Wednesday, May 17, 2006

This, Straight from Comic Con's TheBeat

DARPA creates Doc Ock robot!
Just a few carefree months ago you had never heard of the NSA, despite the fact they've been all over your shit just in case you belong to Al Quaeda. Well, meet another shadowy government agency,
DARPA, a secret gang of Defense Dept. nerds who spend their time inventing all kinds of black ops science projects. Don't let that cheesy wood paneling in their lab fool you: we're not talking dioramas here. If there's a real life "brown sound," those DARPA dudes will find it. Now they've even come up with an actual robot with tentacles!
Octarms, developed in the OCTOR project (sOft robotiC manipulaTORs), are robotic tentacles that can grasp a variety of differently shaped objects. Octarm development is funded by DARPA, under their BIODYNOTICS (Biologically Inspired Multifunctional Dynamic Robots) program.An Octarm is powered by compressed air; pressure sensors on the surface of the tentacle, positional sensors and a camera on the tip provide the functionality. Octarms have explored the interior of pipes and picked up irregularly shaped objects. [See one in the OCTOR project lab.]Manipulation of fragile objects has also been accomplished.You can view the robot arms in action
here, although it's a hella big video file. DARPA is also working on other comic book inventions like a robot dog, a cyborg shark, exoskeletons and super-strong metals called "unobtainiums," Hey kids, we're not making this up. When Robo-Cop shows up to confiscate your library card, don't say we didn't warn you.
And I'm all in favor of having a Robo-Cop at our library....

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