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Pentagon Developing Shape-Shifting 'Transformers' for Battlefield

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posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 01:56 PM
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Pentagon Developing Shape-Shifting 'Transformers' for Battlefield


www.foxnews.com

Real-life "Transformers" could soon be used by American soldiers on the battlefield.

The Pentagon's research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is well into the second phase of a project to develop "programmable matter" that could reshape itself to fit any situation, reports SIGNAL magazine.

(visit the link for the full news article)



[edit on 9/6/2009 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 01:56 PM
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Second phase? Sounds like they have been working on this for some time...The name reprogrammable matter makes me think of the alleged material from Roswell that "fixed" itself.

Sounds cool but could be scary too. I wonder if they'd ever get around to personal vehicles reprogramming themselves into a differnet type of vehicle. (ie a road vehicle becoming a submersible)

www.foxnews.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 02:00 PM
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Sorry, but that just screams reverse engineering. Where are we getting our "ideas" for our "inventions" that seem like some nightmare from a sci fi film?

And yes, second thought is of the metal from Roswell.

[edit on 9-6-2009 by PatriotBlack]



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 04:03 PM
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reply to post by PatriotBlack
 


You just reply yourself to your question.

Where do we get the ideas for all this? in the movies of course, just watch an old Sci-fi movie and you'll se a lot of things that exist now but was inconceivable at this time.



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 04:19 PM
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I have to agree with the point that this stuff probably comes from the Roswell wreckage no doubt. A morphing metal alloy? How in the hell can they make metal do that? This story does sound like it is out of a science fiction movie no doubt.

Why doesn't the media get a little tougher with these defense contractors and say "wait a minute where are you guys getting all these advancements?" I know they will give you the whole classified answer but I think it should be looked into anyway. It would be a good step in the right direction toward disclosure. With out a doubt the government has extraterrestrial technology in it's arsenal and this one fine example.



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 04:24 PM
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Its about time.... to be honest I dont care where the tech comes from. it could be straight import form another planet, but I would love to see soliders fighting in Mechs ( mechanical suits ) Kinda like in the gundam series on TV. I mean why just send a hand full of troops into a battle when you can send a a group of Mechs. In my mind that would be best due to the weapons that would be able to carry and not to mention the scare factor. Just a thought



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 04:29 PM
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reply to post by spikedmilk
 


The suggestion that transformers will be in place in a modern battlefield is a bit of artistic license on the part of the journo that ran that piece


The reason the military are so interested in shape memory metals and polymers is because of how useful they could potentially be to soldiers. For example, soldiers often cant carry everything they need unless they plan to lug around a huge backpack full of things. If there was a system where kit could perform multiple functions, by being programmed to reshape itself as it was needed, that would save a lot of problems with carry space, and vehicle repairs and so on.



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 04:47 PM
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Great. Let's build Terminators, because we all know *nothing* can go wrong with that...

*shakes head*



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 05:19 PM
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Originally posted by Lazyninja
reply to post by spikedmilk
 


The suggestion that transformers will be in place in a modern battlefield is a bit of artistic license on the part of the journo that ran that piece


The reason the military are so interested in shape memory metals and polymers is because of how useful they could potentially be to soldiers. For example, soldiers often cant carry everything they need unless they plan to lug around a huge backpack full of things. If there was a system where kit could perform multiple functions, by being programmed to reshape itself as it was needed, that would save a lot of problems with carry space, and vehicle repairs and so on.


I agree, I'm thinking its more for for the idea of armor and vehicle repairs (like you said)... say for instance a tank takes some hits and the vehicle can mend itself. But what if ....(see below)


Originally posted by mattifikation
Great. Let's build Terminators, because we all know *nothing* can go wrong with that...

*shakes head*


Ya know I'm old enough to realize the difference between
sci-fi and reality but I hear you loud and clear. What happens when this is a done deal and phase 3 is to introduce AI in this "programmable matter"?



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 05:44 PM
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That's exactly what I'm thinking. Sure, that level of technology is unthinkable right now. Now we see, however, that this is the direction military scientists are trying to take.

Science fiction has a consistent reputation for only remaining fiction for so long. Two hundred years ago, people would laugh in your face if you told them we would one day have machines that fly, and ships that sail underwater. A hundred years ago, nobody would believe you if you told them we'd develop bombs that can destroy entire cities. Fifty years ago, who would believe that the Apple IPhone would be conceivable?

Humankind has proven that if it sets its sight on achieving a certain "sci-fi" technology, it's only a matter of time before somebody pulls it off. That's why I think "Programmable Matter" and "Artificial Intelligence" are not things we should be setting our sights on. The phrase "Biting off more than we can chew" comes to mind.



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 06:02 PM
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Now I dont like citing Wiki, but apparently this is where the "invisibility cloak comes in (see Metamaterials).



Examples of programmable matter
There are many conceptions of programmable matter, and thus many discrete avenues of research using the name. Below are some specific examples of programmable matter.


"Simple" programmable matter
These include materials that can change their properties based on some input, but do not have the ability to do complex computation by themselves.


Complex fluids
The physical properties of several complex fluids can be modified by applying a current or voltage, as is the case with liquid crystals.


Metamaterials
Metamaterials are artificial composites that can be controlled to react in ways that do not occur in nature. One example developed by David Smith and then by John Pendry and David Schuri is of a material that can have its index of refraction tuned so that it can have a different index of refraction at different points in the material. If tuned properly this could result in an "invisibility cloak."


