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"Usually I just do a Google search"

Studying the "wisdom of the crowd" the Good Judgement Project has been asking average citizens to predict global events over the last 3 years. A weighted average shows these participants, who do not have access to classified materials, are more accurate than the Intelligence community. And the projects "elite" forecasters are 30% more accurate.
posted by fontophilic on Apr 2, 2014 - 30 comments

Dirty, Dull and Dangerous

What Jobs Will The Robots Take? Eight Ways Robots Stole Our Jobs In 2013. Who is next?
Soldiers?
Rescue teams? Managers?
Astronauts? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 31, 2014 - 91 comments

Strategic Computing Initiative

DARPA Tried to Build Skynet in the 1980s.
posted by homunculus on Dec 19, 2013 - 8 comments

Prance-y Dance-y Fancy Death Machine

Boston Dynamics ( Previously, previously, previously) recently released video of its brand new 4-legged running robot - Introducing The WildCat
posted by The Whelk on Oct 6, 2013 - 43 comments

The Future Gets Closer, Part VI

DARPA has funded the next generation of bionic legs and DIY brain scanners. Next up: drone submarines and a hypersonic spaceplane. [more inside]
posted by StrikeTheViol on Sep 26, 2013 - 21 comments

Right on schedule for development of the Terminator

Meet Atlas, a humanoid robot that can run, climb stairs, and walk through rubble. [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle on Jul 12, 2013 - 88 comments

Coming to a medium-sized city near you

DARPA has developed a 1800 megapixel sensor array for use on UAVs. It is capable of spotting something as small as 6-inches while covering an area half the size of Manhattan. [more inside]
posted by dubusadus on Feb 3, 2013 - 84 comments

Whooooaaaaaaaaaaaa....

LS3 - Legged Squat Support System can carry 400lbs over 20 miles without refueling. And is the stuff of nightmares.
posted by blue_beetle on Sep 11, 2012 - 112 comments

The MAVS are coming(not the NBA team)

From blimps to bugs, an explosion in aerial drones is transforming the way America fights and thinks about its wars. Predator drones, the Cessna-sized workhorses that have dominated unmanned flight since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, are by now a brand name, known and feared around the world. But far less known is the sheer size, variety and audaciousness of a rapidly expanding drone universe, along with the dilemmas that come with it.(via) [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar on Mar 30, 2012 - 66 comments

Thundercats, Hooo!

From the creators of Petman and BigDog, a Cheetah is born! (SLYT)
posted by lemuring on Mar 5, 2012 - 55 comments

From the comments: "Someone pass me the crowbar please."

Soft robotics are inspired by animals which don't have hard internal skeletons, like squid, worms, and starfish. Developed at Harvard, with funding from DARPA, this particular soft robot, "not only walks, it knows several different gaits and can deflate to stuff itself through tiny little gaps." Another design here, and another (also), and another. In addition to movement, soft robotics can also be used for grip. More information about the Harvard lab is available here (with a student describing the research here).
posted by codacorolla on Nov 29, 2011 - 26 comments

Military Crowdsourcing

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is using a challenge program to find out whether it's possible to put shredded documents back together again. "DARPA’s Shredder Challenge calls upon computer scientists, puzzle enthusiasts and anyone else who likes solving complex problems to compete for up to $50,000 by piecing together a series of shredded documents. The goal is to identify and assess potential capabilities that could be used by our warfighters operating in war zones, but might also create vulnerabilities to sensitive information that is protected through our own shredding practices throughout the U.S. national security community." [more inside]
posted by keli on Nov 23, 2011 - 55 comments

Your future soldier is almost ready

Boston Dynamics, home of the amazing bigdog robot (previously, SLYT), has released an impressive video of their new bipedal robot PETMAN walking, squatting and doing pushups.
posted by FrereKhan on Nov 1, 2011 - 32 comments

Homomorphic Encryption

Described as 'cryptography's holy grail', Homomorphic Encryption/Computation is a form of encryption where specific algebraic operations on the plaintext translate into different algebraic operations on the ciphertext, allowing the plaintext's owner to 'outsource' computations to untrusted machines. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Aug 9, 2011 - 17 comments

Space Shuttle 2.0

Certainly you've read of the Space Shuttle's imminent retirement, but are you prepared for the secret robot "mini" shuttle, the X-37B? After a decade of checkered development under NASA, DARPA (with assistance from Scaled Composites' White Knight) and finally the U.S. Air Force, the first X-37B spaceplane, the Orbital Test Vehicle, is ready for an April 19th launch.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Apr 3, 2010 - 40 comments

What's the worst that can happen?

