Robots Are Now Learning How To Cook By Watching YouTube Videos

DARPA-funded researchers at the University of Maryland have developed a system that enables robot a robot to interpret, learn and perform the tasks demonstrated in YouTube cooking videos. » 1/30/15 1:01pm 1/30/15 1:01pm

ATLAS, The Pentagon's Humanoid Robot, Just Got A Major Upgrade

Tremble at the sight of the new and improved ATLAS. Redesigned for DARPA by Boston Dynamics, this robot is now stronger, more energy efficient, more dextrous, and quieter than its clunky predecessor. And best of all, it no longer requires a safety tether. » 1/20/15 12:00pm 1/20/15 12:00pm

Amazing Footage Of A Hawk Flying Effortlessly Through A Dense Forest

The speeder bike chase in Return of the Jedi? Amateurs, compared to this footage taken by a camera mounted on a Northern Goshawk as it hunts for prey, flying at high speed through thick woodland, avoiding obstacles. The video was posted by DARPA to show what it hopes to accomplish with a new class of autonomous UAVs. » 12/23/14 6:20am 12/23/14 6:20am

The U.S. Army is now testing its lightweight warfighter exosuit. The assistive devices could significantly reduce soldiers' risk to injury and improve battlefield performance. The exosuit, which can cut a wearer's exertion level by 25% when carrying a 100 pound load, could be ready as early as 2016. » 12/03/14 7:00pm 12/03/14 7:00pm

​DARPA Wants To Build Flying Aircraft Carriers

Providing yet further evidence that we are living in the Avengers universe, the U.S. military's futuristic tech agency has announced that it is soliciting ideas for converting existing large aircraft into flying platforms for launching drones. » 11/10/14 11:49am 11/10/14 11:49am

A Circuit That Breaks Records, Runs At One Trillion Cycles Per Second

The Pentagon's advanced concepts research wing has attained a crucial technological milestone by building the world's fastest integrated circuit. Clocking in at a full one terahertz, it's 150 billion cycles faster than the previous record. The stage is now set for some unprecedented new technologies. » 10/28/14 12:35pm 10/28/14 12:35pm

Isaac Asimov's Newly Published 1959 Paper for DARPA on Creativity

Isaac Asimov was one of the great sci-fi writers of the 20th century. So naturally, at the dawn of the space age, the military wanted to tap his brain. In 1959 he was approached by ARPA (now known as DARPA) to "think outside of the box" about how ideas are formed. His brief work for the organization has never been… » 10/20/14 7:00pm 10/20/14 7:00pm

Check Out DARPA's Insanely Agile 'Tank Of The Future'

DARPA's Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GSV-T) program is an effort to revolutionize tank design. To that end, the advanced concepts research wing is considering designs that focus less on armor and more on mobility and speed. This wild concept video should give you a good idea of what the U.S. military is striving to… » 9/08/14 11:40am 9/08/14 11:40am

The Pentagon Takes Its Next Major Step Towards A Reusable Spaceplane

In an effort to reduce satellite launch costs, DARPA has awarded three companies with a $4 million preliminary design contract to develop the XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane — a reusable, unoccupied booster that functions similar to modern aircraft. » 7/16/14 6:00pm 7/16/14 6:00pm

Pentagon Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Sniper Bullets

A DARPA-funded project has successfully demonstrated a .50-caliber sniper round capable of maneuvering during flight in order to maintain a fix on its target. Called EXACTO, the bullet is optically guided to the target by a laser, allowing for accuracy up to 1.2 miles away. Headshots will never be the same. » 7/14/14 11:40am 7/14/14 11:40am

The 10 Maddest of the Mad Science Projects Funded by DARPA

Founded in 1958 to prevent technological surprises such as Sputnik, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency funds projects that are both outside the box and off the wall. Although DARPA gave us the Internet and GPS, plenty of its blue-sky ideas have crashed back down to Earth. Here are ten of them. » 6/30/14 11:10am 6/30/14 11:10am

​DARPA Needs Your Help Creating An Instant Wall In A Can

The folks over at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have announced they're looking for someone to construct a compact, cylinder-shaped delivery device that can instantly expand into a large structure (web, wall, blockade or barrier) without human intervention. In other words, no assembly required. » 6/19/14 12:17pm 6/19/14 12:17pm

What You Should Know About Google's Military Robots—In Comic Form

Last year, Google bought eight robotics companies in just six months, making the search giant a US military contractor. So what is the relationship between Google and the Department of Defense? This comic sheds a bit of light on the current situation. » 6/03/14 12:30pm 6/03/14 12:30pm

The Pentagon's "Star Wars" Robotic Arm Just Got FDA Approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the DEKA Arm System for amputees. Named in honor of Luke Skywalker, it's the first prosthetic arm that can carry out simultaneous multiple movements triggered by a person's electrical signals. » 5/12/14 9:40am 5/12/14 9:40am

This Swarm Of Insect-Inspired Microbots Is Unsettlingly Clever

They're incredibly fast, can run directly up the wall, and coordinate easily among themselves. This swarm of insect-inspired microbots in action is both useful, and a little bit alarming. » 4/22/14 11:34am 4/22/14 11:34am

DARPA's New Biotech Division Wants To Create A Transhuman Future

The Pentagon's advanced research wing has announced its latest budget — and whoa, does DARPA ever have some ambitious plans for the future. Their new Biotech unit will be harnessing biology for national security, and dealing with everything from stopping plagues to building synthetic soldiers. » 4/02/14 9:30am 4/02/14 9:30am

This Is How DARPA's Robotic VTOL X-Planes Will Dominate The Sky

The Pentagon's advanced concepts research wing has asked four companies to make "radical improvements" to vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. Revealingly, the initial proposals for these VTOL X-Planes consist entirely of robots. » 3/20/14 10:20am 3/20/14 10:20am

Meet the eight astounding finalists of DARPA's Robotics Challenge

This past weekend, eight robots distinguished themselves from the rest at the DARPA Robotics Challenge, earning them a place at the 2014 Grand Challenge. Here's what you need to know about these great eight. » 12/25/13 11:06am 12/25/13 11:06am

Watch the DARPA Robotics Challenge live here at io9

The world's most advanced robots are battling it out in Florida this week to see which one is best suited to hit the scene when disaster strikes. You can watch the live stream right here. » 12/20/13 2:48pm 12/20/13 2:48pm

DARPA Tried to Build Skynet in the 1980s

From 1983 to 1993 DARPA spent over $1 billion on a program called the Strategic Computing Initiative. The agency's goal was to push the boundaries of computers, artificial intelligence, and robotics to build something that, in hindsight, looks strikingly similar to the dystopian future of the Terminator movies. They… » 12/18/13 3:50pm 12/18/13 3:50pm