This video shows versions of DARPA and Boston Dynamics robots climbing stairs, walking on a treadmill and doing pushups.
A modified platform resembling these robots is expected to be used as government-funded equipment (GFE) for performers in Tracks B and C of the DARPA Robotics Challenge. The GFE Platform is expected to have two arms, two legs, a torso and a head, and will be physically capable of performing all of the tasks required for the disaster response scenarios scheduled in the Challenge.
However, despite the appearance of the robots in the video, the Challenge is decidedly not exclusive to humanoid robot solutions.
Any designs are welcome provided they are compatible with shared human-robot environments, compatible with human tools, and compatible with human operators so that a human without expertise in robotics can give commands and confidently anticipate the response. (more…)
Garth Jensen is currently the Director of Innovation at the Carderock Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center. Garth was previously an Office of Naval Research Science Advisor at the Pentagon.
mmowgli is both the coolest project I have ever worked on and the hardest to describe in words, but here it goes: mmowgli is an experiment in generating collective intelligence and a pilot project being developed by the Office of Naval Research.
Beyond that, mmowgli is ultimately the answer to a few questions, ones that haunted me every day during my tour as a Science Advisor at the Pentagon: why did I experience such a disconnect between technologists and “innovators,” on one hand, and warfighters and end users on the other? Why didn’t “game changing innovations” generate more enthusiasm from those who were “in the game?” And what was I doing to make it better?
As my Pentagon tour drew to a close, these questions nagged at me and morphed into a thousand others: What if we took a heavy, formal approach, and made it lighter and more of a continuous conversation instead of a blueprint? What if you didn’t need a fully formed idea to make a contribution? What if ideas, even half-formed ones, could meet up in space and recombine with other ideas to form new ones? What if this conversation engaged more stakeholders and tolerated more excursions? Finally, what if this conversation became so rich and compelling that, instead of truncating the debate, it actually enlarged the universe of possibilities?
Can you best an enemy submarine commander so he can’t escape into the ocean depths?
If you think you can, you are invited to put yourself into the virtual driver’s seat of one of several Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) configurations and show the world how you can use its capabilities to follow an enemy submarine.
DARPA’s ACTUV program is developing a fundamentally new tool for the Navy’s ASW toolkit and seeks your help to explore how best to use this tool to track quiet submarines. Before autonomous software is developed for ACTUV’s computers, DARPA needs to determine what approaches and methods are most effective. To gather information from a broad spectrum of users, ACTUV has been integrated into the Dangerous WatersTM game. DARPA is offering this new ACTUV Tactics Simulator for free public download.
This software has been written to simulate actual evasion techniques used by submarines, challenging each player to track them successfully. Your tracking vessel is not the only ship at sea, so you’ll need to safely navigate among commercial shipping traffic as you attempt to track the submarine, whose driver has some tricks up his sleeve.
Defense Acquisition University's new casual gaming site offers 13 mini games for the acquisition workforce.
About the author: Dr. Alicia Sanchez serves as Defense Acquisition University’s Games Czar. Since her appointment in 2007, she has created an award winning games initiative for the University.
Defense Acquisition University (DAU) proudly announces the launch of the first ever Department of Defense casual games site. The DAU games site launches today, December 1st, 2010 with, 13 mini games designed specifically to enhance Acquisition workforce education.
DAU’s Global Learning Technologies Center became determined to launch a site of this nature when it was realized that DAU students were similar in demographic to users of other casual games sites. The rationale behind the site was to serve as a place where professionals in the Acquisition workforce could go to play games that were related to the “core competencies” that are central to Acquisition. The result was a game site that mirrors some of the functionalities that most sites use today, including the ability to create a login to store, rate, and comment on games as well as collect badges for achievements in play.
A cadet pilots a virtual F-35 Lightning II aircraft at a display at the Alamo AFA Expo. (Photo: USAF)
We recently partnered with the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) on a special series exploring the Air Force’s efforts to advance learning and training technology.
Over five posts, Col. John Thompson, Future Learning Advisor to the AETC Director of Plans, Programs, Requirements, and Assessments, and Carol Wall, program manager in AETC’s Future Learning Division, covered a wide range of topics, including classroom instruction, knowledge management, serious gaming, virtual reality, and mobile applications.
Check out the individual posts below. They’re great for holiday weekend reading!
Air Force Exploring Mobile Learning Systems. Col. Thompson discusses how mobile technology has changed personal accountability and details the necessary steps before Air Force invests in a large mobile learning system.
Marc Wheeler is a 3D graphical artist and animator with the National Center for Telehealth & Technology. He first became interested in 3D graphics and animation in 2006 while attending The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale where he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Animation. He has previously worked at Microsoft Game Studios as the lead camera animator in the development of Forza Motorsport 3 and at Virtual Prophecy Entertainment as a 3D artist and animator.
His blog post is part of Defense Media Activity’s on-going coverage of “Restoring Hope,” an effort that provides stories, videos and resources on suicide prevention. To learn more about the Defense Department’s use of telehealth technology, check out the Sept 17th episode of “This Week in the Pentagon.” Visit Defense.gov or the DoDLive blog for more suicide prevention information and resources.
I’m the principal 3D artist at National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2) and I specialize in creating 3D characters and animations. Creating an avatar or a 3D character model is no easy task. The first step is to find detailed references to base my avatar or character on. The more detailed my references, the better final result. I then go through many steps to create my character, including modeling, texturing, rigging, lighting, animating and finally rendering. This is a long process that normally requires an entire production team, but in my current position, I’m a one-man production team and I do all of the steps.
In my job, I have a unique opportunity and complete freedom to create something with the rewarding satisfaction that I can help people with my work. As I work through the process, I have to keep in mind what the character will be used for. If it will be used in a video game, I think about what the character will be doing and how it will move around within the game; otherwise there will be challenges during the animation process. For example, if the character will be doing a lot of running, I must model the legs with a lot of detail so that they bend properly when I rig it and start to animate the character running. In 3D, we use “polygons,” which are essentially the building blocks needed to create any objects or characters in the 3D world.
Something else to consider is the “target audience.” I have to ask myself, “Who will be playing the game or watching my character?” This is important to know because I need to find a way to connect with that person on a certain level; to determine what he or she would respond to most. It’s difficult to know how the player will respond if I don’t know anything about that individual. One way to determine this is by identifying who would be most likely to play the game based on the game’s content or genre.
Air Staff officials will institutionalize the remotely piloted aircraft pilot career field by establishing undergraduate training. (Image: US Air Force/Nick Medrano)
Col. John Thompson is the Future Learning Advisor to the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) Director of Plans, Programs, Requirements, and Assessments. He is responsible for facilitating innovation across AETC’s recruiting, training and education mission.
One of my favorite questions for the audience when I’m briefing our future learning program is, “What should be an Air Force game for recruiting?”
The US Army developed America’s Army into a great recruiting and training tool using the latest in video game technology. Often, the answer I get is a fifth generation fighter simulator, but we don’t seem to have troubles recruiting F-22 pilots.
Instead, AETC is developing a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) simulator. Not many details are releasable beyond the fact it will be based on the Predator/Reaper weapon system.
On the flight simulation side, we continue to look at what would allow us to put more training into the simulator. That might be increasing the realism by putting artificially intelligent air traffic control and traffic in the simulator.
Think interactive video games are a waste of time or more suited for children? Think again. Research by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) indicates that video games can help adults process information much faster and improve their abilities to reason and solve problems. Dr. Ray Perez, ONR program officer, discussed video game-induced “fluid intelligence” on the Jan 20 webcast.