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Run and hide: Boston Dynamics’ AlphaDog has a day in the field with the US Marine Corp

Boston Dynamics has had a remarkable run in the past year, which probably climaxed with its acquisition by Google last December. If you aren’t aware, Boston Dynamics is a robotics company at the forefront of creating four-legged machines that can incite awe and fear simultaneously. Their most famously publicized project has been BigDog, a project subsidized by DARPA itself to create a pack mule for America’s armed forces that is able to access terrain that traditional vehicles might have difficulty traversing. AlphaDog, or LS3, is that militarized version of BigDog, and recently had its first day in the field with the US Marine Corp: As you can see, AlphaDog does a pretty good job on most of the terrain that was there, even wading through the tall grass, and you can really see the benefit of having a means of resupply that can access most of what humans can. That said, ...

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DARPA posts video of EXACTO, smart bullet technology that never misses

I’m sure many of us will remember that iconic quote in Steve Martin’s 1995 film Sgt. Bilko, after their hovertank made a rather awkward public appearance, ‘hitting’ the wrong target: “Well if you remember Einstein’s theory, sir; space is curved? And these are smart weapons…” However, while Sgt. Bilko was lying about this technology existing, DARPA isn’t. Today, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), released its first video of its new smart bullet technology called EXACTO (which stands for Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordinance). As the above movie quote might suggest, this technology is very smart and allows bullets to change their trajectory to hit a predetermined target. Check out the aforementioned video below: As you can see, while the technology is still only in testing, it could potentially greatly assist snipers in the field, whose margin for error is often extremely small at extreme distances. The EXACTO uses .50 ...

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Another win for home science DIY: Colin Furze’s Fart@France pulse jet is Complete

Colin Furze is a man who can only be described as a mad scientist. His latest project, Fart@France, is nothing short of ambitious; to create a pulse jet that when started in England, can be heard all the way across the English Channel in France. Of course, this wouldn’t be possible if Furze weren’t know for other eccentric science projects like this: And this: And also this: Furze has just uploaded a video detailing the completion of his pulse jet, a gargantuan hunk of metal that can barely be carried by a man, and for all intents and purposes looks like it’s going to fulfill its purpose in the Fart@France project. Check out the update below: There’s still just over a week before the Fart@France is due to happen, before which a pair of giant, metal buttocks need to be created (for the pulse jet to poke through of course), as well as ...

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U.S. military is enlisting the Iron Man suit designer

U.S. military is enlisting the Iron Man suit designer to help create battle Armour

If we didn’t know better, we’d say that a marriage between Iron Man and the military is basically a match made in heaven. As luck would have it, that might actually be happening as the U.S. military has apparently recruited the help of special effects studio, Legacy Effects, who worked on films like Iron Man and RoboCop, to help them develop suits and armour for use in military operations. Legacy Effects will have input into the military’s TALOS (Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit), helping to flesh out the suit so they can better visualize it in the real world. Don’t get too excited though; barring some breaking through in pneumatic systems and because we still have to obey physics, any suit that is produced will likely be quite large and cumbersome. Think Iron Man Mark 1 rather than Iron Man Mark 42. Furthermore, don’t expect to see armoured soldiers walking ...

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