The importance of a soldier's foot speed has been known since well before Pheidippides made his famous run during the Battle of Marathon. And while humans on the whole are faster than their ancestors, thanks to more advanced technology and training methods, there are still biomechanical speed limits that mean our men and women in the armed forces will never be as quick as they (or their commanding officers) would like.
Before the military can start constructing TIE Fighters and Galaxy-class starships, attempts to militarize space need to start a bit more simply. This is the XS-1, a concept space plane designed by Northrop Grumman under a $3.9-million contract from DARPA as part of an experimental space plane program.
DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, are kind of like the black mages of the US Department of Defense, coming up with the most cutting edge, and consequently, most classified projects for this great nation of ours. While there are a number of things it probably isn't talking about, the secretive service is discussing the future of armored warfare.
The $10,000 prize for successfully hacking a Tesla Model S has been claimed. A team from Zhejiang University in China claimed victory at the Symposium on Security for Asia Network (SyScan360) event in Beijing by exploiting a "flow design flaw," whatever that means, to gain access to vital systems including the door locks, horn and window controls, while the vehicle was moving.
When meeting a duo of computer hackers for the very first time, we imagine hearing the words "We want to convince you that we can hurt you – without hurting you," is bound to release the hounds of anxiety upon your mental makeup. At least, it would ours. And it's those words, uttered by Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek to Forbes staff reporter Andy Greenberg, that introduce us to the reality that modern-day cars can indeed be hacked.
Looks like Tesla might be hiding more in its software than blind spot detection and adaptive cruise control. According to Bloomberg, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is "discussing" autonomous cars with Google, specifically the Lidar laser tracking system. Oh, and if you're going to have a self-driving future Tesla vehicle, then you shouldn't call it autonomous. Instead, Musk prefers the term autopilot. As he told Bloomberg, "Self-driving sounds like it's going to do something you don't want it to do. Autopi
The U.S. Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency, commonly known as DARPA, awarded $1 million for the crowdsourced design of a new "mobility and drivetrain subsystem" for a next generation amphibious infantry fighting vehicle on Monday. Over 200 teams submitted designs to DARPA's Fast Adaptable Next-Generation Ground Vehicle (FANG) drivetrain challenge via the agency's VehicleForge website. The winning submission came from Ground Systems, a 3-person team spread across Californi
The U.S. Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency, commonly known as DARPA, is offering $4 million in prizes for the design of a next generation amphibious infantry fighting vehicle. Competitors can register for the FANG (fast, adaptable, next generation ground vehicle) design challenges on DARPA's VehicleForge website.
Your nitro-fueled R/C racer may look all badass and be really fast, but it's got its limitations. Namely, walls. The Sand Flea robot shown above, developed by Boston Dynamics, won't win any races or beauty contests, but it laughs at walls. More precisely, it just leaps over them.
A few years ago, former Marine and Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers could've never imagined his company would design and build a fully-equipped military machine in just a few short months. Normally, those things take lots of time--major car companies spend millions of dollars and up to seven years to take an idea from the sketchpad to the dealership--but not Local Motors. To be equipped for the future one must be adaptable. Change: it's the premise upon which president Obama campaigned in '08 and the
The obvious glib commentary here would invoke Optimus Prime, or something. Instead, we're going to digress momentarily and say that the best kind of transformer involves an LP record and an SL1200. Either way, DARPA has its own transforming going on. The Pentagon's latest initiative has been dubbed Transformer, and it aims to make the prognostications of 1955 come true - flying cars and all. (Bonus points for DARPA if they can get them to fold up neatly into briefcases.)
If you're really looking forward to the day when your car says, "You just relax, Dave, and let me do the driving," it just got a little bit closer. GM and Carnegie Mellon University have announced a 5-year, $5 million Collaborative Research Laboratory (CRL) to do work on autonomous vehicles.
We've been taking a close look at many of the vehicles created for various DARPA challenges, and it finally appears as if some of the new technology gained by these trials is trickling down into the real world. For instance, you're likely aware of new technologies such as lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control which add a touch of safety and a bit less driver control to your daily commute. If you like this idea but want to go all the way, TORC will be offering its autonomous wares fo
DARPA, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has set a seemingly impossible task, known as the Vulture program, by calling for an aircraft which can remain in the sky for five years while generating five kilowatts of power for a 1,000 pound payload. The Odysseus by Aurora Flight Sciences, which has been selected as one promising design by DARPA, doesn't appear capable of flight at all to many onlookers. The odd Z-shaped wing is actually three separate machines which can change thei
The taxi business is quickly changing, with the Ford Crown Victoria set to take a permanent buyout, hybrids ready to invade Manhattan by 2012, and now robuCab. The driver-free robuCab was developed in France by Robosoft, and the technology is limited for now. It's a 4WD electric vehicle relying on a camera that reads a nearby curb and sensors reading both the curb angle and devices planted in the ground.
What would you think if we told you that DARPA is considering a plane that would fly non-stop for 5 years without burning a single drop of fuel? They are, and it's called the Vulture program, which aims to produce an aircraft able to carry a 1,000 pound payload, pump out 5kW of onboard power, and keep up enough speed to withstand the winds it'll encounter at 60,000 to 90,000 feet.
Stanford won the first ever DARPA Challenge -- a test of skill and endurance for autonomous vehicles -- in 2005 with a VW Passat wagon called Stanley. This year it came in second with a VW Passat Wagon called Stanley, Jr. Though the university didn't win the Challenge this year, it did win with VW, which has pledged $5.75 million over five years to fund VAIL: the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory at Stanford.