joshbyard:

DARPA Robot Hands Dextrous Enough to Use Tools, Change a Tire

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has a robot that can change a tire, picking up the tire, getting it off and on the (simulated) wheel and using the lug wrench. This may sound pretty simple, but the point isn’t the changing of the tire — it’s holding the tools.
Robots that can hold tools are a lot more versatile than those built for a specific task, because then they can adapt to doing whatever is asked of them — instead of a robot that only tightens nuts, it’s possible to ask one to pick up a screwdriver as well.

(via Robot Changes Tires So You Don’t Have To : Discovery News)

joshbyard:

DARPA Robot Hands Dextrous Enough to Use Tools, Change a Tire

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has a robot that can change a tire, picking up the tire, getting it off and on the (simulated) wheel and using the lug wrench. This may sound pretty simple, but the point isn’t the changing of the tire — it’s holding the tools.

Robots that can hold tools are a lot more versatile than those built for a specific task, because then they can adapt to doing whatever is asked of them — instead of a robot that only tightens nuts, it’s possible to ask one to pick up a screwdriver as well.

(via Robot Changes Tires So You Don’t Have To : Discovery News)

(via joshbyard)

New DARPA RFP Calls for All-In-One HUD that Sees Through Smoke, In The Dark and In Broad Daylight
DARPA wants a multi-band head-up display, which could be mounted to a helmet or a weapon scope, that combines several wavelengths of light into one image.
Sunny? No problem—the camera can see in visible light. Smoke bomb blocking your view? No sweat; the camera can see thermal infrared signatures. The system would also have near-infrared capability to help users see through darkness.
A new DARPA project called the Pixel Network for Dynamic Visualization (PIXNET) seeks proposals for new sensors that can do all of this in one package. A successful proposal would be small, lightweight, low-power and low-cost, said Nibir Dhar, DARPA program manager for PIXNET.
The system would communicate wirelessly with Android-based smart phones to fuse the images together, like you can see in the inset above. The warfighter would see a scene with visible imagery, thermal sensitivity and near-IR capability all in one.
Existing sensors are a good starting point, but they’re not advanced enough to combine multiple functions the way DARPA wants. Combining reflective and thermal bands will be a challenge, not to mention making it ultra-portable. “What we really need are breakthroughs in aperture design, focal plane arrays, electronics, packaging and materials science,” Dhar said.
(via DARPA Wants Cheap Head-Up Displays That Work In Any Kind Of Light | Popular Science)

New DARPA RFP Calls for All-In-One HUD that Sees Through Smoke, In The Dark and In Broad Daylight

DARPA wants a multi-band head-up display, which could be mounted to a helmet or a weapon scope, that combines several wavelengths of light into one image.

Sunny? No problem—the camera can see in visible light. Smoke bomb blocking your view? No sweat; the camera can see thermal infrared signatures. The system would also have near-infrared capability to help users see through darkness.

A new DARPA project called the Pixel Network for Dynamic Visualization (PIXNET) seeks proposals for new sensors that can do all of this in one package. A successful proposal would be small, lightweight, low-power and low-cost, said Nibir Dhar, DARPA program manager for PIXNET.

The system would communicate wirelessly with Android-based smart phones to fuse the images together, like you can see in the inset above. The warfighter would see a scene with visible imagery, thermal sensitivity and near-IR capability all in one.

Existing sensors are a good starting point, but they’re not advanced enough to combine multiple functions the way DARPA wants. Combining reflective and thermal bands will be a challenge, not to mention making it ultra-portable. “What we really need are breakthroughs in aperture design, focal plane arrays, electronics, packaging and materials science,” Dhar said.

(via DARPA Wants Cheap Head-Up Displays That Work In Any Kind Of Light | Popular Science)

(via joshbyard)

DARPA and NIH to fund ‘human body on a chip’ research | KurzweilAI
MIT-led team to receive up to $32 million from DARPA and NIH to develop technology that could accelerate pace and efficiency of pharmaceutical testing 
Researchers in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT plan to develop a technology platform that will mimic human physiological systems in the laboratory, using an array of integrated, interchangeable engineered human tissue constructs, with $32 million funding over the next five years from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
A cooperative agreement between MIT and DARPA worth up to $26.3 million will be used to establish a new program titled “Barrier-Immune-Organ: MIcrophysiology, Microenvironment Engineered TIssue Construct Systems” (BIO-MIMETICS) at MIT, in collaboration with researchers at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, MatTek Corp. and Zyoxel Ltd.

DARPA and NIH to fund ‘human body on a chip’ research | KurzweilAI

MIT-led team to receive up to $32 million from DARPA and NIH to develop technology that could accelerate pace and efficiency of pharmaceutical testing 

Researchers in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT plan to develop a technology platform that will mimic human physiological systems in the laboratory, using an array of integrated, interchangeable engineered human tissue constructs, with $32 million funding over the next five years from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

A cooperative agreement between MIT and DARPA worth up to $26.3 million will be used to establish a new program titled “Barrier-Immune-Organ: MIcrophysiology, Microenvironment Engineered TIssue Construct Systems” (BIO-MIMETICS) at MIT, in collaboration with researchers at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, MatTek Corp. and Zyoxel Ltd.

