Sunday, August 19, 2012

h.p. lovecraft got nothing on darpa: swarms, and worms, and jellies oh my!!!

capitalcolumn | The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has released information about a new, chameleon-like soft robot that has a range of capabilities and can be produced at a very low cost. DARPA hopes the new “hiding in plain sight” robot will be used by various defense agencies for many types of missions.

Researchers led by Drs. George Whitesides and Stephen Morin at Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering successfully created the robot under DARPA’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) program. The robot can walk on its own, glow, carry certain liquids, and change color, apparent shape and temperature.

DARPA’s press release further explained the new soft robot’s capabilities: “What DARPA has achieved with silicone-based soft robots is development of a very low cost manufacturing method that uses silicone molds. By introducing narrow channels into the molds through which air and various types of fluids can be pumped, a robot can be made to change its color, contrast, apparent shape and temperature to blend with its environment, glow through chemiluminescence, and most importantly, achieve actuation, or movement, through pneumatic pressurization and inflation of the channels. The combination of low cost and increased capabilities means DARPA has removed one of the major obstacles to greater DoD adoption of robot technology.”

DARPA’s report on the chameleon-lik robot comes about one week after another DARPA-financed robot project was announced, the creation of a soft, autonomous robot called a “Meshworm” that resembles an Earthworm.

Gill Pratt, the DARPA program manager for M3, put the achievement in context. “DARPA is developing a suite of robots that draw inspiration from the ingenuity and efficiency of nature. For defense applications, ingenuity and efficiency are not enough—robotic systems must also be cost effective,” he said. “This novel robot is a significant advance towards achieving all three goals.”


Big Don said...

....BD is surprised this didn't get labeled "WarSocialism".....

CNu said...

"warsocialism" betokens welfare for authoritarian douchebag IQ-77 L00z3rs..., the "unspeakable" betokens the Nashian convergence between STEM high-achievers and psychopaths....,

CNu said...

Cthulu Nyarlathotep Harvard University researchers have designed a robot that can change
color to camouflage itself with the environment, just as the
Houdini-like octopuses that have achieved YouTube fame
can do. With a rubbery, flexible body, the robot resembles a 4-legged
clear Gumby. As it walks onto different colored surfaces, dye is pumped
in to conceal the machine against its background. The team, which
published its results this week in Science,
can also pump in luminescent dyes to make the robot glow in the dark,
or dyes that affect the robot’s visibility the infrared, in addition to
the visible, light spectrum, allowing the researchers to make the robots
camouflaged in one spectrum, but stand out in the other.

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