Shape Changing Molecules
An active area of research is in molecules that can change their shape, as well as other properties, in response to external stimuli. These molecules can be used individually or en masse to form new kinds of materials. For example, J Fraser Stoddart's group at UCLA has been developing molecules that can change their electrical properties.[10]


Robotics-based approaches

Reconfigurable modular robotics
Self-Reconfiguring Modular Robotics is a field of robotics in which a group of usually identical robots work together to dynamically form shapes suitable for each task.[11]


Claytronics
Claytronics is an emerging field of engineering concerning reconfigurable nanoscale robots ('claytronic atoms', or catoms) designed to form much larger scale machines or mechanisms. The catoms will be sub-millimeter computers that will eventually have the ability to move around, communicate with other computers, change color, and electrostatically connect to other catoms to form different shapes.


Cellular automata
Cellular automata are a useful concept to abstract some of the concepts of discrete units interacting to give a desired overall behavior.


Quantum wells
Quantum wells can hold one or more electrons. Those electrons behave like artificial atoms which, like real atoms, can form covalent bonds, but these are extremely weak. Because of their larger sizes, other properties are also widely different.


Synthetic biology
Synthetic biology is a field that aims to engineer cells with "novel biological functions." Such cells are usually used to create larger systems (e.g., biofilms) which can be "programmed" utilizing synthetic gene networks such as genetic toggle switches, to change their color, shape, etc.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 06:07 PM
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The downside of this new technology is that there may be new wars created to test their efficacy...


As with all new technologies, I truly think that new wars are really just testing grounds...which means that the morals and good thoughts of the populace are being manipulated for experimental testing...human experimentation that is validated under the ambiguity and confidentiality of military agreements.

Failing a viable war, I wonder how much is tested in a civilian capacity...



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 06:09 PM
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I remember the daily show covering the defense budget cuts and they mentioned (they were probably joking) project DVD. When jon asked what it was, wyatt said it was the military going out to rent movies and then recreate the technology they see in said movies. It was probably just a joke about advanced technology we have that we don't need. A lot of scientific ideas come from "fictional at the time" movies.



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 06:19 PM
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There has been allegations of experimental weapons being used in the Iraq conflict so I thought these videos are pertinent to the discussion about the new weapons in development by the Department of Defense at present. Check out the links.

www.youtube.com...

www.youtube.com...

www.youtube.com...



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 06:35 PM
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Alright I'm convinced it wont be long if not already that AI will make its way in there...(in regards to claytronics)




www.youtube.com...



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 06:40 PM
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reply to post by spikedmilk
 


Oh, good. So we can have invisible terminators, because it's not quite scary enough to have terminators that can disguise themselves like people.



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 06:46 PM
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woah! This is article blew my mind.. all the possibilities! I personally have never even considered this, though I've not been considering such things for very long



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 06:49 PM
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Why do all of DARPA's projects seem so sinister?

(5/30/07) Beyond Conspiracy: Artificial General Intelligence (thread by IgnoranceIsntBlisss)

(7/5/08) Tufts to develop morphing 'chemical robots' (thread by aecreate)

Scientists at Tufts University have received a $3.3 million contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop chemical robots that will be so soft and squishy that they will be able to squeeze into spaces as tiny as 1 centimeter, then morph back into something 10 times larger, and ultimately biodegrade.


(8/7/07) "Kill Proof," Animal-Esque Soldiers: DARPA Goal (thread by Don Wahn)

The project has two main thrusts. The first is to enable soldiers to work better in extremes -- high altitudes, brutal heat, and undersea depths. In each of these conditions, Callahan notes, there are animals that handle these environments well. The bar-headed goose, for instance, can fly for days at Himalayan heights without taking a break. Certain microorganisms thrive in steam vents, despite the Venutian conditions. Then there's the sea lion, which redirects blood flow and slows its heart rate, to stay underwater for hours.


(3/20/08) DARPA Wants Contact Lenses to Turn Real-Life Combat Into Call of Duty 4 (thread by Agent Styx)

The problem with cool strap-on heads-up displays a few lucky soldiers get to use on the battlefield today is that they're bulky affairs that make them look like half-assed cyborgs. Plus, the interface is limited. The Pentagon wants to develop contact lenses that'll put "first-person-shooter-type video game" graphics on top the soldiers' vision. Yes, they want to make real-life combat the realest Halo match ever.


(6/13/08) The BIGGEST change to our world to come. NANOTECHNOLOGY. The Good, The bad and The Ugly. (thread by _Phoenix_)

(12/4/08) DARPA & IBM building a “global brain” “cognitive computer” for “monitoring people” (thread by IgnoranceIsntBlisss)

Video shows the lead researcher in DARPA's "SyNAPSE" program describe it as a "global brain" with "trillions" of global sensors monitoring every aspect of the earth incluing "people" and their "homes". They seek to reverse engineer the human brain and then go beyond.


(12/11/08) Report Finds US Lacks Safety Plan For Nanotechnology (thread by smokecrops)



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 06:52 PM
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reply to post by MemoryShock
 


I couldn't agree with you more, did you get to see Jakes videos? (Posted below) Science Fiction has just about become reality-minus the things we have been itching to see. (
Jakes) But in the way of space fiction type weaponry - scary stuff out there....



posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by spikedmilk
Ya know I'm old enough to realize the difference between
sci-fi and reality but I hear you loud and clear. What happens when this is a done deal and phase 3 is to introduce AI in this "programmable matter"?


Well, sounds pretty interesting but I think that is a long way into our futures.

Problem is that while we're capable of creating destructive weapons without any problems at all, the field of AI is still in it's infancy. I think it will take a leap in a science outside of AI for AI to progress as a technology. Like for example, it is more plausible that we would first master the mysteries of the brain, and then create a synthetic one, than we would create a super AI from computer chips.

But I don't doubt that when it's possible it will happen. Man has a track record of doing things just because they can be done, and not worrying about whether they should be done.

Btw great topic S&F.

[edit on 9-6-2009 by Lazyninja]



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