'As part of its budget for the next year [pdf], DARPA is investing $6 million into a project called BioDesign, with the goal of eliminating "the randomness of natural evolutionary advancement."' Via Futurismic [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Feb 8, 2010 - 35 comments

"And here is a red balloon.. I think of DARPA and note its exact coordinates"

"To mark the 40th anniversary of the Internet, DARPA has announced the DARPA Network Challenge.... The challenge is to be the first to submit the locations of ten moored, 8 foot, red weather balloons located at ten fixed locations in the continental United States. Balloons will be in readily accessible locations and visible from nearby roadways." Teams must register by December 1st and have two weeks to submit balloon locations. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Nov 2, 2009 - 108 comments

Big Brother's just a beetle on the wall

Cyborg Spy Beetles are no longer a thing of the future. UC Berkeley (funded by DARPA) has created cyborg beetles guided wirelessly via laptop. These spy beetles were created with the intent of bugging actual conversations, literally acting as the "fly on the wall". [more inside]
posted by scrutiny on Oct 27, 2009 - 56 comments

Company Denies its Robots Feed on the Dead

Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. and Robotic Technology Inc. have sent out a press release denying that their new robot will feed on the dead. "It's a vegetarian!", they claim. Desecration of the dead is a war crime under Article 15 of the Geneva Conventions, and is certainly not something sanctioned by DARPA, Cyclone or RTI. “We completely understand the public’s concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population, but that is not our mission,” stated Harry Schoell, Cyclone’s CEO.
posted by dejah420 on Jul 22, 2009 - 48 comments

Mark Roth: The Re-Animator

Raising the Dead. When scientist Mark Roth's one-year-old daughter died after heart surgery, Roth obsessed clinically first about immortality, then about suspended animation, when all life processes temporarily cease. His subsequent research work -- placing yeast, nematodes, drosophila, frogs, and zebrafish into suspended animation (clinical death) for up to 24 hours, then reviving them unharmed -- earned him a MacArthur Fellowship and a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Award. [more inside]
posted by terranova on Dec 4, 2008 - 67 comments

Coming from Uranus to check my style

Another dimension, new galaxy - J.C.R. Licklider was one of the most influential people in the history of computer science . Dr. Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider (or “Lick”), was the Director of ARPA’s Information Processing Techniques Office and from 1963-64 put in place the funding priorities which would lead to the Internet, and the invention of the mouse, windows and hypertext. In 1960 he was writing about Man-computer symbiosis and The Computer as a Communications Device . He also wrote epic memos such as his 1963 memo to “Members and Affiliates of the Intergalactic Computer Network
posted by Smedleyman on Sep 12, 2008 - 12 comments

Vulture to circle for years

DARPA has announced the contractors for their "Vulture" UAV system. The plan is to build an aircraft that can stay aloft, uninterrupted, for five years. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on Apr 30, 2008 - 28 comments

The geek old days, when domain names were free and IPv4 ruled the land

Remember NSFNet? If you had an email account in the U.S. before 1995, chances are most of your mail passed through an NSFNet node. The folks who ran it are having a reunion. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee on Nov 30, 2007 - 4 comments

Would you like to drive a car?

Perhaps you'll recall DARPA's Grand Challenge where autonomous vehicles competed in a off-road race but most barely made it off the starting blocks? And Grand Challenge 2 where they did the same thing more successfully and also filmed a NOVA special?. Well, they are doing it again, on city streets this time. [more inside]
posted by DU on Nov 2, 2007 - 24 comments

Apparently, we can rebuild him...

Doctors in London have made the world's first attempt to treat a retinal degeneration disorder using gene therapy. "The researchers aim to restore the activity in these cells and therefore restore vision by implanting healthy copies of the key gene into the RPE at the back of the eye. In other optical news, wired.com is leading with a piece about "Luke 's Binoculars" (yes, as in Skywalker) - a gadget that is meant to provide soldiers with a 120-degree field of view and allow him/her to be able to spot moving vehicles as far as 10 kilometers away by integrating EEG electrodes that monitor the wearer's neural signals. CTTWS, I presume?
posted by chuckdarwin on May 1, 2007 - 6 comments

The problem with the two kiloton hand grenade...

