Military

Chicago museum will open 5,000sqft DARPA exhibit tomorrow

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.

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DARPA taps 8 organizations to develop futuristic armored cars

DARPA taps 8 organizations to develop futuristic armored cars

DARPA has announced that it awarded contracts to eight organizations under its Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program. The program seeks to produce ground-based armored vehicles that are able to withstand modern weapons but that reverse the trend of increased weight and other issues that affect mobility and speed. The contracts are going to Carnegie Mellon University, Southwest Research Institute, SRI International, and more.

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DARPA wants ‘shape-shifting’ vaccines that evolve with viruses

DARPA wants ‘shape-shifting’ vaccines that evolve with viruses

Vaccines are great, but they’re no match for most viruses in play at any given time. This is due largely in part to the ever-changing nature of viruses and the expense and difficulty in developing new vaccines to target them. DARPA wants that reality to change, citing the numerous concerning viruses, past and present, that affect humanity. Under the “INTERCEPT” program, DARPA seeks “shape-shifting” vaccines that adapt to kill off viruses as they evolve.

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US Navy’s autonomous warship will soon trawl the seas

US Navy’s autonomous warship will soon trawl the seas

The U.S. Navy has a 132ft unarmed “self-driving” warship, and it has named it Sea Hunter. Much like Google’s car, Sea Hunter is able to operate on its own, cruising the oceans in hunt of unwelcome submarines. Unlike manned warships, though, Sea Hunter won’t require any human operators on board, and as such will cost only a sliver of current manned ships. DARPA recently showed off the then-unnamed warship on video.

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U.S. Army wants soldiers to have pocket drones by 2018

U.S. Army wants soldiers to have pocket drones by 2018

The U.S. Army has been looking into technology referred to as “soldier-borne sensors” that are essentially miniature pocket-sized drones intended for individual soldiers to carry. Some allied troops have already been using such technologies, and now the U.S. Army is ready to get on board; it has set a goal for 2018, at which point it wants its own troops to be equipped with such tiny flying devices.

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DARPAs Gremlins are air-recoverable drones

DARPAs Gremlins are air-recoverable drones

Say the word Gremlins to any child of the '80s and we automatically assume you can't feed them after midnight. DARPA is working on a new program that it calls Gremlins, but rather than adorable little animals that turn murderous after late night snacks, the DARPA Gremlins are flying drone aircraft that are capable of being launched and recovered in the air. DARAP has awarded phase 1 contracts to four different companies to begin looking at ways to make the air-recoverable drone aircraft possible.

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DARPA’s TNT program aims to stimulate rapid learning

DARPA’s TNT program aims to stimulate rapid learning

DARPA has a new program that aims to speed up a person’s rate of learning via peripheral nerve stimulation. The agency cites interest in synaptic plasticity and cognitive skills training in particular, and seeks technology able to precisely activate peripheral nerves. The program, dubbed Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT), would reduce the Department of Defense’s training costs and speed up how quickly agents can be equipped with necessary skills and knowledge.

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DARPA Improv project seeks to weaponize your appliances

DARPA Improv project seeks to weaponize your appliances

DARPA’s back with yet another project, and this one aims to turn everyday, benign appliances and other electronics into weapons and other “unanticipated security threats.” No, the agency isn’t hoping to equip soldiers with modified home appliances — rather, it wants the hive mind to come up with novel and unexplored methods for turning easily accessible devices into things that could threatened national security, helping to bolster preventative technologies.

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DARPA is launching an autonomous, submarine-hunting robot ship in April

DARPA is launching an autonomous, submarine-hunting robot ship in April

As the division of the US military most responsible high-tech developments, DARPA has announced that April will the launch of a futuristic ship that is designed to detect and fight submarines at sea. But the thing is, the ship doesn't even have a crew; it's completely autonomous. That means it's basically a robotic, submarine-hunting drone yacht. Unfortunately, because it's the military, they have to give it an acronym for its long, ridiculous name, instead of just calling it an "autonomous submarine hunter."

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DARPA FLA project drone zooms indoors at 45MPH

DARPA FLA project drone zooms indoors at 45MPH

DARPA’s Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program has resulted in a small drone that can zip through indoor corridors at just under 45MPH, doing so autonomously and without crashing. A specially crafted small drone was used, and it was equipped with a high-definition camera and a bunch of sensors onboard, enabling it to ‘see’ and avoid obstacles. The flight testing happened at the Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod.

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DARPA: ‘stentrode’ implant travels to brain via blood vessels

DARPA: ‘stentrode’ implant travels to brain via blood vessels

Under DARPA’s Reliable Neural-Interface Technology program, a team from the University of Melbourne has created a new device called a ‘stentrode’ that, when implanted near one’s brain, is able to read signals from neurons. The work was done as part of a DARPA project, and it is said to be safer than implants requiring brain surgery. The device is about the size of a paperclip, according to the researchers, and it is implanted through a blood vessel.

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New camo design is (almost) invisible to night vision

New camo design is (almost) invisible to night vision

In a statement today, the Bundeswehr Scientific Institute in Germany unveiled a new camouflage design it has been working on for a handful of years. With this new design, soldiers in the nation's armed forces (Bundeswehr) will be far less visible to night vision devices than when wearing the current "Flecktarnmuster" pattern introduced in the early 90s. This new design, Multitarnmuster, is said to have two big advantages.

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