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  • The Top 10 Most Popular DARPA Stories of 2013

    December 30, 2013

    The DARPA website receives millions of visits each year. In 2013, we shared information about new efforts and announced milestones reached in our existing programs. A full list of web features may be found at http://go.usa.gov/ZRdB. Here is a look back at the most popular—based on webpage views. Starting with #10:

    Better Understanding of Human Brain Supports National Security 

    10. Better Understanding of Human Brain Supports National Security
    April 02, 2013—Today, at a White House event, the President unveiled a bold new research initiative designed to revolutionize the understanding of the human brain. As part of this initiative, DARPA intends to invest roughly $50 million in 2014 with the goal of understanding the dynamic functions of the brain and demonstrating breakthrough applications based on these insights.

    Aware 

    9. Smaller Pixels, Smaller Thermal Cameras for Warfighters
    April 16, 2013—The military uses long-wave infrared (LWIR) cameras as thermal imagers to detect humans at night. These cameras are usually mounted on vehicles as they are too large to be carried by a single warfighter and are too expensive for individual deployment.                   

     

    VAPR 

    8. This Web Feature Will Disappear in 5 Seconds
    The sophisticated electronics used by warfighters in everything from radios, remote sensors and even phones can now be made at such a low cost that they are pervasive throughout the battlefield. These electronics have become necessary for operations, but it is almost impossible to track and recover every device.            

     

    Probabilistic Programming for Advanced Machine Learning 

    7. DARPA Envisions the Future of Machine Learning
    March 19, 2013—Machine learning – the ability of computers to understand data, manage results, and infer insights from uncertain information – is the force behind many recent revolutions in computing. Email spam filters, smartphone personal assistants and self-driving vehicles are all based on research advances in machine learning.                  

     

    A large room is filled with nothing but dozens of radio transmitters hanging from the ceiling 

    6. Members of Top Nine Software Teams Move Forward from DARPA’s Virtual Robotics Challenge
    June 27, 2013—The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) was created with a clear vision: spur development of advanced robots that can assist humans in mitigating and recovering from future natural and man-made disasters. Disasters evoke powerful, physical images of destruction, yet the first event of the DRC was a software competition carried out in a virtual environment that looked like an obstacle course set
                                         in a suburban area.        
     

    UFP 

    5. Falling Up: DARPA To Launch Just-In-Time Payloads From Bottom Of Sea
    January 11, 2013—Today, cost and complexity limit the Navy to fewer weapons systems and platforms, so resources are strained to operate over vast maritime areas. Unmanned systems and sensors are commonly envisioned to fill coverage gaps and deliver action at a distance.           

     

    VTOL X Plane 

    4. DARPA Experimental Aircraft Program to Develop the Next Generation of Vertical Flight
    February 25, 2013—One of the greatest challenges of the past half century for aerodynamics engineers has been how to increase the top speeds of aircraft that take off and land vertically without compromising the aircraft's lift to power in hover or its efficiency during long-range flight. The versatility of helicopters and other vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft make them ideal for a host of military operations
     

    Warrior Web 

    3. Warrior Web Prototype Takes Its First Steps
    May 22, 2013—A Soldier carries a 61-pound load while walking in a prototype DARPA Warrior Web system during an independent evaluation by the U.S. Army. Warrior Web seeks to create a soft, lightweight under-suit that would help reduce injuries and fatigue common for Soldiers, who often carry 100-pound loads for extended periods over rough terrain.         

     

    Artist’s concept of targeted muscle re-innervation (TMR) interface 

    2. New Nerve and Muscle Interfaces Aid Wounded Warrior Amputees
    May 30, 2013—Since 2000, more than 2,000 servicemembers have suffered amputated limbs. DARPA’s breakthrough research with advanced prosthetic limbs controlled by brain interfaces is well documented, but such research is currently limited to quadriplegics; practical applications of brain interfaces for amputees are still in the future.
     

    TIMU 

    1. Extreme Miniaturization: Seven Devices, One Chip to Navigate without GPS
    April 10, 2013—The U.S. Military relies on the space-based Global Positioning System (GPS) to aid air, land and sea navigation. Like the GPS units in many automobiles today, a simple receiver and some processing power is all that is needed for accurate navigation           

     

    Bonus: Here are the three most popular DARPA videos of 2013, based on views:

    3. Meet the Teams: DARPA Robotics Challenge Track A Robots

     

    2.Targeted Muscle Re-innveration (TMR) for Advanced Prosthetic Control

     

    1. Meet Atlas!

     

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