Further solidifying its reputations for cutting edge battlefield tech and badass acronyms, DARPA has awarded BAE systems $8.4 million to develop its BLADE program (for Behavioral Learning for Adaptive Electronic Warfare), a system of algorithms that can automatically identify and jam threatening wireless communications.
iRobot, who brought us the Roomba and friends, have now devised a ball-shaped, undulating "chembot" under the auspices of -- who else -- DARPA. The lovable machine resembles something you might find on a surreal dim sum platter: a pale, doughy blob that changes shape, inflates, deflates, and will ultimately be able to squeeze through tiny cracks in pursuit of its target.
On the battlefield, communication is key. So while improving comms between our troops is a vital part of the military's technological mission, the mad scientists over at DARPA are scheming up a new way to deny communication to the enemy in a very precise way. DARPA is seeking proposals for a way to use an array of low-power transmitter nodes in the sky and on the ground to perform "surgical jamming" that will knock out communications signals "on the order of a city block corner" while leaving surrounding areas unaffected.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.