• Want: FirstLook Spy Robot (Video)

    iRobot recently introduced the 110 FirstLook robot designed for spying, scouting, and surveillance. FirstLook has four cameras, one on each side, giving the operator a 360-degree view around the robot (night vision mode included). The best part is that it’s super rugged and can survive 15 foot drops onto concrete. 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

  • 82nd Airborne Tests Out Special Android Build In Field Test

    It looks like the U.S. Military has embraced the smartphone era. A recent field test at Fort Bragg saw members of the 82nd Airborne Division using customized smartphones running customized versions of Android. To what end? One app gives soldiers a GPS-assisted map of the area, while another lets them send photos and other relevant information back and forth. Read More

  • U.S. Air Force Prepares For Second X-37B Launch

    What is the U.S. Air Force doing up there? The mysterious X-37B spacecraft will begin its second voyage on Friday, provided the weather cooperates. It’s not the same exact spacecraft that went up last April, but it’s the same model. The Air Force has classified the activities of the spacecraft, so unless we have another Wikileaks we’ll have no idea what it’s doing up there. Read More

  • DARPA's Hummingbot UAV Now Looks Like A Hummingbird, Flies For 10 Minutes

    Okay, this is pretty amazing, but also pretty scary. The DARPA “Nano-UAV” project we’ve covered here before is entering the uncanny valley. The aim was to create a small, winged robot that could hover in one place, perhaps providing video or carrying some tiny payload. The previous versions were very robotic-looking and could barely stay in the air for more than a few… 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

  • World Leaders Looking To Regulate Cyber War

    World leaders will be taking the first steps toward a universal definition of “cyber war,” and how to wage it legally, at the Munich Security Conference later today. (Presumably our invite was lost in the mail.) On the agenda: a new definition of the term “nation-state,” and figuring out how to update the Geneva and Hague protocols to make them compatible with… Read More

  • U.S. Military Looking To Bring M4 Carbine, M16 Rile Into The Modern Era

    The U.S. military wants to upgrade the rifle that its servicemen use to spread liberty around the world. The current mainstays, the M4 Carbine and the M16 Rifle, introduced to a generation of teenagers thanks to the Call of Duty franchise, are getting a little long in the tooth. The M16 goes back to the 1960s, while the M4 carbine goes back to the swinging 1990s. And while the military has… Read More

  • Enhanced Vision System For Soldiers Being Investigated

    The magic vision glasses or eye implants have been a staple of sci-fi for a long time. From the mega-vision of the Terminator or Predator to Deckard’s image enhancer to the silly monocular used by Jason Bourne (I mean come on), we’ve always loved the idea of being able to see more than the eye can actually see. And of course the staples of sci-fi are often staples of R&D as… Read More

  • Navy's "Mach 7" Railgun Fires A Round At 33 Megajoules

    You guys, it won’t be long before wars really are fought by bunny-hopping space marines in power armor, headshotting dudes from a mile away with railguns. I mean, we pretty much already have all the pieces, it’s just a matter of putting them together. This test firing of the Navy’s experimental railgun (it’s been updated since last time) shows that our geeky weapon… Read More

  • US Military Bans Physical Media To Curb Leaks

    In the wake of recent high-profile leaks, some branches of the US military have taken a step that may be end up being as controversial as its cause. Ironically, the news comes via a leaked memo obtained by Wired’s Danger Room that insists that everyone from grunts to techs “immediately cease use of removable media on all systems, servers, and stand alone machines residing on… Read More

  • SOCOM Coming To Android, And I Ain't Talking About The Game

    We cover a lot of military research here on CrunchGear, largely because they have the coolest toys. But the truth is that the vast array of gadgets, cameras, sensors, and weaponry available to the modern warrior make him have less in common with your stereotypical G.I. than with a blogger like yours truly. And when Special Operations Command needed to produce a force-wide fleet of devices… Read More

  • Instead Of Booth Babes, Northrop Grumman Has Gun Bots

    It’s a well-established tradition at tech conventions, where nerds like us abound, to stock one’s booth with beautiful women — “come for the girls, stay for the iPod cases” seems to be the idea, and in general it works. But how do you attract the attention of highly-disciplined Lieutenants and cold-hearted strategists? Why, a robot with a .50-cal, of course. 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

  • Jet Mounted Laser To Be Tested For Distance This Weekend

    Now that the whole “laser on a plane” thing has been resolved, the military is starting to test the technology on smaller platforms, and at longer ranges. Check out the video from first test, after the jump. Read More

  • U.S. Military Bans Personnel From Visiting Wikileaks; Pentagon Asks Site To Do The 'Right Thing'

    The controversy surrounding Wikileaks continues, as you always expected it would. All branches of the Unites States military are now banning their personnel from having anything to do with the site, primarily to avoid “electronic spillages,” a phrase I have never heard before. The Pentagon told the Washington Times that those in the Navy should avoid accessing the site so as… Read More

  • Is This The End For The Army’s “Pain Ray”?

    Among the many advances in military technology, perhaps one of the most unwelcome was the “Active Denial System,” a super-short-wavelength radiation weapon that caused intense pain in whoever it was aimed at, be it enemy combatants, protestors, or geese. Enemies of the technology cited its ripeness for abuse when calling for it not to be deployed, but it was sent over to… Read More

  • New pics of U.S. Navy-Raytheon's laser attack

    Well, well, well. Yesterday morning I wrote a quick thing about the U.S. Navy and Raytheon’s successful laser attack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Several hours later DRUDGE~! runs the same story way up top, in bold red font. The point is: I beat Drudge. Yes! I bring this up because, in the hours after I wrote the story a whole bunch of pictures came out that are worth your… Read More

  • 'Better than Star Wars' laser shoots down flying aircraft for first time in history

    There’s no way to begin this next story without breaking out this movie quote: “If I were creating the world I wouldn’t mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers, eight o’clock, Day One!” With that out of the way, for the first time in human history a laser was used to shoot down an aircraft in flight. Well done to the fine folks… Read More

  • QinetiQ's solar-powered Zephyr aircraft attempting to stay aloft for 14 days

    It’s summer here in the Northern hemisphere, and that means the solar-based industry in the US is in top experimental gear (to clarify: the company in question is British but the test flight is in the Arizona Desert). A few more months and they’ll hibernating or relocating to their Australian headquarters, but in the meantime, we’re getting a lot of solar-related news. Read More

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