DARPA Launches Program to Industrialize Genetic Engineering
DARPA has launched a program called called “Living Foundries,”designed to apply the conventions of manufacturing to living cells, Wired Danger Room reports.
DARPA has awarded seven research grants worth $15.5 million to six different companies and institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin, Cal Tech, and the J. Craig Venter Institute. “Living Foundries” aspires to streamline genetic engineering for “on-demand production” of whatever bio-product suits the military’s immediate needs, starting with a library of “modular genetic parts.”
The agency wants researchers to come up with a set of “parts, regulators, devices and circuits” that can reliably yield various genetic systems. After that, they’ll also need “test platforms” to quickly evaluate new bio-materials to “compress the biological design-build-test cycle by at least 10X in both time and cost,” while also “increasing the complexity of systems that can be designed and executed.”

What could possibly go wrong?
(via DARPA, Venter launch assembly line for genetic engineering | KurzweilAI)

via joshbyard:

DARPA Launches Program to Industrialize Genetic Engineering

DARPA has launched a program called called “Living Foundries,”designed to apply the conventions of manufacturing to living cells, Wired Danger Room reports.

DARPA has awarded seven research grants worth $15.5 million to six different companies and institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin, Cal Tech, and the J. Craig Venter Institute. “Living Foundries” aspires to streamline genetic engineering for “on-demand production” of whatever bio-product suits the military’s immediate needs, starting with a library of “modular genetic parts.”

The agency wants researchers to come up with a set of “parts, regulators, devices and circuits” that can reliably yield various genetic systems. After that, they’ll also need “test platforms” to quickly evaluate new bio-materials to “compress the biological design-build-test cycle by at least 10X in both time and cost,” while also “increasing the complexity of systems that can be designed and executed.”

What could possibly go wrong?

(via DARPA, Venter launch assembly line for genetic engineering | KurzweilAI)

via joshbyard:

New DARPA challenge: develop algorithms for controlling satellites | KurzweilAI
DARPA is looking for teams or individuals to develop unique algorithms to control small satellites on board the International Space Station, Network World Layer 8 reports.
DARPA’s Zero Robotics Autonomous Space Capture Challenge, kicking off March 28, wants skilled programmers from around the world to develop a fuel-optimal control algorithm.
The algorithm must enable a satellite to accomplish a feat that’s very difficult to do autonomously: capture a satellite that’s tumbling, spinning or moving in the opposite direction, the agency stated.

New DARPA challenge: develop algorithms for controlling satellites | KurzweilAI

DARPA is looking for teams or individuals to develop unique algorithms to control small satellites on board the International Space Station, Network World Layer 8 reports.

DARPA’s Zero Robotics Autonomous Space Capture Challenge, kicking off March 28, wants skilled programmers from around the world to develop a fuel-optimal control algorithm.

The algorithm must enable a satellite to accomplish a feat that’s very difficult to do autonomously: capture a satellite that’s tumbling, spinning or moving in the opposite direction, the agency stated.

I.B.M. Announces Brainy Computer Chip - NYTimes.com
Dharmendra Modha, an I.B.M. researcher, is the leader of the project to create cognitive computer chips.
Since the early days in the 1940s, computers have routinely been described as “brains” — giant brains or mathematical brains or electronic brains. Scientists and engineers often cringed at the distorting simplification, but the popular label stuck.
 
Wait long enough, it seems, and science catches up with the metaphor. The field of “cognitive computing” is making enough progress that the brain analogy is becoming more apt. I.B.M. researchers are announcing on Thursday two working prototype cognitive computer chips.
The chip designs are the result of a three-year project involving I.B.M. and university researchers, supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The academic collaborators are at Columbia University, Cornell University, the University of California, Merced and the University of Wisconsin.
The results to date have been sufficiently encouraging that Darpa is announcing on Thursday that it will commit an additional $21 million to the project, the third round of government funding, which brings the total to $41 million.
The cognitive chips are massively parallel microprocessors that consume very little power. But they also have a fundamentally different design. The two prototype semiconductor cores each has 256 neuronlike nodes. One core is linked to 262,144 synapselike memory modules, while the other is linked to 65,536 such memory synapses.

I.B.M. Announces Brainy Computer Chip - NYTimes.com

Dharmendra Modha, an I.B.M. researcher, is the leader of the project to create cognitive computer chips.

Since the early days in the 1940s, computers have routinely been described as “brains” — giant brains or mathematical brains or electronic brains. Scientists and engineers often cringed at the distorting simplification, but the popular label stuck.

