Military

R.A.M.B.O. is the US army’s 3D-printed grenade launcher

R.A.M.B.O. is the US army’s 3D-printed grenade launcher

Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone in one week? It’s definitely an action-packed past few days. No, there isn’t going to be a new Rocky or Rambo themed game. We are, instead, veering off into the real world for once. Short for “Rapid Additively Manufactured Ballistics Ordinance”, which is really just a convoluted way to name something after an iconic fictional soldier, R.A.M.B.O. is the US army’s latest, and so far most successful, attempt to 3D print its own weapons.

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Kyocera Torque X01 is an ultra-durable, military-grade flip phone

Kyocera Torque X01 is an ultra-durable, military-grade flip phone

Flip phones may have fallen out of favor in many parts of the world, but they’re still popular in Japan, and so it’s not surprising that a new model has popped up there. What is interesting is the model’s biggest feature: extreme durability covering 18 military standards set by the US Defense Department. Drop it on concrete, use it in a dusty room, take it in the pool...the Kyocera Torque X01 can withstand it all and more.

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Watch the U.S. Navy catapult giant trucks into the ocean

Watch the U.S. Navy catapult giant trucks into the ocean

The U.S. Navy is testing the capabilities of its new so-called 'supercarrier' ship, the nearly $13 billion U.S.S. Gerald Ford. Construction began a few years ago, and the ship is now what is known as a pre-commissioning unit; if all goes according to plan, the U.S. Navy will commission the ship in April 2017. Ahead of that, however, the Navy is testing the ship's jet catapult system, doing so using really big trucks.

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Army tests “hoverbike” successfully, Star Wars fans rejoice

Army tests “hoverbike” successfully, Star Wars fans rejoice

The USA Department of Defense has witnessed the first successful public test of the Army's latest in futuristic vehicles - the hoverbike. This device is officially known as the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV), and can be seen tested without a pilot in a video shared by the United States Army Research Laboratory this week. The video shows a small-scale prototype test flight, and may move on to flights with pilots in the near future.

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BLAST military project can detect brain injury from explosions

BLAST military project can detect brain injury from explosions

The Office of Naval Research is funding a new project to develop BLAST, the Blast Load Assessment Sense and Test technology. This system, once created, will help identify potential traumatic brain injuries in soldiers and other military personnel who are within range of some kind of blast, potentially getting them necessary medical attention promptly. Such technology may help prevent serious brain injury resulting from multiple traumatic blast exposures.

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DARPA program seeks way to control drone ‘swarms’ from the ground

DARPA program seeks way to control drone ‘swarms’ from the ground

DARPA's latest program, the OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) effort, aims to find a solution for easily controlling large swarms of drones from the ground, with these 'swarms' being composed of at least 100 units. The defensive research agency envisions these swarms of drones — which could also feature ground robots when necessary — being used for all sorts of things: gathering intelligence, surveillance, offering protection, wielding firepower, and more. The Marine Corps and U.S. Army are the intended recipients of such technology.

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Canadian military investigates strange Arctic ‘pinging,’ only finds walruses

Canadian military investigates strange Arctic ‘pinging,’ only finds walruses

Locals have been reporting an unusual ‘pinging’ sound in the Arctic that reportedly scares animals and is strong enough to be heard through boat hulls. In light of these reports, Canada’s military has set out to investigate and, hopefully, find an explanation for the pings. According to military officials, aircraft-based searches were carried out over the region in which the noise has been reported, but thus far no sources have been identified.

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Torq EV buggy is designed specifically for ordnance disposal

Torq EV buggy is designed specifically for ordnance disposal

A company called Torq Defense Systems has unveiled a new electric all-terrain vehicle that is designed specifically for ordnance disposal personnel. The vehicle is called the EOD Light Tactical Electric Vehicle and can be used by both law enforcement and government agencies. The Torq LTEV is designed so that the driver can operate the vehicle while wearing a full ordinance disposal suit. The vehicle is designed to operate in high-density urban environments.

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US Air Force’s new initiative trains operators for space battles

US Air Force’s new initiative trains operators for space battles

U.S. Air Force Space Command has announced its new Space Mission Force initiative, a plan that will train satellite operators to respond to various threats and to control satellites in threatening environments. The Space Mission Force is more than a year into planning, and it comes from the Space Command’s head Gen. John Hyten. In the event space becomes a “contested environment,” this new USAF program will make sure a greater number of satellite operators are able to engage in so-called space battles.

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DARPA CHIPs program seeks miniature, modular ‘chiplets’

DARPA CHIPs program seeks miniature, modular ‘chiplets’

DARPA has a new program called CHIPS, which is short for Common Heterogenous Integration and Intellectual Property Reuse Strategies Program. A mouthful, right? CHIPS seeks innovation as complex as the name behind the acronym: the taking of modern printed circuit boards and doing away with them via the development of miniature, modular “chiplets.” Says DARPA, it wants “an entire PCB” to be condensed down into a single device that is about the size of one present-day chip.

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U.S. Navy funds bomb-sniffing bugs research

U.S. Navy funds bomb-sniffing bugs research

The human sense of smell isn't that great, and so humans have largely relegated the task of sniffing out items -- non-pungent drugs, hidden bombs, missing people -- to dogs. Dogs are great at what they do, but they pose some issues, as well. For one thing, training bomb-sniffing dogs is expensive. In addition, a dog can alert to something but it can't break down what it smells or give us any details. Bugs though? They may be the solution.

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US developing real-time camera-based behavior monitoring system

US developing real-time camera-based behavior monitoring system

In the not-so-distant-future, your every public action may be monitored by cameras that deliver video feeds to behavior tracking systems capable of analyzing your actions for suspicious elements in real-time. The system is called Deep Intermodal Video Analytics, DIVA for short, and it is currently a research project with the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency. As you may have guessed, it is being developed under the banner of fighting terrorism.

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