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DARPA

  1. BFD Alert: Quadriplegic Woman Flies an F-35 Flight Simulator Using Only Her Mind

    Man, 2015 sure is a bust! Where are our flying cars and instant pizzas and self-effacing robotic butlers, right? WRONG! The future is here and it's ridiculously awesome (albeit more than a little disconcerting).

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  2. Tempting Fate: MIT’s Robot Cheetah Can Now Run Without Cables, Leashes, Fatigue, or Mercy

    You can run, but you can't hide. Nope, you're just doomed.

    Robots do amazing things for us. They take boring repetitive jobs, move heavy objects, and even snark at each other on cellphone commercials. They also do horrifying things like laser our limbs off before we can even feel it and chase us down like we're antelope on the African plains, and MIT has now enabled their Cheetah-inspired, four-legged robot to run and leap all on its own. When the Terminator comes for you, it'll need your clothes and your boots, but not your motorcycle.

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  3. DARPA and the U.S. Military Want to Give Us Mutant Healing Abilities

    I'm in if they can also make me look like Hugh Jackman.

    DARPA, government purveyors of fine bonkers future technology, is working on a new initiative to create tech implants that can adjust your body's functions and accelerate healing. Your ability to survive the process of receiving your very own adamantium skeleton isn't far away now. All you have to do is create adamantium and devise a system to implant it in your body! That's the easy part, right?

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  4. DARPA Contracts Brain Implant to Record and Restore Memories

    Let's hope it carries more than 80 gigs.

    Prospective data spies, your future is fast approaching: DARPA has contracted Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LNLL) to develop an brain implant that can record and stimulate neurons to restore memory. Its primary use will be the treatment of patients suffering from various memory loss conditions that currently lack a cure, but I'm sure The Final Cut and Johnny Mnemonic aren't too far off now.

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  5. DARPA Wants to Fix Soldiers’ Mental Issues With Brain Implants

    Great to see you're feeling better. Now would you kindly report for duty?

    DARPA may not be ready to make a full-scale robot army just yet, so they're now working on a way to make unpredictable, flawed human soldiers more like robots. Instead of therapy and medication, they're creating a system to treat soldier's psychological issues with brain implants that fix the problem and keep feeble humans working.

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  6. DARPA And The Pentagon Are Working On Tiny Brain Robots To Help Soldiers With Memory Loss

    We look forward to the day when we all have tiny DARPA robots in our brain!

    Not content with only building gigantic horror-bots that will one day rule your city with a literal iron fist, DARPA has teamed up with the Pentagon to get a little smaller - implantable-brain-robot smaller. Hopefully, this new project will help treat memory loss in soldiers injured in combat (and not turn them into weird DARPA-slavebots).

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  7. Google Just Bought An Artificial Intelligence Company, Might As Well Surrender Now

    Google would also like your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle.

    Since December, Google has been picking up robotics companies all over the place, including the super-terrifying Boston Dynamics, and the DARPA robot olympics-winning SCHAFT. We couldn't have thees robots annihilate the human race without brains, though, so Google has acquired Artificial Intelligence start-up DeepMind for about $500 million.

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  8. Google’s SCHAFT Win DARPA Robot Olympics With Japanese Humanoid ‘Bot “S-One”

    But Google's totally not trying to take over the world, right guys? Right?

    After two days of intense competition, Japanese robotics team SCHAFT dominated the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials to emerge as the sole victor (there were probably no retractable chain swords involved, though). Owned by Google, SCHAFT's two-legged bot (called "S-One") earned the most points over the course of the forty-eight hour challenge.

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  9. Watch the “Robot Olympics,” DARPA’s Robotics Challenge Live [Updated for Day 2]

    So once we see which robots are best, we'll know which ones we should be most afraid of.

    DARPA is holding a Robotics Challenge where humanoid and vehicular robots will compete in different events to measure their capabilities. Those events include maneuvering around obstacles, and (we're guessing) eradicating organic meatbag populations (humans).

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  10. Google Buys Boston Dynamics, Now Controls Horrifying Robot Army

    DUN-DUN-DUN DUN-DUN (that's the Terminator theme FYI)

    Not content with owning you and everything you do (probably), Google has purchased Boston Dynamics; you know, the engineering company famous for making terrifying robots that will likely bring about the Skynet-pocalypse.

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  11. Cheetah Robot Now Capable Of Running On Its Own, Humanity Even More Doomed

    Where's John Connor when you need him?

