4 DARPA Projects We Love - InformationWeek

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2/25/2015
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4 DARPA Projects We Love

Space exploration, self-driving vehicles, advanced biometrics, and robotics are among the cool projects in the works at DARPA that are likely to have applications in the enterprise, too.
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(Image: Torley Olmstead via Flickr/Creative Commons)

(Image: Torley Olmstead via Flickr/Creative Commons)

We always count on The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to have cool, bleeding-edge projects in the works that give us a glimpse of the future.

DARPA's far-out ideas have included brain implants and self-patching networks, disaster-area robots, and self-calibrating microchips smaller than a penny.

We at InformationWeek love reporting on DARPA's latest gadgets, gizmos, and way-out ideas. On the following pages, you'll see four of our favorite recent projects that we think will have a direct impact on our businesses in the future.

As we worry ever more about information security, seek greater automation and connectivity in an age of smart devices that still aren't smart enough, and hope to one day do business from outer space, it's easy to imagine how these DARPA projects could apply at work. In choosing these DARPA projects, we want to highlight future technologies that have particular relevance to the enterprise tech reader. Each of these ultra-high-tech, military-funded projects will someday have applications for your business.

Check out the projects featured on the following pages and tell us what you think. Will DARPA's ideas do you think will someday become commonplace in the enterprise? Do these ideas scare you, or make you eager for the high-tech future that awaits? What else would you like to see DARPA invest in? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

Joe Stanganelli is founder and principal of Beacon Hill Law, a Boston-based general practice law firm. His expertise on legal topics has been sought for several major publications, including US News and World Report and Personal Real Estate Investor Magazine. Joe is also ... View Full Bio

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David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
3/3/2015 | 1:53:38 PM
Re: The Cooking Robot is Deadly
@LiTan- I don't think we're talking about replacing the Iron Chefs with actual Iron chefs. The issue is that it learned while watching video how to do something complicated. It actually doesn't matter if it cooks with flair and combines ingedients in new and exciting ways. What matters is that instead of programming the computer by hand to mix ingredients, it learned on its own.

Imagine what that means for industrial robots that right now have to be painstakingly programmed by hand. Imagine what it means for creating robots that move and interact in the world without our intervention. Cooking was selcteded because it is a complicated, non-frightening procedure that has lots of ready-made video to learn from.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
3/2/2015 | 3:45:26 PM
Re: Cease and desist on lunar land rights
@broadway0474- I think before we get to Death Stars, we'll have armed satelittes. Space stations with weapons, etc. And all of that stuff in orbit falls back down the hard way.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/28/2015 | 12:28:02 AM
Re: Cease and desist on lunar land rights
@Broadway0474- I generally agree with you. Spacewar just sounds like a quick way to kill more people faster. All that stuff falls back to earth eventually. Also, I suspect if there is intelligent life out there (I know I'm getting a bit "out there") it would draw some unwanted attention.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/28/2015 | 12:26:35 AM
The Cooking Robot is Deadly
I actually fear the cooking robot the most. They showed it youtube videos and it learned to cook. what if they showed it sniper training films instead?
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/28/2015 | 12:25:05 AM
Re: Cease and desist on lunar land rights
@Charlie- It also implies that someone has that right. Just because we're the only people to land there doesn't mean we own the whole darn thing. The land mass of the US isn't consider that of the earth bound part and the entire surface of the moon.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/28/2015 | 12:23:34 AM
Re: What Sector Drives What Sector?
@jastroff- Seems like the military/defense/aerospace world is still driving the tech. I think what is changing is when we find out about it. Think about how long the stealth bomber was a secret versus these Darpa projects.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
2/28/2015 | 12:21:52 AM
Re: New jobs
@whoopty- Not sure this will create jobs, but in the end, it might not be bad. I think in the future the only job will be robot repair. I'm OK with that. Give me a robot to cook and clean and fan me on the beach and I'm all set.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2015 | 8:26:02 PM
Cease and desist on lunar land rights
I am not in favor of Lunar land rights, those granted by the FAA or anyone else. They just give us another piece of real estate to potentially fight over. There's plenty of that here on earth.
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