The two kiloton hand-grenade and the dental x-ray machine. For several years, the military spent well over $30 million on a new kind of bomb, based on an isomer of hafnium that would have an explosive power just shy of a nuclear weapon, despite the fact that physicists said it was impossible. Sharon Weinberger (the author of the article in the main link) wrote a book about this project, with a related website. In response, the scientist behind the isomer bomb effort created an oddly childish parody website to mock her book. And, if that isn't strange enough, people have been arrested in the UK for attempting to obtain an imaginary substance, that may or may not be linked to the concept of the isomer bomb.
posted by blahblahblah on Aug 6, 2006 - 28 comments

I Get Up, And Nothing Gets Me Down

Send in the clowns: the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has submitted a patent for the Man-Cannon, a catapult designed to hurl SWAT teams and emergency workers onto the roofs of tall buildings, human-cannonball style. The inventor? He's none other than Dean Kamen.
posted by fandango_matt on May 18, 2006 - 34 comments

Get along, big doggie.

BigDog! Check out this video (Windows Media) of the new packhorse for the infantry! "A nimble, four-legged robot is so surefooted it can recover its balance even after being given a hefty kick," A robotic beast of burden from the same guys that brought us weaponized bees and robotic rats. It's a cool concept for a robot, better than most I've seen.
posted by Balisong on Mar 3, 2006 - 39 comments

Think...about the bad things

Perhaps you'll recall DARPA's Grand Challenge where autonomous vehicles competed in a off-road race for $1,000,000 but most barely made it off the starting blocks? Yeah, well, they are doing it again this year for $2 million this time. Just one thing: Don't bet on Princeton. [last two links .MOV]
posted by Ogre Lawless on Oct 8, 2005 - 18 comments

'Why are things as they are and not otherwise?' -- Johannes Kepler

"Do not bind the mouths of the kine that treadeth out the grain." "Do not eat the seed corn." Ancient warnings ignored in Bush Administration science policy
posted by orthogonality on Apr 2, 2005 - 25 comments

Robonaut

Enter the Robonaut. A truly science-fictioney NASA robot. (Note DARPA.)
posted by kablam on May 23, 2004 - 12 comments

Build me a robot...

Grand Challenge The research arm of the US Department of Defense, DARPA, is sponsoring a $1 million winner take all contest to build a completely autonomous vehicle which can navigate a roughly 250 mile course in the desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas in under 10 hours. Teams from Caltech and Carnegie Mellon have formed, though anyone is allowed to enter.
posted by split atom on May 13, 2003 - 8 comments

Total Thong Awareness

You love it. Big fan of DARPA's Initiative on Countering Terrorism? Pick up a Total Information Awareness thong or lunchbox - but, you already knew that.
posted by The Jesse Helms on Feb 11, 2003 - 10 comments

The Self-Healing Minefield

The Self-Healing Minefield From the current Village Voice: "Utilizing commercial off-the-shelf computer chips and 'healing' software, the networked minefield detects rude attempts to clear it, deduces which parts of itself have been removed, and signals its remaining munitions to close the hole using best-fit mathematics."

Bonus ubertasteless Flash animation courtesy of DARPA here. Color me fascinated and repulsed in equal measure.
posted by Armitage Shanks on Nov 27, 2002 - 40 comments

One small step for technology, one giant leap towards a world with no secrets.
posted by Fupped Duck on Nov 9, 2002 - 9 comments

Forget TIPS, TIA is the real deal:

Forget TIPS, TIA is the real deal: DARPA's Information Awareness Office is beginning the bidding process for the development of a next-generation information handling system, Total Information Awareness (TIA). The system will capture, cross index and maintain pedabytes of information including: financial, education, travel, medical, veterinary, country entry, place/event entry, transportation, housing, "critical resources", government and communications. By the way: DARPA's Information Awareness Office is run by by John Poindexter, who was convicted of conspiracy, lying to Congress, defrauding the government and destroying evidence.
posted by jonnyp on Aug 8, 2002 - 29 comments

DARPA: still inventing the future (stand up straight with that exo-skeleton, son). April 2002 list of public projects from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, whose charter (let us not forget) is "to prevent technological surprise from harming U.S. national security by sponsoring revolutionary and innovative high-payoff research." Wonder which one of these beauties will have their payoff in civilian life, a la Arpanet?
And a small niggly point: should this stuff even be made public?
posted by theplayethic on Jul 13, 2002 - 8 comments

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