do the Karate Kid “Crane” stance

If robots of the future start trying to become our new overlords, we could probably trace it back to this day. Well, sort of. Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IMHC) is teaching its Atlas robot a few kickass moves. Or at least is trying to. The latest stunt this humanoid contraption is trying to pull off is that iconic stance from 1984's Karate Kid, popularly known as "The Crane". But while it seems to have its arm movements down to a T, it still needs a lot of work on its legs.

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