DARPA

NASA donates two robots for DARPA Mars research and exploration

NASA donates two robots for DARPA Mars research and exploration

Two university groups receive their very own Valkyrie robots from NASA as part of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. NASA calls these robots the Valkyrie or "R5" models, as revealed earlier this year as part of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. These robots and their intended purpose are important to the future of beyond-Earth exploration. Both are humanoid so that they're able to "help or even take the place" of astronauts that'd otherwise be working in extreme space conditions and environments.

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DARPA’s looking toward disappearing delivery drones

DARPA’s looking toward disappearing delivery drones

The problem with making deliveries to remotely located military troops is that anyone can see the delivery take place — at least those nearby — and will know, as a result, approximately where the team is located. In other situations, the delivery vehicle could be at risk by being visible. Parachutes are the most common form of military delivery operations, but they’re burdensome in addition to being visible, requiring personnel to bring the parachute back out with them. As a potential way to solve these problems, DARPA has turned its sights toward invisible delivery drones.

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DARPA ElectRX plans to treat disease with magnets, sound, electricity, and lasers

DARPA ElectRX plans to treat disease with magnets, sound, electricity, and lasers

Traditionally in medicine if you have a disease process or malady, your doctor gives you medications. Doctors of the future may have a new method of treating all sorts of conditions that doesn't require pharmaceuticals. DARPA has a new biomedical program that aims to treat people using electricity, magnets, sound waves, and lasers called ElectRX.

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DARPA ElectRx program underway: seven teams selected

DARPA ElectRx program underway: seven teams selected

DARPA's ElectRx self-healing program is now underway, with the research entity having selected seven research teams who will work toward the goal of using electricity to heal wounded soldiers. DARPA describes this as being a “closed-loop system” that heals via “modulating the activity of peripheral nerves,” with the targeted diseases including everything from inflammation and achy joints to PTSD.

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DARPA’s exploring chip implants to create enhanced soldiers

DARPA’s exploring chip implants to create enhanced soldiers

DARPA, ever exploring the mad science aspects of what is and could be possible, is looking into the possibility of implanting chips into soldiers’ brains to enhance their performance on the battlefield..and, maybe, to help them deal with the traumatization that often results. In this case, the trauma is of the physical sort — traumatic brain injuries are too common amongst soldiers on the battlefield, and they’re often life changing.

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DARPA awards DNA research contract to The Foundry

DARPA awards DNA research contract to The Foundry

DARPA has funded a research effort that seeks to create a “revolution in designing and writing DNA,” it has been announced. The $32 million five-year contract was awarded to The Foundry, a partnership between MIT’s Broad Technology Labs and Synthetic Biology Center. The technology created under this new contract could result in faster, more advanced techniques in engineering biology, the uses for which will span agricultural, medical, and industrial uses.

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Boston Dynamics’ Spot robo-dog being tested by Marines

Boston Dynamics’ Spot robo-dog being tested by Marines

DARPA and Boston Dynamics’ robotic dog Spot, which we talked about back in February, is now being tested by the Marine Corps for possible use in warfare situations. DARPA trained Marines located at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico on how to operate Spot, which weighs 160 lbs. Among other things, Spot is being tested as a way to search for enemies ahead of Marines entering a building.

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DARPA is developing a robotic space transportation hub needing no humans

DARPA is developing a robotic space transportation hub needing no humans

DARPA has a history of making things that sound fantastic a reality. One of the latest projects that DARPA is working on is reportedly a space-based transportation hub that would be able to build, refuel, and repair spacecraft in orbit around the Earth. The coolest part about this space hub is that it would operate without humans on board.

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DARPA’s robo-chopper legs sneer at your helipad

DARPA’s robo-chopper legs sneer at your helipad

DARPA has revealed a new prototype landing gear for helicopters that could drastically improve the already maneuverable aerial vehicles. One of the main handicaps with helicopters is that require a stable, flat surface to land on, something that can be rare to come by in environments where helicopters need to operate most. DARPA's solution is essentially four robotic legs with multiple joints that can easily adapt to landing on angled or even moving surfaces.

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DARPA shows off robotic prosthetic arm that can feel

DARPA shows off robotic prosthetic arm that can feel

DARPA is at the leading edge of many different research fields and makes some incredible breakthroughs that have a way of becoming common products over the years. One of DARPA's latest breakthroughs is a prosthetic limb that allows the wearer to feel what they are holding or touching. The ability to feel was added to a mind-controlled robotic prosthetic arm that was first announced back in July.

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DARPA’s new prosthetic limb lets paralyzed man feel objects

DARPA’s new prosthetic limb lets paralyzed man feel objects

Prosthetic limbs have become nearly science fiction-like in their sophistication, allowing the human mind to control robotic arms and hands in a way similar to how one controls their own limbs. DARPA is counted among the research entities developing this technology, and it has recently taken it a step further, using neurotechnology to enable a paralyzed individual to "feel" objects through a prosthesis. The prosthetic is sensitive enough that sensations touching each finger could be discerned individually.

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SRI Durus humanoid walking robot is ultra-efficient

SRI Durus humanoid walking robot is ultra-efficient

DARPA has been sponsoring all sorts of robotics challenges, including the Robotics Challenge course where the robots are supposed to do things that a human would normally do in an emergency. That isn’t the only challenge that DARPA has put down for robot designers. At the same time the DARAP Robotics Challenge course is being transverse by robots, another challenge is underway.

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