• South Korean Team KAIST Wins DARPA Robotics Challenge With Bipedal Wunderdroid

    South Korean Team KAIST Wins DARPA Robotics Challenge With Bipedal Wunderdroid

    The DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals is a tough contest. Designed encourage researchers to create robots that can handle multiple difficult environments and tasks including breaching a door, turning a valve, and negotiating obstacles, many robots entered but only one won – DRC-HUBO from a joint team that included researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Team KAIST from… Read More

  • DARPA’s Incredible Humanoid Robot Can Now Walk On Its Own Two Feet, No Support Required

    DARPA’s Incredible Humanoid Robot Can Now Walk On Its Own Two Feet, No Support Required

    Remember ATLAS? That massive walking robot that DARPA is building with (the now Google-owned) Boston Dynamics? Last time we saw it, it had two major flaws that made it ever-so-slightly less intimidating: it was loud as hell, and it needed a big, thick support cable to keep it powered and upright. Both of those issues have been fixed. Read More

  • DARPA Is Using Oculus Rift To Build The ‘Mega Man Battle Network’ Of Cyberwarfare

    DARPA Is Using Oculus Rift To Build The ‘Mega Man Battle Network’ Of Cyberwarfare

    In a surprising amount of futuristic visions of how hacking will work in the future, the experience is immersive, rather than something done hunched over a computer looking at lines of code scroll by. DARPA appears to agree with the full-body submersion vision of hacking’s future, as it’s working on an Oculus Rift-based interface for use by U.S. military hackers, one part of its Plan… Read More

  • How To Say No, And Other Tips From Inside SRI’s Venture Process Crunch Network

    How To Say No, And Other Tips From Inside SRI’s Venture Process

    Editor’s note: Norman Winarsky is the Vice President of Ventures at research and technology development organization SRI International. What have we learned over more than 65 years of invention and commercialization? There are several specific ways in which our venture processes stand in contrast to what is in vogue today. These are lessons that anyone in the business of innovation… Read More

  • DARPA’s Cheetah Robot Will Stab You With Its Pointy Legs

    Seriously: this is what is going to do our fighting soon. Imagine stand-off situations with this bastard rolling through the door and then skittering across the marble floor of Oslo City Hall straight into a crowd of hostages, aiming right at the gunman. The design is based on Big Dog, our former favorite dangerous monster robot, but this guy can to 18 miles an hour, five miles faster than… Read More

  • DARPA Contest Winners Prove Shredders Aren’t Quite As Safe As You Think

    DARPA Contest Winners Prove Shredders Aren’t Quite As Safe As You Think

    DARPA’s Shredder Challenge, a contest to reconstruct documents from a slurry of shredded paper, has been solved, suggesting that my grandmother may be barking up the wrong tree when she shreds the Campmor catalog. Three scientists with experience in computer vision and mobile technology, Otavio Good, Luke Alonso, and Keith Walker, scanned each chunk for unique characteristics that… Read More

  • “All Your Shreds Are Belong to U.S.” Wins $50,000 DARPA Shredder Challenge

    “All Your Shreds Are Belong to U.S.” Wins $50,000 DARPA Shredder Challenge

    A San Francisco-based team has just won the DARPA Shredder Challenge. DARPA, the government agency whose work led to the creation of the Internet, challenged the public to reconstruct five shredded documents. The winning team, called “All Your Shreds Are Belong to U.S.” completed the task in 33 days, spending nearly 600 man-hours building algorithms and piecing together more… Read More

  • DARPA Video Shows The Evolution Of The Hummingbot Nano UAV

    We’ve been following DARPA’s Nano UAV program since 2009, and it’s really remarkable how it’s gone from clumsy to cool to creepy in just a year and a half. DARPA thinks so too, so they put together a little video tribute to the thing. There isn’t much in the way of new footage in this, but it’s nice to have everything in one place. Read More

  • DARPA Wants Full-Disk Encryption For Android, iOS Devices

    DARPA has put out a request for full-disk encryption for iOS and Android-based devices. The deal is that the Defense Advances Research Projects Agency wants to have greater choice when it comes to smartphone selection, having used the BlackBerry for years without complaint. That’s because it was only the BlackBerry that met the agency’s encryption requirements. Read More

