DARPA seeks mathematical methods to enable a general-purpose design tool for optimizing human-machine teams in a diverse range of national security contexts
Data-Driven Discovery of Models (D3M) seeks to increase pace of scientific discovery and improve military planning, logistics and intelligence outcomes
Eight companies participating in Phase 2 research that aims to leverage promising open software architectures and intuitive user interfaces
Pentagon event showcases more than 60 DARPA research programs-and the teamwork with the science & technology communities that make those programs possible
"DARPA: Redefining Possible" to showcase past technological breakthroughs, current projects and future possibilities
Researchers develop a microelectronic substitute for larger-scale magnetic components and open a pathway to more efficient communications and more capable radar systems
The Front-end Robotics Enabling Near-term Demonstration, or FREND, flight prototype robotic arm performs fully autonomous grapple testing. This testing demonstrates RSGS on-board processing's ability to track and guide a robotic arm to grapple a launch vehicle adapter ring (left) that is common to many spacecraft designs.
Four teams initiate research into affordable, distributed technologies that could provide breakthrough tactical and strategic capabilities
Servicing vehicle jointly developed with a commercial partner would leverage DARPA's successes in space robotics and accelerate revolutionary capabilities for working with satellites currently beyond reach
Two-day event encourages proposals for system-level technologies and prototypes that could redefine the state of the art for capabilities, development time and cost
DARPA's "Improv" effort asks the innovation community to identify commercial products and processes that could yield unanticipated threats
From Boston Dynamics: A new version of Atlas, designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings. It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects. This version of Atlas is about 5' 9" tall (about a head shorter than the DRC Atlas) and weighs 180 lbs.
By Will Knight for MIT Technology Review: The robots didn’t really take over in 2015, but at times it felt as if that might be where we’re headed. There were signs that machines will soon take over manual work that currently requires human skill. Early in the year details emerged of a contest organized by Amazon to help robots do more work inside its vast product fulfillment centers. The Amazon Picking challenge, as the event was called, was held at a prominent robotics conference later in the year. Teams competed for a $25,000 prize by designing a robot to identify and grasp items from one of Amazon’s storage shelves as quickly as possible (the winner picked and packed 10 items in 20 minutes). This might seem a trivial task for human workers, but figuring out how to grasp different objects arranged haphazardly on shelves in a real warehouse is still a formidable challenge for robot-kind. Cont'd...
By Evan Ackerman for IEEE Spectrum: The best and worst part of the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals waswatching all of those huge expensive humanoids topple over in a series of epic faceplants. Faceplants are called faceplants because you’re planting your face into the ground as a means of breaking your fall, which usually also breaks your face, among other things. This tends to happen when you’re unprepared for falling, which with most robots, is 100 percent of the time. Now researchers at Georgia Tech want to teach humanoid robots to fall more safely with techniques adapted from judo, which might protect them enough to actually be able to get up again. Falling safely (or, as safely as you can), assuming that you have very little control over the nature of your fall, is all about controlling exactly when and how your body crashes down. During a fall, your body is busy converting potential energy to kinetic energy, all of which has to go somewhere when you hit the ground. If your face hits the ground first, then that’s where all the energy goes at once, but if you can manage to contact the ground with a bunch of different parts of your body at different times on the way down, the energy will be spread out. Ideally, the energy gets spread out to the point where each individual impact doesn’t do enough damage to hurt you in a permanent sort of way. Cont'd...
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The ATI Robotic Tool Changer provides the flexibility to automatically change end-effectors or other peripheral tooling. These tool changers are designed to function reliably for millions of cycles at rated load while maintaining extremely high repeatability. For this reason, the ATI Tool Changer has become the number-one tool changer of choice around the world. ATI Tool Changer models cover a wide range of applications, from very small payloads to heavy payload applications requiring significantly large moment capacity.