DARPA Thursdays: The Matrix Has You

  • Per Wired: human testing of neuro-prosthetic arms. Part of DARPA's Revolutionizing Prosthetics program is soon to have human test subjects for the first time. I think this is a great step forward for prosthetic limbs and am very hopeful it goes successfully. Compare early prosthetic limbs to today's and it's a world of difference. One can only imagine if they are capable of testing early stages of mind-controlled artificial limbs now what the development might be in the future. I'm hopeful for plenty of people who could benefit from this program.
  • DARPA is also looking for academic based computer scientists to become a part of its mission. I'm not sure if this is really an attempt to reach out to the academic community or possibly just trying to get cheaper labor from people who already have technology, space and support systems in place. Reminds me of all the internships for software engineers I see. It seems no one wants to pay full price for those anymore, they keep hoping they'll stumble upon a multitude of code monkeys willing to work on the cheap.
  • The modern infantry soldier is a lot more connected than a few decades ago. As technology changes it's more and more common a soldier needs communication devices, support systems, and gadgets to do an effective job. But how do we power all these devices? It's difficult to find a power outlet in a war zone. Per this DARPA is working on something that would derive the power directly from the human body. Guess somebody was watching The Matrix and got an idea (Per Morpheus, The human body generates more bio- electricity than a 120-volt battery and over 25,000 B.T.U.'s of body heat.) Now I'm curious how much energy the human body really dissipates. "The Internet" says it might be around 100 watts or less per hour in expelled thermal energy. But I'll save my curiosity for another day when I'm not worried the machines are getting ready to harvest my body for energy.

1 comment:

  1. Re academic cs recruitment: This reminds me of Google's efforts to headhunt my friends and I. Why on earth would we go through the effort of a PhD in order to just end up as code monkeys at the end?