Agricultural Robots A Real Possibility In The Near Future

Agricultural Robots A Real Possibility In The Near Future

Robots can be trained to spot disease and estimate yield  

From plows to seed drills to tractors, evolving technology has brought about radical changes to agriculture over the years. Now the sector is poised for another shift as robotic farmhands gear up to make agriculture greener and more efficient.

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Helmet Patch To Measure Soldier’s Exposure To Explosions

Helmet Patch To Measure Soldier’s Exposure To Explosions 

The Palo Alto Research Center is using ink-jet printing technology to develop a disposable patch that can be worn on a soldier’s helmet for seven days to measure his or her exposure to blasts. 

Researchers are developing a cheap, lightweight plastic strip that can be worn on a soldier’s helmet to help diagnose brain injury.

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Chembots – A New Kind of Formable, Squishy Robot

Chembots - A New Kind of Formable, Squishy Robot

ChemBots are “soft, flexible, mobile objects that can identify and maneuver
through openings smaller than their static structural dimensions”

Soft and squishy chemical robots will one day squeeze through tight spots then expand to 10 times larger, offering an advantage over rigid robots. Once a mission is complete, a chembot would biodegrade.

The chembots could get into a building through a crack, for example. They could explore a cave or crevice and dismantle an explosive. Or they might climb ropes, wires or trees. Another tiny idea: One chembot could pack a smaller chembot into a situation, then release it for even more minute explorations.

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Odysseus: Aurora’s Radical, Unlimited Endurance, Solar Powered Aircraft

z-wing.jpg

UFOs just got a lot cooler looking!

Aurora Flight Sciences has revealed the design of the aircraft it hopes will achieve the ambitious goals set out in DARPA’s ambitious Vulture program: sustained uninterrupted flight for over five years at altitudes of 60,000-90,000 feet. Known as Odysseus, the solar-powered concept aircraft is as radical as the mission it is designed to accomplish, combining three self-sufficient “constituent aircraft” in a unique Z wing configuration that spans almost 500 feet (150 meters). Video after the jump.

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Dean Kamen Invents the “Luke Arm”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0_mLumx-6Y[/youtube]

Dean Kamen’s “Luke arm”—a prosthesis named for the remarkably lifelike prosthetic worn by Luke Skywalker in Star Wars—came to the end of its two-year funding last month. Its fate now rests in the hands of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which funded the project.

If DARPA gives the project the green light—and some greenbacks—the state-of-the-art bionic arm will go into clinical trials. If all goes well, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives its approval, returning veterans could be wearing the new artificial limb by next year.

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DARPA’s Amazing Military Transport, the “Crusher”

DARPA has nearly finished work on the Crusher, a six-wheeled robot that rolls through ditches, walls, streams, other vehicles and almost anything else that gets in its way.
“This vehicle can go into places where, if you were following in a Humvee, you’d come out with spinal injuries,” Stephen Welby, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, told the military-oriented Stars and Stripes newspaper. “Usually vehicles are set up to protect humans. Here, we didn’t have to worry about that.”

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DARPA To Award Contract For Spy Plane That Stays Aloft For 5 Years

 DARPA To Award Contract For Spy Plane That Stays Aloft For 5 Years

According to Flight Global, DARPA is close to awarding a contract to build an unmanned aircraft that can stay in the air for up to 5 years at a time. DARPA describes the “Vulture” project as a “persistent pseudo-satellite capability in an aircraft package.” In other words, the aircraft can hover over a single area, narcing, communicating, or surveying for years at a time. As with most lofty goals, there are major obstacles to contend with.  Short video after the jump.
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DARPA’s New Virtual Satellite Network

DARPA’s New Virtual Satellite Network

DARPA this week opened its giant wallet to spend over $38 million for the initial development of its advanced space technology program that ultimately aims to replace traditional “monolithic” spacecraft with clusters of wirelessly-interconnected spacecraft modules.

The program, called the Future, Fast, Flexible, Fractionated, Free-Flying Spacecraft United by Information Exchange also known as the System F6, is intended to let the agency deploy individual pieces or what it calls “fractionated modules” of current all-in-one satellites. For example, each fractionated module would support a unique capability, such as command and control, data handling, guidance and navigation, payload. Modules could replicate the functions of other modules as well.Such modules can be physically connected once in orbit or remain nearby to each other in a loose formation, or cluster, harnessed together through a wireless network they create a virtual satellite.

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