DARPA

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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Here are the big winners in DARPA’s Robotics Challenge

Here are the big winners in DARPA’s Robotics Challenge

A South Korean team has won DARPA's Robotic Challenge Finals, besting US rivals and taking home $2m after demonstrating its disaster-response 'bot. The robot, DRC-HUBO, beat out 22 other teams, each rising to the US government agency's challenge to create a machine able to enter hazardous areas - such as the radioactive zone left by the Fukushima nuclear explosion in 2011 - and carry out tasks that would normally demand human dexterity.

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DARPA Robotics Challenge seeks disaster response robots

DARPA Robotics Challenge seeks disaster response robots

Disasters happen, but humans have made great strides toward reducing their impact. Robots will prove to be one of the bigger assets we'll use to aid in future disaster situations, and work is underway now to make that a reality. DARPA has contributed a lot to the world of robotics, and to show off the tech that already exists is DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC); its finals are taking place today and tomorrow in California. Teams competing in the finals will scramble to create robots that, ultimately, have a relevance to disaster response needs.

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U.S. Air Force to develop new hypersonic jet

U.S. Air Force to develop new hypersonic jet

The U.S. Air Force is looking to create a new hypersonic aircraft, building upon the success of hypersonic scramjet X-51A's test flight in 2013. Hypersonic is more than just breaking the sound barrier. Hypersonic speeds are classified as Mach 5 through Mach 10, which is approximately five to ten times faster than the speed of sound. Hypersonic aircraft are so fast that a traditionally five-hour flight from Los Angeles to NYC would be cut down to, roughly, 30 minutes. These hypersonic flights are for unmanned aircraft and weapons, only. To reach these speeds, the acceleration is too much for humans to withstand.

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MIT’s latest robot cheetah can jump higher than you

MIT’s latest robot cheetah can jump higher than you

MIT's Biomimetics Robotics Lab has created a new version of its robotic cheetah. The Cheetah 2 is capable of even more animal-like actions than DARPA's faster and simpler predecessor. The Cheetah 2 can reliably identify and jump over objects up to 40 cm (about 15 inches) high. When it jumps, it mimics the movements of an actual cheetah, creating a double arc as its fore and high legs clear the hurdle.

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