Tag Archives | DARPA

DARPA Seeks Means to Manipulate Lightning

LightningClay Dillow writes on Popular Science:

Lightning Mother Nature has it. DARPA wants it.

China and Russia try to control rain clouds and the Dutch use technology to keep low-lying inland areas from flooding, so why shouldn’t the United States be able to manipulate lightning? In an attempt to better understand one of nature’s most powerful processes, DARPA issued a broad agency announcement yesterday asking for ideas on how to best protect American personnel and resources from dangers and costs associated with lightning strikes. To wit:

Lightning causes more than $1B/year in direct damages to property in addition to the loss of lives, disruption of activities (for example, postponement of satellite launches) and their corresponding costs. A better understanding of the physics underlying lightning discharge, associated emissions, and related processes (for example, tribocharging in the clouds) may lead to revolutionary advances in the state of the art of lightning protection.

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Military Funds Tiny Flying “Spy Hummingbird”

“It looks like a hummingbird!” But it’s an unmanned military aerial vehicle with a 5-inch wingspan for which DARPA is providing a second round of funding!

The ‘spy hummingbird’ weighs just 10 grams (about the weight of two nickels) and can perform “controlled hovering flight” using only an on-board power source and flapping its two wings…

This article appeared in the latest edition of H+ magazine.

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CounterTech – A(F)I: Artificial (Feline) Intelligence

SittingNow.com have employed the A.I. powers of Disinformation the Podcast host Joe McFall to kick off their new and improved 'CounterTech' series. This week, IBM scientists and their university partners announced a breakthrough in cognitive computing research: the simulation of a brain the size of a cat's. Using 144 terabytes of RAM and almost 150,000 processors, scientists were able to model a neural cortex with 1 billion simulated neurons and 10 billion synaptic connections. The researchers have subsequently been awarded $16.1 million for completion of phase 0 of DARPA's SYNAPSE project. The goal of SYNAPSE (Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics), according to DARPA, is "to develop electronic neuromorphic machine technology that scales to biological levels." In layman's terms, their goal is to put simulated brains onto microchips...
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Darpa: Freeze Soldiers to Save Injured Brains

From Wired:

The Pentagon’s mad science division has a new way to deal with the 70,000+ troops diagnosed with traumatic brain injury: freeze ‘em.

Darpa, the military’s far-out research arm, is looking for research projects that would create a “therapeutic hypothermia device” to prevent traumatic brain injuries from causing permanent molecular damage to the brain. The idea is based on successful studies that used cortical cooling to treat survivors of strokes and cardiac arrest. According to Darpa’s solicitation, cooling down the brain after trauma can offer “dramatic neuroprotection” that will prevent long-term harm to cognition and motor skills.

So far, Darpa-funded studies suggest that traumatic brain injuries are caused by repeated exposure to blasts, specifically the “supersonic wave” of highly-pressurized air they emit. Within a fraction of a second after impact, brain cells, tissues and blood vessels are stretched, torn and distorted. Over the hours, days and months that follow, altered brain processes create a snowball effect of damage – which is why symptoms often don’t show up until troops come home.

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Pentagon Unveils New Chembot

via cnet
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Army Research Office awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to iRobot to create the flexible military bot. The maker of the Roomba and Scooba, along with University of Chicago researchers, showed off the oozy results at the Iros conference (the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems) in St. Louis this week. DARPA envisions the palm-size ChemBot as a mobile robot that can traverse soft terrain and navigate through small openings, such as tiny wall cracks, during reconnaissance and search-and-rescue missions. It gets around by way of a process called "jamming," in which material can transition between semiliquid and solid states with only a slight change in volume. In ChemBot's case, a flexible silicone skin encapsulates a series of pockets containing a mix of air and loosely packed particles. When air is removed from the compartments, the skin attempts to equalize the pressure differential by constricting the particles, which shift slightly to fill the void left by the evacuated air. In that way, the weird little blob inflates and deflates parts of its body, changing size and shape--and scaring the living daylights out of us. We don't know exactly when ChemBot will join the Armed Forces, but we can only beg: please, oh please, keep it away from us.
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Nikola Tesla vs. Zombie Cockroaches – Out There Radio: Episode 21

Out There Radio – Episode 21: Nikola Tesla vs. Zombie Cockroaches

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Alien Communications, Death Rays and Free Energy for all! The 21st episode of Out There Radio exposes the futuristic vision of Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest inventors of the 20th century. We’ll also talk about DARPA insect cyborgs and the ATF’s crackdown on ninjas and our civil liberties.

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