    When last we saw the DARPA-funded "Cheetah" bot, it had just broken the world record for fastest robot with a 28.3 mph running speed. It was also pretty much stuck in one place at the time, which was comforting. Now Boston Dynamics has released video of "Wildcat", which is able to spring on its own without any assistance. Yeah, this will haunt our dreams tonight.

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  12. DARPA’s Warrior Web Suit Aims To Lighten Loads For Soldiers In The Field

    The strength-enhancing suit could be worn beneath uniforms to reduce fatigue and help improve performance.

    It's not Iron Man armor quite yet, but the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has released video of the latest tests of their Warrior Web undersuit, which they hope will one day be worn under soldiers' uniforms and serve to improve their performance. The project is still in its early stages, but DARPA is working to develop solutions that will make soldiers lives easier by more intelligently distibuting the weight of their heavy packs and capturing wasted energy to help cushion footfalls and carry heavy gear.

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  13. DARPA Robot Hand Can Lift A Ball Bearing, A Kettle Bell, Get Hit With A Bat and Not Feel It [Video]

    Today in 'things that will one day squeeze the life out of you after you smart off one time too many to our coming robot overlords' news: this new robotic hand from DARPA. The mechanical limb can grip things as small as a ball bearing, lift objects as heavy as a 50-pound kettle bell, and doesn't so much as flinch when you give it your best shot with a baseball bat.

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  14. New “Transient Electronics” Do Their Thing For A While, Then Dissolve

    When the contract you have with your cell phone provider expires you usually get a new phone. Maybe you trade in your old phone, or donate it. You might even just throw it away, but what if instead of any of those options, it simply dissolved? That's the kind of future we could live in soon thanks to the development of "transient electronics." They are devices designed to operate for a set period of time before dissolving, and they just hit a major advance that could see them being used more and more.

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  15. Boston Dynamic’s PETMAN Gets a Head, Looks at You [Video]

    It's that time again, folks. Time to watch everyone's favorite headless, suit-testing robot, PETMAN, strut his stuff into hypothetical peril. No, wait -- this time our creepy friend has a head and a gas mask! And not only does he walk, he squats, twists, and turns in the uncanny valley of lifelike creepiness, ensuring a place in your nightmares tonight. Designed by Boston Dynamics, PETMAN is used to "test the performance of protective clothing designed for hazardous environments."

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  16. Everything You Need to Know About President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative

    President Obama in his most recent State of the Union speech referenced commitments to science and technology, and shortly after the speech some details of a 10-year study of the human brain came out. The White House today announced the full official plan, calling it the BRAIN Initiative, which sounds like S.H.I.E.L.D's research division, but is now a real $110 million dollar project.

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  17. CHIMP Humanoid Rescue Robot Can Also Turn Into a Tank

    Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have given robotic life to every child's dream, building a rescue robot that can take on both humanoid and tank forms as the situation demands. The real life Transformer known as CHIMP (CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform) can work like a human when it needs to climb a ladder or operate a valve. But when terrain gets rough, it can drop onto it's four treads, entering a tank-like mode that makes it easier to maneuver and seek out survivors disaster survivors.

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  18. Things We Saw Today: One Dragon Flew Over a HBO’s Nest

    Things We Saw Today

    I asked Jill if this title was too dumb and she said no, so you can blame her for this. (The A.V. Club)

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  19. DARPA’s BigDog Gets a New Arm, Can Now Toss Around Cinder Blocks [Video]

    We're unabashed fans of DARPA's BigDog robot and its kin, AlphaDog and LittleDog, but that doesn't mean we're always totally comfortable with them. Take for example BigDog's new hand -- which is actually where the mouth would be on a real dog -- that lets it toss pieces of concrete around without a care in the world. Since the robot is designed mainly as an electronic beast of burden designed to help carry the load for soldiers in the field, it makes sense that it's finally got a robotic hand that it can use to grab and manipulate objects. As you can see in the video below, it can also use that hand to chuck cinder blocks a pretty respectable distance.

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  20. Hive-Minded Robots Now in the Water

    You figured you could elude Skynet by jumping into the water, right? Robots surely wouldn't come after us in there, because their circuits would get short out if they got wet. Think again! The University of Pennsylvania has deliberately created robotic boats and put them in water with the scheme of one day making bigger floating robots and putting them in bigger bodies of water. Land, sky, sea -- is nowhere safe?

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