HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
williamlweaver
User Rank
Platinum
DARPA Innovation in Leadership
williamlweaver   4/18/2012 7:29:25 AM
NO RATINGS
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. 


warren@fourward.com
User Rank
Platinum
Danger-seeking robots
warren@fourward.com   4/18/2012 7:36:14 AM
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!

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Danger-seeking robots
Rob Spiegel   4/18/2012 2:13:20 PM
NO RATINGS

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.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
The Bear
Charles Murray   4/18/2012 6:59:28 PM
NO RATINGS
Several years ago, a company called Vecna Technologies developed a robot called The Bear (battlefield extraction assist robot), which could attach itself to a ground vehicle, ride out to a battlefield, get off the vehicle, find a casualty, and load a wounded soldier onto a stretcher. It could even find the soldier inside a building and carry him/her down a set of stairs. But building a cheetah-like robot that breaks the land-speed record is another matter. It's a testament to how fast this technology is developing.

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=217033

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The Bear
Ann R. Thryft   4/19/2012 4:00:52 PM
NO RATINGS

Boston Dynamics, the company that produce the record-breaking cheetah robot, has also created a DARPA-funded humanoid robot, Petman, to test chemical protection clothing. This robot recently learned to climb stairs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oHiB8AzSpA

as shown in this rather creepy video.


Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The Bear
Charles Murray   4/19/2012 8:14:30 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, Ann. Creepy video, yes, but cool. Looks like something straight out of a video game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oHiB8AzSpA

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The Bear
Ann R. Thryft   4/20/2012 12:14:46 PM
NO RATINGS

I'm not sure why a stair-climbing Petman is so much creepier than a walking Petman, but it sure is, especially when it runs up them.


William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Darpa wants robots
William K.   4/19/2012 9:33:39 AM
NO RATINGS
While it is certainly true that designing robots of any kind would be a job-creating activity, it is not likely that anybody able to do that work is unemployed. That is part of the problem. 

The other part is that those who could quickly adapt to designing robots but who are unemployed will not even be considered for those positions. That is because of the bias against unemployed engineers. I found this out when I tricked an agency person into admitting the bias. It did take quite a bit of discussion with her, and after she admitted it about one position, she blurted out that it was common, and most of the companies that she worked for had the same instructions concerning those unemployed.

Ozark Sage
User Rank
Silver
Re: Darpa wants robots
Ozark Sage   4/19/2012 6:48:23 PM
NO RATINGS
William K.  My company came across an unusual scientific discovery and called Darpa.  They asked for the corporate name, street address and telephone number.  After writing down the conpany name the woman asked for the street address and we gave them our corporate POB address in Dallas, there since 1987.  This very curt female at DARPA told us that we would have to provide a STREET address and phone number to the street address sight.  I told her we distribute the mail from our box to various sights and there are no land lines used in the corporation since we updated to an all cellular syatem in 06.  She became very rude and told me she was blocking my number inbound

I found this quite vindictive and not too smart since the U.S. Army was a customer as was the USAF, Navy and TXANG; and the company has a lots of cell phones from numerous exchanges allover the country.  So William R. don't let it get to you; it is a government agency that people rotate thru on a 3 year basis and no matter what they tell the public during their University Presentation Programs you need to consider whats good for you before giving them ANY INFORMATION from your knowledge base.  PS DON'T SIGN ANYTHING WITHOUT A LAWYER; IF they want it LET THEM COMPETE TO BUY IT ON YOUR TERMS!

 

 

 



William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Creepy robots.
William K.   4/20/2012 9:15:34 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann, you must not have had any battle experience around stairs. Going up stairs into an unknown area under hostile fire is quite an experience, and a robot that could run up those steps under fire would be straight out of some wild cartoon, except that if it was real it would be one moster soldier, even if it was short and cute. And just think how creepy a small robot with a minicannon would be running up into fire.



Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Eric Chesak created a sensor that can detect clouds, and it can also measure different sources of radiation.
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
Practicing engineers have not heeded Yoda's words.
Design News and Digi-Key presents: Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX, a crash course that will look at defining a project, selecting a target processor, blocking code, defining tasks, completing code, and debugging.
Rockwell Automation recently unveiled a new safety relay that can be configured and integrated through existing software to program safety logic in devices.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service