DARPA





The top speed may not be that impressive versus a real cheetah, but for a robot it’s like greased lightning… Via Fox News:

A cheetah robot funded by the U.S. military has broken the land speed record while running on a lab treadmill. Its robotic display of athleticism gives hope for new battlefield robots that could prove nimbler than existing robots on wheels or tanklike treads.

The cheetah robot’s record-breaking sprint appeared in a new video posted by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) today (March 5). Its top running speed of 18 mph (29 kph) is faster than…


Stan Schroeder writes on Mashable:

The typical soldier can only carry about 100 lbs. worth of gear, but not indefinitely. DARPA’s (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) new robotic mule, however, can carry 400 lbs. of gear and never get tired — and it can do it with a surprising degree of agility.

Physical overburden of soldiers is one of the top five biggest challenges for the U.S. army, according to DARPA, and a semi-autonomous legged robot, officially named the Legged Squad Support System (LS3), might be one way of fixing that problem …





Siri Is Watching

Tim Stevens on Endgadget said this was happening back in ’09. For all those who rushed out to get the new iPhone, if you are using Siri, you are giving a hell lot of personal info to Apple:

Microsoft’s little Clippy, the uppity paperclip who just wanted to help, never got a lick of respect in the ten years he graced the Office suite.

He’s long-since gone, but his legacy lives on through a DARPA project called CALO: the Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes. It’s intended for use to streamline tedious activities by military personnel, like scheduling meetings and prioritizing e-mails, but there are a few non-com spin-offs intended as well, like an iPhone app called Siri due to hit the App Store sometime this year. Siri will have more of a consumer angle, helping to find product reviews and make reservations, but we’re hoping a taste of its military upbringing shines through.


Well, Klingons for Jesus has sided in on this, but for a more rigorous debate, Professor Christian Weidemann recently weighed in at a DARPA-sponsored event. (DARPA cares about these things?) Jeff Schapiro…





One of the secret projects discussed in Annie Jacobson’s new Area 51 book is Project Orion, an ambitious 1950’s-1960’s era attempt to develop a nuclear fission-propelled spacecraft capable of interplanetary travel. Like many of the Cold War aeronautics projects developed at Area 51 and related test sites, it was way ahead of its time. According to Jacobs, however, when ARPA and the USAF took over the project, they had a far more Strangelovian vision in mind:

“From high above Earth, a USS Orion could be used to launch attacks against enemy targets using nuclear missiles. Thanks to Orion’s nuclear-propulsion technology, the spaceship could make extremely fast defensive maneuvers, avoiding any Russian nuclear missiles that might come its way…For a period of time during the early 1960’s the Air Force believed Orion was going to be invincible. ‘Whoever builds Orion will control the Earth!” declared General Thomas S. Power of the Strategic Air Command.” [Jacobson, p. 305]

In this fascinating TED lecture George Dyson, son of Freeman Dyson, shares his special knowledge of the project. Not much information about Project Orion’s proposed weaponization has reached the web, but pay special attention to what he says at around 3:30-3:50…





DARPA is developing another successor to Total Information Awareness.  Dubbed ADAMS (Anomaly Detection at Multiple Scales), the project aims to sift through billions of military emails to recognize an immanent threat — homocide, suicide, or intelligence…



DARPA and Google seemed to be joined at the hip these days… From the New York Times: Give a computer a task that can be crisply defined — win at chess, predict…


From the Techno Fascism Blog: It looks like our ever-diligent friends at DARPA have been busy creating a contingency plan for the OathKeeper movement. Thanks to a newly-developed pain modulator and behavior…