  • Sweet Winning DARPA Combat Vehicle Designs Shown Off

    Last month we mentioned how DARPA and Local Motors were trying out a crowdsourcing model for producing a concept combat vehicle. Well, the entries have been vetted and voted on, and they’ve put them into a nice gallery for you. They’re pretty awesome — kind of like the stuff I used to draw in school, but… you know, better. Here are the top 3 (more at Local Motors): Read More

  • Video: Unmanned Naval Stealth Fighter's First Flight

    The X-47B is a new stealth unmanned aircraft intended for the US Navy. The plane is a large step toward virtual warfare, something claimed to help save lives. Not only does it require no human to fly, but it can take off and land on a carrier and refuel mid-flight, both considered one of the toughest challenges for today’s pilots. The X-47B has the ability to stay in the air… Read More

  • DARPA Tries Open-Source, Goes After Professionals For XC2V Combat Support Vehicle

    DARPA, the Defense Department’s R&D wing, does some pretty amazing stuff. And when they aren’t getting what they want from their engineers, they let others help. Like in the Grand Challenge and its related programs — sometimes just dangling a cash prize and some specs out there is worth more than all your eggheads and skunk works combined. Read More

  • Lockheed & Darpa Develop Real Life ‘Aimbot’ For Snipers

    From one military story to another. It looks like Lockheed and DARPA have jointly developed a system that makes it easier for snipers to pick off their targets. Yes, a real life aimbot of sorta. It’s called the integrated spotter scope, and means that snipers would be able to shoot effectively from a distance of up to 3,600 yards. That’s quite far, indeed. Read More

  • Remember Those Red Darpa Balloons? We Helped Find Three Of Them

    Remember the DARPA red balloon challenge back in December? DARPA launched ten red balloons across the country and offered $40,000 to the first group of people who could identify the exact locations of all ten. All sorts of teams with different strategies participated, with the winning team coming from MIT. Well, it turns out that TechCrunch helped find three of those balloons, more than… Read More

  • Darpa wants a real C-3PO to translate for troops Over There

    Shocking admission: I’ve never seen a Star Wars movie. Well, that’s not entirely true: I did see Episode One and Episode Three, but I’m pretty sure those don’t really count. (I liked the song “Duel of the Fates,” though, and the one that played when Anakin fought the other guy in the lava or whatever.) I bring this up because this story is about C3PO… Read More

  • U.S. military now wants 3D surveillance cameras. Avatar invented 3D, you know.

    In a sense, the following story can be summed up thus: the US military wants new, hi-tech equipment. That’s not exactly breaking news, no, but there’s an Avatar connection, so if the world could stop rotating on its axis for a moment… It’s called Fine Detail Optical Surveillance, and the military wants Darpa to develop it. Think 3D spy cameras. Attach one to a… Read More

  • How To Find Those Red Balloons

    This morning DARPA launched ten red balloons across the U.S. in a Network Challenge to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the precursor to the Internet, Arpanet. The first team to correctly locate all ten balloons will win a $40,000 prize. The idea is to see how people can self-organize on the Internet and how information disseminates through social and viral networks. There are thousands… Read More

  • These boots were made for tracking

    DARPA, everyone’s favorite organization that sounds suspiciously like Dharma, is working on tracking sensors that can be embedded into the sole of a shoe. Micro Inertial Navigation Technology, or MINT for short, is being jointly developed by Case Western University and Intersense (of the Massachusetts Intersenses). These sensors are designed to provide location information in places… Read More

  • Bored scientists create radio-controlled beetles

    Nope, your eyes aren’t broken or anything: that’s a beetle with a circuit board snapped into place. It’s the DARPA-funded handiwork of a group of scientists from the University of California, who are trying to better understand how the insect flies (while using so little energy). Data in hand, these scientists would then be able to help authorities develop better… Read More

  • Darpa developing, yes, a flying car

    They killed the electric car—they is no one in particular—but damn it if we’re not gonna see a flying car before this planet’s best and brightest found a space colony on the moon. Yes, Darpa, which brought you all of the Internets, has developed Personal Air Vehicle Technology, or PAVT (or A Ceca Persevering Holly Hot Loin, in anagram form). It’s part car… Read More