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Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
DARPA has a new piece of backpacking gear for you on 04/29/2013 21:40:08 MDT Print View

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNUeSUXOc-w

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: DARPA has a new piece of backpacking gear for you on 04/29/2013 21:53:43 MDT Print View

It seems kind of noisy. I'm a little surprised that the military would want that.

I've used DARPA inventions in the past, and sometimes they are a little --out there--.

--B.G.--

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
DARPA has a new piece of backpacking gear for you on 04/29/2013 21:55:12 MDT Print View

Good thing our government is spending money on robot cows instead of providing current technology in classrooms across the nation.

I teach 180 kids a day and have a single virus-plagued laptop with a separate USB keyboard to replace the stock broken one. I'm still running Windows XP, crash when I try to open PDFs, and can't load a one minute video clip in less than 10 minutes.

Robot cows. I'll be darned.
And I thought our country was slipping.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Technology on 04/29/2013 22:12:01 MDT Print View

That bad Craig? To hear some folks whining in Dallas you'd think we had the most stingy district in the world and yet we have plenty of computers (and we don't use them as much as we should).

Back to the mechanical mule idea, lets just say I'm skeptical. How does this thing help a rifle squad in the real world?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Technology on 04/29/2013 22:13:50 MDT Print View

"How does this thing help a rifle squad in the real world?"

It would surely draw enemy fire away from the humans.

--B.G.--

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: DARPA has a new piece of backpacking gear for you on 04/29/2013 22:19:54 MDT Print View

Craig,

I hear you!

Or we could transfer DARPA's budget to the FAA so we can get a freak'n airplane off the ground.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
DARPA and science on 04/29/2013 23:32:26 MDT Print View

DARPA is always looking for "The Next Great Thing" for military applications, like robotic cars (not remotely controlled), etc. Interestingly most new military gear comes from private industry inventing new goodies.

EX. The sniping gear that is now being adopted is almost all the result of private initiative, such as Kestrel weather/ballistic meter, Horus reticles, immproved long range cartridges, Barrett .50 cal. rifles, etc. Yes there are some some coming from military solitications, like the recent SOCOM sniper rifle. Usually military solitications wind up being things "designed by a committee" in truth and, unfortunately, in operation. Witness the painful gestation of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Aaaaarrgghh!

My son-in-law worked with DARPA on some research and was given a DARPA "challenge coin". They wanted him full time but he preferred academe. I think he was very smart in that decision.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: DARPA has a new piece of backpacking gear for you on 04/30/2013 03:34:44 MDT Print View

You do realize you're all debating the merits of DARPA funding on the direct descendent of ARPANET, using servers that run a descendent of Multics. Not to mention GUIs being invented by DARPA funded scientists.

As for backpacking the vast majority of people use a GPS to get to at least the trailhead, if not while hiking.

They also fund the miniaturization and scaling of cancer diagnostics (as well as other cutting edge medical technologies).

Sure they're "defense" budgeted and they invest in some crazy ideas but "Defense" has been added and removed from the agency a few times. They're charting unknown technological territory and pushing the boundaries of what is possible, sometimes even transforming the world as we know it.

Eric, they aren't set up to create standard issue equipment for today's army, but rather to find the technologies that will transform the world (and hopefully our military) in several decades time. Hence the "Advanced Research" name.

Oh and Nick, the FAA received more money than they requested this year...it's our politicians playing games and refusing to pass a proper budget in years that are grounding airplanes. DARPA is only a $2.8B out of a budget of nearly $4Trillion. If anything it's your social security and medical care that is keeping the planes out of the air ;)

This is Obama's proposal from 2011, so dated, but still a good breakdown, department by department, of where our money is spent:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/02/13/us/politics/2013-budget-proposal-graphic.html?_r=0

Loren B
(ljamesb)

Locale: London UK, Greenville USA
Earlier version on 04/30/2013 03:40:25 MDT Print View

Take a look at one of the earlier versions ;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXI4WWhPn-U

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Re: DARPA has a new piece of backpacking gear for you on 04/30/2013 06:57:13 MDT Print View

Why is it "Nick's" social security and medicaid? I mean, we know he's really old and everything, but in reality, he's just a drop in the bucket.

Oh, sorry about the bucket reference, Nick. Damn.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: DARPA has a new piece of backpacking gear for you on 04/30/2013 07:04:00 MDT Print View

My wife's used to do research for Darpa, some of the stuff she worked on 10 years ago is now in use in the outdoors.