Nice article, Elizabeth. I'll bet this competition will provide a number of impressive entries. I think it's particularly notable that DARPA is willing to provide equipment for contestants. That could boost submissions from individuals and educational entities.
As we suffer the employement dirge in this political climate, there are so many fields in which engineers could not only make a difference but define the next evolution of technology. This article illustrates how we can utilize our skills to solve another interesting problem, but there are so many more problems we face today. And think of the jobs that could be created if only a small percentage of these ideas come to fruition! Think of the computer generation started in a garage and kitchen table. Look at the progression of integrated circuits from resistor-resistor logic to SOAC (systems on a chip). There are opportunities in security, communications (like the whole cell tower thing is really working out! "Can you hear me yet" still has a resounding "NO!"), medicine, affordable space travel, transportation, and a myriad of other fields that have not progressed as sci-fi predicted in the middle 20th century while so many other things have.
So, DARPA (citizen-funded research, not Presidential largess-funded research) has given us another challenge. Thanks for the good idea, DARPA!
Thanks for this @Elizabeth! The success of the DARPA Grand Challenge series has resulted in the Google Self-driving automobile. Now the DARPA Robotics Challenge should result in similar successes.
While NASA unfortunately grew into a bureaucratic behemoth which ultimately suffocated under its own weight, DARPA continues to innovate and evolve the concept of crowd-sourcing. While the crowd was previously limited to the research and development shops of contractors, they have continued to expand the crowd to include universities, non-defense contractors, and even private citizens and enthusiasts. While NASA sought to perfect Management, DARPA continues to perfect Leadership -- a leadership model that defines forward-looking goals and then encourages others to use their own talents and resources to innovate toward that goal.
I can only hope that this type of Leadership in our government institutions is contagious.
Wal-Mart will hold its second Made in the USA Open Call July 7-8, at its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. The event will be a repeat effort by the world’s biggest seller of consumer goods to increase the amount of US-made products it sells in Wal-Mart stores, in Sam’s Club members-only wholesale outlets, and on walmart.com.
From design feasibility, to development, to production, having the right information to make good decisions can ultimately keep a product from failing validation. The key is highly focused information that doesn’t come from conventional, statistics-based tests but from accelerated stress testing.
There’s a good chance that a few of the things mentioned here won't fully come to fruition in 2015 but rather much later down the line. However, as Malcolm X once said, "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."
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