The ATLAS Robot Will Soon be Walking Without a Tether

As impressive as Boston Dynamics' humanoid robot ATLAS moves, it's still not completely free to explore wherever it wants. Thick trunk lines keep it tethered to machinery and pumps that provide power, hydraulic fluids, and of course communications and data. But researchers at MIT are now working to free ATLAS of its leash-like umbilical cord sometime in the next six months. Read More >>

This Unassuming Room is Where the Internet Was Born

For something as ubiquitous as the internet, it certainly isn't easy to find where it all started. I don't mean historically, I mean logistically: 3420 Boelter Hall is a tiny room in a basement hallway of a large nondescript building on the sprawling University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus. Read More >>

monster machines
This is Too Awesome: DARPA's Building Real Flying Transformers!

Between their remote locations and the ever present threat of ambush (or worse yet, IED), it's simply getting too dangerous to deliver the average 100,000 lbs of supplies that far-flung American forward combat bases require each week. Air drops by cargo plane or helicopter are one option, but DARPA researchers may already have a better solution: shape-shifting, cargo-carrying UAVs. Read More >>

Here's DARPA's Hilariously-Endearing Birthday Card to Itself

Why is DARPA's terrifying humanoid robot having such a good time twirling sparklers around like its flying on ecstasy? Because 56 years ago (as of yesterday), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency was born. Happy birthday DARPA! Just, uh, please don't give Atlas a wish. Bad idea. Read More >>

A Human's Guide to Google's Many Robots

Google can't stop buying robotics companies. In the past two months, eight of the 12 companies the search giant has acquired have "robotics" in their name or descriptions. Here's your complete breakdown of the robot army presently at Google's command. Read More >>

Google Might Withdraw From DARPA Robotics Challenge (Phew!)

Google's purchase of bonkers robotics company Boston Dynamics in December prompted lots of hand-wringing: owning a Department of Defense supplier doesn't jive with many people's concept of "don't be evil." At the time, Google said it wasn't interested in becoming a military contractor, and today's rumour seems to confirm that: according to PopSci, Google is withdrawing its teams from the DARPA Robotics Challenge. Read More >>

France Will Pay You £2.9 Million to Invent an Oil-Drilling Drone

France's equivalent of DARPA has a lofty task for you. The National Research Agency is challenging engineers to design and build an autonomous oil-drilling robot that can operate continuously for six weeks at a time. And they're willing to pay you handsomely. Read More >>

Google's Newly Acquired SCHAFT Robot Walks Away A Winner

The teams have broken down their robots and packed them up in crates and suitcases, loaded them into trucks and taken them on flights home. Some will lick their wounds and rebuild to fight another day. Read More >>

NASA's New Robot Looks Like Iron Man, May Save Your Life One Day

Let's be honest: Most robots look pretty dumb these days. Whether it's the little disc-shaped Roomba that cleans your floor or the jumble of rods and wires that builds your car, these machines seem—for lack of a better term—rudimentary. Not the Valkyrie. Read More >>

DARPA is Turning Finding Software Vulnerabilities Into a Game

There's no way 'round the fact that scanning millions of lines of software code for vulnerabilities is a chore. But now DARPA is keen to get volunteers helping out—by There's now way 'round the fact that scanning millions of lines of software code for vulnerabilities is a chore. But now DARPA is keen to get volunteers helping out--by turning it into a game. Read More >>

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This Space Surveillance Telescope Tracks Wayward Satellites

As nations around the world launch more and more satellites into geosynchronous orbit above the Earth, the danger of them accidentally colliding and creating a Gravity-esque cascade of destruction increases exponentially. To keep tabs on everything zooming around 22,000 miles above the surface, DARPA's developed this keen-eyed space surveillance telescope. Read More >>

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This Foldable Space Telescope Would Put Big Optics in Small Rockets

For all the futuristic advancements packed into modern space-based telescopes, they all still rely on the same bulky, heavy glass optics that Galileo used centuries ago. But thanks to this DARPA project, future telescopes could eventually use optics as thin as saran wrap to peer into deep space. Read More >>

Human-ish ATLAS Robot Can (Almost) Traverse a Teenager's Messy Bedroom

ATLAS, Boston Dynamic's great robotic hope and the obvious star of DARPA's Robotics Challenge, is one of the most advanced humanoid robots ever created. It's capable of surprisingly human like movements and motions, and could one day replace soldiers in the battlefield the same way drones have (sort of) replaced pilots in the skies. Read More >>

DARPA's Spending £43 Million on a Brain Chip for Mentally Ill Soldiers

Picture this: In the near future, ten per cent of American veterans could be walking around with chips implanted in their brains. These aren't intended for some I, Robot-style takeover, but rather to treat conditions like PTSD and substance abuse. Sound crazy? DARPA only deals in crazy. Read More >>

Boeing Designed and Built This Slick VTOL Drone In Just 27 Days

DARPA's always working on a bunch of crazy projects, whether it's to find the next insane robot hero, or just Star Wars robot arms. On their long list of wants is an unmanned "X-Plane" that can do vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) like the dope-ass F-35B. Boeing whipped up this slick contest entry in 27 days. Read More >>

The Obstacle Course Where DARPA Will Test a New Breed of Robot Heroes

As the Chernobyl and Daiichi Fukushima nuclear disasters illustrated in unnerving clarity, mankind commands technology capable wreaking destruction we can't clean up without putting people's lives at risk. That's why DARPA is hosting the DARPA Robotics Challenge, with the hope of jump starting development of tomorrow's mechanical first responders.
But in order to win the ultimate £1.29 million purse, the six competing robots must first pass a gruelling obstacle course. The eight stages, or tasks, are designed by DARPA engineers to put the contestants in situations they're likely to encounter in crisis zones the world over. Read More >>


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