DARPA unveils the Atlas DRC robot


Meet Atlas, a massive humanoid robot was unveiled by DARPA at the headquarters of Boston Dynamics, just outside Boston. Atlas was built by Boston Dynamics for the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC), whose goal is to advance disaster response robotics. The hope is that Atlas is the first step towards the day when robots, not humans, will be sent to help mitigate major catastrophes, such as the Fukushima nuclear accident. (Photos and video)



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Injectable foam stops internal bleeding on the battlefield

The polyurethane foam begins as two liquids stored separately and injected together into the abdominal cavity.

Despite the best efforts of military first responders to stabilize abdominal wounds sustained on the battlefield, they have few options when it comes to stopping internal bleeding caused by gunshots or explosive fragments.  DARPA is studying a new type of injectable foam that molds to organs and slows hemorrhaging. This could provide field medics with a way to buy more time for soldiers en route to medical treatment facilities.



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DARPA to use brain scans to recruit the smartest military dogs

DARPA plans to pre-select the smartest recruits using newly available brain-scanning methods.

Long before Rin Tin Tin, dogs have been been an important part of military operations—from bomb-sniffing to supply-delivery. But training military working dogs is an expensive and time-consuming process. Anyone who’s spent any time trying to get a dog to even follow the “sit” command knows that some dogs are sharper than others.



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DARPA’s robotic pack mule responds to vocal commands and stomps through the forest

The Legged Squad Support System, or AlphaDog.

The robotic “pack mule” from DARPA and Boston Dynamics, the AlphaDog, has markedly improved capabilities since the prototype was introduced in October 2011. Then, the machine—intended to carry up to 400 pounds over rough terrain, while also serving as a power source for troops—was stuck on an inside track, connected to heavy cables. In this latest video from DARPA, filmed recently in central Virginia, it marches through the forest, responds to about 10 verbal commands, and follows its leader closely. Rough terrain like ditches isn’t a problem for the hearty man-made beast, and when it rolls down a hill, it recovers smoothly. On flat land, its trot is impressive, too. (video)



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Emailing vaccines around the world

You could make a vaccine with a machine that synthesises DNA to an emailed sequence.

Craig Venter, who quietly sequenced the human genome using his own DNA, then made “synthetic life” by outfitting a gutted bacterium with homemade genes, says his next trick will be emailing biological molecules, using 3D biological printers. The move could revolutionise healthcare – and biological warfare.


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Turmoil Ahead for the Automotive Industry


Futurist Thomas Frey: In 1954, Brook Stevens, a well-known industrial designer gave a keynote speech at an advertising conference titled “Planned Obsolescence.”

By his definition, planned obsolescence was “instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than necessary.”

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How to electrify your brain to be smarter with a 9-volt battery

brain current q23423Boost your brain power with some cranial current.

Transcranial direct current stimulation can make your brain work better. DARPA proved it can make you better at video games, the U.S. Air Force has shown it cuts drone remote-pilot training in half, and Harvard researchers have used it to treat depression. So what is this magical device that powerfully manipulates your brain function and where can you get one?

It’s not much more than a battery and a bunch of wires. In fact, you could actually make it yourself…

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Virtual reality contact lenses could be here by 2014

contact lens

The lenses sit directly on the eyeball, and have been engineered using nanoscale techniques to work as a focusing device that pairs with a pair of hi-tech glasses.

Innovega, a company in the U.S. says, contact lenses which focus 3D screens directly into people’s eyeballs could be on sale as early as 2014.  The tiny ‘screens’ sit directly on users’ eyeballs and work with a pair of lightweight glasses with a built-in translucent screen.

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DARPA developing sensors to track you by your heartbeat


The government wants to track you by your heartbeat.

You may be hiding on the other side of the wall but the U.S. military can see you breathing, they can even see your heartbeat racing.  But you may be surprised if you think you can run farther away or hide in a crowd.  The Defense Department’s sensors will find you.  The Pentagon is looking to tweak their life-form finder that can spot your heartbeat no matter where you are.


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First of it’s kind national program will put 3D printers into high school students’ hands

3d printers in schools

The DARPA MENTOR program should boost engineering skills for high school students.

The trend to put Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology into schools continues. Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS) announced that it has been chosen by the Georgia Institute of Technology to provide its Dimension 3D Printers to select high schools across the U.S. as part of The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Manufacturing Experimentation and Outreach (MENTOR) program.


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DARPA wants vampire satellites to harvest parts from dead sats prior to decommissioning

A new DARPA solicition seeks “swarming robot space vampires” (in JWZ’s evocative phrasing) to disassemble and harvest valuable components from decommissioned satellites before they’re decommissioned, to use as spare parts for the stuff that’s still functional…

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Eight False Promises of the Internet


Great lies continue to be propagated

Futurist Thomas Frey:  In early 2003 I had a conversation with Dee Hock, founder and former CEO of VISA. At the time we were interested in hiring him to be the keynote speaker at our upcoming Future of Money Summit, an event that would take place in November of that year.


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