Wait long enough, it seems, and science catches up with the metaphor. The field of “cognitive computing” is making enough progress that the brain analogy is becoming more apt. I.B.M. researchers are announcing on Thursday two working prototype cognitive computer chips.

The chip designs are the result of a three-year project involving I.B.M. and university researchers, supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The academic collaborators are at Columbia University, Cornell University, the University of California, Merced and the University of Wisconsin.

The results to date have been sufficiently encouraging that Darpa is announcing on Thursday that it will commit an additional $21 million to the project, the third round of government funding, which brings the total to $41 million.

The cognitive chips are massively parallel microprocessors that consume very little power. But they also have a fundamentally different design. The two prototype semiconductor cores each has 256 neuronlike nodes. One core is linked to 262,144 synapselike memory modules, while the other is linked to 65,536 such memory synapses.

DARPA’s Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Could Be on the Market in Four Years
Source: Fast Company

Finally, laypeople will benefit from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) mad scientist projects (see: thinking cameras and flying Humvees). As part of its just-announced Innovation Pathway, a priority review program for breakthrough medical devices, the FDA will fast-track the review of DARPA’s mind-controlled robotic arm.
The arm, which was developed at a cost of over $100 million by DARPA and Johns Hopkins University over the past five years, is controlled by a microchip in the brain. The microchip records neuron activity and decodes the signals to activate motor neurons that control the prosthetic.
DARPA’s prosthetic works much like a regular arm, with the ability to bend, rotate, and twist in 27 different ways. It is designed to restore almost complete hand and finger function to patients dealing with spinal cord injury, stroke, or amputation.

DARPA’s Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Could Be on the Market in Four Years

Source: Fast Company

Finally, laypeople will benefit from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) mad scientist projects (see: thinking cameras and flying Humvees). As part of its just-announced Innovation Pathway, a priority review program for breakthrough medical devices, the FDA will fast-track the review of DARPA’s mind-controlled robotic arm.

The arm, which was developed at a cost of over $100 million by DARPA and Johns Hopkins University over the past five years, is controlled by a microchip in the brain. The microchip records neuron activity and decodes the signals to activate motor neurons that control the prosthetic.

DARPA’s prosthetic works much like a regular arm, with the ability to bend, rotate, and twist in 27 different ways. It is designed to restore almost complete hand and finger function to patients dealing with spinal cord injury, stroke, or amputation.

Fiber optic interface to link robotic limbs, human brain | KurzweilAI
Funded by a Department of Defense initiative dedicated to audacious challenges and intense time schedules, the Neurophotonics Research Center at Southern Methodist University will develop two-way fiber optic communication between prosthetic limbs and peripheral nerves. This connection will be key to operating realistic robotic arms, legs and hands that not only move like the real thing, but also “feel” sensations like pressure and heat. 

Fiber optic interface to link robotic limbs, human brain | KurzweilAI

Funded by a Department of Defense initiative dedicated to audacious challenges and intense time schedules, the Neurophotonics Research Center at Southern Methodist University will develop two-way fiber optic communication between prosthetic limbs and peripheral nerves. This connection will be key to operating realistic robotic arms, legs and hands that not only move like the real thing, but also “feel” sensations like pressure and heat. 

emergentfutures:

Darpa’s Lab-Grown Blood Starts Pumping

Arteriocyte, the  Cleveland, OH biotech firm that got $1.95 million for the project, has  sent off an initial shipment of their pharmed blood product to the Food  and Drug Administration for an independent evaluation of the company’s  blood-growing process. 
The blood was produced using hematopoietic cells, derived from  umbilical cord-blood units. It’s a trick that scientists have pulled off  for years. The hard part is making quantities of red stuff that are  large enough for military or medical utility. Currently, it takes  Arteriocyte scientists three days to turn a single umbilical cord unit  into 20 units of RBC-packed blood. The average soldier needs six units  during trauma treatment.

emergentfutures:

Darpa’s Lab-Grown Blood Starts Pumping


Arteriocyte, the Cleveland, OH biotech firm that got $1.95 million for the project, has sent off an initial shipment of their pharmed blood product to the Food and Drug Administration for an independent evaluation of the company’s blood-growing process. 

The blood was produced using hematopoietic cells, derived from umbilical cord-blood units. It’s a trick that scientists have pulled off for years. The hard part is making quantities of red stuff that are large enough for military or medical utility. Currently, it takes Arteriocyte scientists three days to turn a single umbilical cord unit into 20 units of RBC-packed blood. The average soldier needs six units during trauma treatment.

IBM gets $16M to bolster its brain-on-a-chip technology

IBM this week got $16.1 million to kick up its part of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency research program aimed at rapidly and efficiently put brain-like senses into actual hardware and software so that computers can process and understand data more rapidly. IBM has now gotten $21 million to work on the program known as Systems of neuromorphic adaptive plastic scalable electronics (SyNAPSE)