from IEEE Spectrum
POSTED BY: EVAN ACKERMAN
TUE, JANUARY 22, 2013
The ocean is a big place, and DARPA wants to fill it with robots. All of it. Because rather than having tosend robots to whatever part of the ocean you want to have robots in, wouldn’t it just be much easier of robots were there already? Sure it would! Yes, it’s impractical, and maybe even borderline impossible, but hey, it’s DARPA, and this is what they do.
DARPA’s Upward Falling Payloads program would seed the world’s oceans with remotely deployable robot pods. The pods, or nodes, would stay hidden at the bottom of the sea until activated by a secret signal, whereupon they’d rise to the surface (“falling upward”) and do… Well… They’d do whatever you’d want them to do: passive sensing, active sensing, communications, or even launching UAVs. As with most of their programs, DARPA has no idea how to go about doing this, but they’re hoping that a pile o’ cash will tempt someone else to make it all work. . . . Read Complete Report
Robots aren’t often athletic. But in this new video, a prototype version of a robot sponsored by the Pentagon’s blue-sky researchers climbs over wooden blocks, jumps while maintaining its balance, and climbs up stairs — the kinds of athletic tasks that Darpa wants robots to perform in order to aid with disaster relief. . . . Read Complete Report
Robots are already stronger than humans, able to lift thousands of pounds at a time. In many ways, they’re smarter than people, too; machines can perform millions of calculations per second, and even beat us at chess. But we could at least take solace in the fact that we could still outrun our brawny, genius robot overlords if we needed to.
Until now, that is. A four-legged robot, funded by the Pentagon, has just run 28.3 miles per hour. That’s faster than the fastest man’s fastest time ever. Oh well, ruling the planet was fun while it lasted. . . . Read Complete Report
During natural or man-made disasters, the U.S. armed forces’ rapidly deployable airlift, sealift, communication, and medical evacuation and care capabilities can supplement lead relief agencies in providing aid to victims. The Department of Defense’s 2012 strategic guidance document includes humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations as one of the missions for 21st Century defense.
DARPA’s Tactically Expandable Maritime Platform (TEMP) program has completed the design of innovative technologies to transform commercial container ships into self-contained floating supply bases during disaster relief operations, without needing port infrastructure. The program envisions a container ship anchoring offshore of a disaster area, and the ship’s crew delivering supplies ashore using DARPA-developed, modular on-board cranes and air- and sea-delivery vehicles. . . . Read Complete Report
by Evan Ackerman
IEEE Via Wired.com
Fri, 17 Feb 2012 11:17 CST
In the movie Avatar, humans hooked themselves up to brain-machine-interface pods with which they could control giant genetically engineered human-alien hybrids. It’s just a movie, but DARPA, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, doesn’t care: It wants this kind of system to be real, just replace “giant genetically engineered human-alien hybrids” with “robots.”In its 2012 budget, DARPA has decided to pour US $7 million into the “Avatar Project,” whose goal is the following: “develop interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bi-pedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier’s surrogate.” Whoa.. . . Read complete report
Will you get lost in the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Most people I asked don’t even know what that is, but it’s happening all around us right now. This system is about technological evolution… evolving us.
A networked military – an extreme take on the “internet of things” – would connect everything from F-35 jets to the Navy’s destroyers to the armor of the tanks crawling over the land to the devices carried by soldiers – every weapon would be connected. Every weapon, vehicle, and device connected, sharing data, constantly aware of the presence and state of every other node in a truly global network.
Of course, the development of these “smart” weapons should unnerve Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has repeatedly warned that AI and machine learning poses a greater threat to the future of the US than North Korea. If not properly regulated, Elon suggested that machines could turn against their human masters. . . . Read Complete Report
Season 1 / Episode 10 We rely on machines for virtually every aspect of modern life. Have we reached the point where we need them more than they need us? There may be a time where we are no longer at the top of the evolutionary food chain.
SUBSCRIBED 824K Subscribe to Motherboard Radio today! http://apple.co/1DWdc9d In INHUMAN KIND, Motherboard gains exclusive access to a small fleet of US Army bomb disposal robots—the same platforms the military has weaponized—and to a pair of DARPA’s six-foot-tall bipedal humanoid robots. We also meet Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, renowned physicist Max Tegmark, and others who grapple with the specter of artificial intelligence, killer robots, and a technological precedent forged in the atomic age. It’s a story about the evolving relationship between humans and robots, and what AI in machines bodes for the future of war and the human race.