DARPA

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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DARPA to fund $11M programming auto-complete tool

DARPA to fund $11M programming auto-complete tool

The U.S. government's DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has granted $11 million to Rice University for their continued work on a project that is essentially an auto-complete tool for programmers. Described as a massive database of open-source code, PLINY aims to allow programmers to finish their software much more quickly through a simple search.

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DARPA turns its attention to atom-wide brain sensors

DARPA turns its attention to atom-wide brain sensors

DARPA, known half-jokingly as the Department of Mad Scientists, has again turned its attention to the human brain, this time hoping to expand our insight into it and its structure through the use of incredibly tiny (read: atom-sized) graphene sensors. It detailed its latest effort on Monday, explaining its work in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin at Madison to create a new form of technology for peering into how the brain functions. This is done as part of President Obama's brain initiative, says the research agency.

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This is what the XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane could look like

This is what the XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane could look like

Northrop Grumman has shown off what it believes the military spaceplane of the future should look like, a futuristic and reusable aircraft designed as part of a $3.9m DARPA contract. The Experimental Spaceplane XS-1 would automate a large percentage of flight, as well as kick-start hypersonic aircraft development once more, Northrop Grumman claims, though the company still has competition.

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