Chicago museum will open 5,000sqft DARPA exhibit tomorrow

Tomorrow, the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry will be opening up an "in-depth and interactive" exhibit focused on DARPA, the government's military research agency. DAPRA has existed for decades and has made many of its projects publicly known, but that doesn't mean information about the agency itself is easy to come by. The exhibit will change that, featuring 5,000 square feet of displays and activities.

This exhibit will feature, among other things, the 6ft2in humanoid robot Atlas, as well as a 100ft timeline of the technological breakthroughs DARPA has facilitated and a large-scale model of Sea Hunter, the agency's 132ft ship designed to track submarines. Sea Hunter, as we've mentioned before, is an autonomous ship that can operate without a crew.

In addition, the DAPRA exhibit — which runs until September 5 of this year — will feature digital workstations for kids to build virtual robots and learn about how they operate, including things like sensors. A small implantable electrode array will be showcased — one that allows amputees to control prosthetic limbs — as well as displays for kids that show how DARPA tech is used in modern life, AI microelectronic chips, and an exoskeleton used to increase soldier endurance.

DARPA Deputy Director Steve Walker said:

We are grateful to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry for inviting us to tell the DARPA story of ambitious problem solving and technological innovation. Learning how DARPA has tackled some of the most daunting scientific and engineering challenges—and how it has tolerated the risk of failure in order to have major impact when it succeeds—can be enormously inspiring to students.

And for adults, we hope the exhibit will serve as a reminder that some of the most exciting work going on today in fields as diverse as chemistry, engineering, cyber defense and synthetic biology are happening with federal support, in furtherance of pressing national priorities.