BAE Systems received a $7.1 million contract to work on Phase II of the Urban Reasoning and Geospatial Exploitation Technology (URGENT) program, which is designed to improve the quality and timeliness of geospatial intelligence U.S. troops receive when facing enemy threats in urban environments.
The X-51A WaveRider is one step closer to its inaugural test flight later this year, now that airmen at Edwards Air Force Base have successfully "mated" the scramjet-propelled vehicle to a B-52 Stratofortress.
In December, an Air Force Flight Test Center B-52 is scheduled to papoose the X-51A to 50,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean before cutting it loose. At that point, a solid rocket booster from an ATACMS missile will fire up, accelerating the X-51 to about Mach 4.5. That's when the supersonic combustion ramjet kicks in, pushing the WaveRider to more than Mach … Read more
NASA may have found the lost moon tapes and our best hope is for some kind of remix. Also, Molly tells us all to beware the sticky death roller if we use the dead-fly-powered alarm clock. We also still don't have a sponsor. In case you were curious.Listen now: Download today's podcast Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | iTunes (video) | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) EPISODE 1007
Steve Jobs returns to work as Apple CEO after medical leave (thanks, Nate Lanxon on Twitter!) http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aSy0WezEGvvY
Sony considers adding phone to PSP … Read more
What if the wisdom of Web could be yours, without having to read through it one page at a time? That's what the military wants.
DARPA has hired a company to develop a reading machine to reduce the gap between the ever increasing mountain of digitized text and the intelligence community's insatiable appetite for data input.
BBN Technologies was awarded the $29.7 million contract to develop a universal text engine capable of capturing knowledge from written matter and rendering it into a format that artificial intelligence systems (AI) and human analysts can work with. (PDF)
The military … Read more
Robots that can self-replicate aren't new. But a new DARPA initiative is a little more frightening as it looks to create robots that can take part in their own construction, according to The Register. That means they're "alive" before they're finished and can help their forebearers put them together.
As if I'm not scared to death enough of robots, it means the robot armies of the future might be able to build themselves faster.
Now, I'm all for science, but DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is a military entity. That means … Read more
Brian Cooley goes all Noel Coward on me when we ask if he wants to share viewing over the Xbox 360. We also talk about the Project Natal coolness and lost of other E3 stuff. And of course robots still plan to kill usall. The latest developments involve them building themselves.Listen now: Download today's podcast Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | iTunes (video) | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) EPISODE 987
Xbox Live gets 1080p Zune video store, Netflix browsing, Twitter and Facebook integration http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/01/xbox-live-gets-live-tv-streaming-netflix-browsing/
Microsoft announces “Project Natal” motion controller for Xbox 360! http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/01/microsoft-announces-motion-controller-for-xbox-360/ … Read more
An all star research team is developing a putty-like material to help regenerate shattered bones, a technology that could allow soldiers to avoid amputation and quickly regain full use of badly broken legs.
'Fracture putty' is a biocompatible compound designed to be packed in and around non-union fractures. It provides a load-bearing, osteoconductive, bone-like structure to give regenerative growth a chance. Then, once the bone heals, the putty degrades into harmless, absorbable by-products.
"The fracture putty will serve as a bioactive scaffold and will be able to substitute for the damaged bone," said principal researcher Mauro Ferrari. "… Read more
Here's another offering from Boston Dynamics' zoomorphic line: the RiSE V3, a multi-legged, beaver-tailed robot that can skitter along the ground, shimmy up a pole, and then quietly cling there and stare at you.
The legs are powered by a pair of electric motors and equipped with small surgical needle micro-claws, which allow the unit to dig into and climb up textured, convex, cylindrical structures at a rate of 21 centimeters per second, or just under a half a mile an hour (PDF).
"RiSE V3 is the first general-purpose legged machine to achieve this vertical climbing speed," … Read more
When Americans are wounded in Afghanistan or Iraq, no expense is spared to save their lives. But once they're home, if they have suffered an amputation of their arm, they usually end up wearing an artificial limb that hasn't changed much since World War II.
In all the wonders of modern medicine, building a robotic arm with a fully functioning hand has not been remotely possible.
Hiding and fighting from within civilian structures gives insurgents an edge. The U.S. military wants to negate this home field advantage with technology that would allow soldiers to look through concrete walls and give them a detailed picture of a building's interior--right down to the fixtures.
DARPA has asked companies to propose a suite of multiple sensing technologies that could, upon development, deliver "complete situational awareness" above and below ground that would "reverse the adversaries' advantage of urban familiarity."