Friday, January 25, 2013

Recently in DARPA Category - NASAHackSpace

Since I have mentioned DARPA in a few posts I thought I would check out some science fiction references that hit on things DARPA was looking into.  Since the list is alphabetical, the first one shown is for "Avatar".
- LRK - 
DARPA Project List (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)
DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) was established 1958 in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik. DARPA reports directly to the Secretary of Defense; however, it operates independently of the rest of military research and development. Its basic principles are:
  • Small and flexible, with a flat organization structure
  • Autonomous organization
  • World-class scientists and engineers work with representatives from industry, universities and government labs
  • Project-based style; technical staff rotated every 3-5 years
  • Program managers are selected to be technically outstanding and entrepreneurial.
Here's a listing of the DARPA-related projects presented on the Technovelgy site:
How much of your tax money would you spend on a program to recreate Avatar, a movie in which a human is "uploaded" to a robot?* Whenever a science-fictional desire exists, DARPA is ready to meet that desire (and if you don't think so, see my DARPA Project List).
The DARPA Avatar program is not quite like the movie: what they want are “interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bipedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier’s surrogate.”

That made me check out some other archive lists.
- LRK -

This link is an archive list of articles that Keith Cowling posted with DARPA interests.
This list is by latest to previous which shows the recent topic about satellite repair and back last year we see the "Avatar" project mentioned.  A lot in between as well.
- LRK -

Recently in DARPA Category  -  NASAHackSpace

Phoenix Rising: Advances in Satellite Repurposing Program

By Keith Cowing on January 23, 2013 9:56 PM

DARPA Has A Program Called "Avatar"

By Keith Cowing on February 18, 2012 2:48 PM


Let me give you one more list to look at should you be so inclined.
For those in the US, it is your tax money at work.
- LRK -


January 22, 2013 at 6:15PM
DARPA touts progress on Phoenix program to salvage dead satellites

February 19, 2012 at 7:03AM
DARPA's 'Avatar project' aims to give soldiers surrogate robots, makes James Cameron proud

And the WIRED magazine article where the Avatar project appeared.
- LRK -

Pentagon’s Project ‘Avatar’: Same as the Movie, but With Robots Instead of Aliens
BY KATIE DRUMMOND 02.16.12 4:51 PM

Soldiers practically inhabiting the mechanical bodies of androids, who will take the humans’ place on the battlefield. Or sophisticated tech that spots a powerful laser ray, then stops it from obliterating its target.
If you’ve got Danger Room’s taste in movies, you’ve probably seen both ideas on the big screen. Now Darpa, the Pentagon’s far-out research arm, wants to bring ‘em into the real world.
In the agency’s $2.8 billion budget for 2013, unveiled on Monday, they’ve allotted $7 million for a project titled “Avatar.” The project’s ultimate goal, not surprisingly, sounds a lot like the plot of the same-named (but much more expensive) flick.

Just for fun I down loaded the DARPA 336 page budget PDF file and so far the "Avatar project" has not appeared in my blurry eyes.  Your viewing may have better luck. In any case a lot things to think about.
- LRK -


FY 2013 Budget Estimates - Darpa
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
UNCLASSIFIED. Department of Defense. Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 President's BudgetSubmission. February 2012. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ...

  • Budgets are available on the Department of Defense (DoD) Comptroller website. DoD also maintains a searchable database for budget information.

  • FY 2013 Budget Estimates (2.62 MB .pdf)


    • [Tells you to read and then Cick to leave DARPA site. -LRK -]
      You are now leaving the Web Information Service site that is under the control and management of DARPA. The appearance of this hyperlink does not constitute endorsement by DARPA nor the DoD of the destination web site or the information, organizations, products, or services contained therein, nor does DARPA or the DoD exercise any responsibility at the destination. This link is provided consistent with the stated purpose of this web site.
    click to continue immediately.

The problem with searchable data bases is you need to know how the data base is set up to ask the right questions. Avatar is not a title the search engine wanted on the input form. :-( 
However ...
- LRK -

Service/Agency: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
Budget Activity: 2 - Applied Research
Program Element Number: 0602702E - 39k - Text Version

on page 9 of 30 pages, and down the page a bit. - LRK -

Title: Avatar
Description: Key advancements in telepresence and remote operation of ground systems are being made towards the ultimate goal of developing remotely operated robotic systems that can operate in dismounted environments. In order to demonstrate the utility of bi-pedal machines on real missions and accelerate their development, the synergistic partnership between machine and operator must be leveraged. The Avatar program will develop interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bi-pedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier's surrogate. Once developed, Avatar will allow soldiers to remain out of harm's way while still leveraging their experience and strengths to complete important missions such as sentry/perimeter control, room clearing, combat casualty recovery, and, eventually, dismounted combat maneuver. Anticipated service users include the Army, Marines and Special Forces.

FY 2013 Plans:
- Investigate power, locomotion, perception and control of surrogate bipedal machine platforms.
- Begin initial development of algorithms to allow the function of a bidirectional master controller between a human user and a remote bipedal machine.
- Initiate investigations into tethered and untethered power options to allow operation over relevant mission envelopes.

FY 2013: 7.000 ($ in Millions)


Well that was an interesting exercise and the WIRED magazine article was correct.  Just nice to be able to get back to the source and nice to know you can find these on the Internet.  We have come a long way since the early Bulletin Boards and CompuServe