DARPA Calls For Creative Individuals to Weaponize Common Items

| 15 Mar 2016 18:00
darpa 4

Do you want to be a MacGyver and turn everyday household items into Decepticons? Then DARPA's new Improv program wants you.

This sounds like a Transformers movie. Or a MacGyver episode. Heck, this could even be a precursor to Skynet and future Terminators. OK, that last one may not apply, but a new DARPA program wants people who can weaponize a toaster.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a program called Improv and is soliciting creative minds to submit proposals on how common off-the-shelf, internet-connected items can be used as weapons.

"DARPA often looks at the world from the point of view of our potential adversaries to predict what they might do with available technology," DARPA Program Manager John Main. "Historically, we did this by pulling together a small group of technical experts, but the easy availability in today's world of an enormous range of powerful technologies means that any group of experts only covers a small slice of the available possibilities. In Improv, we are reaching out to the full range of technical experts to involve them in a critical national security issue."

Once the proposals have been accepted (the deadline is April 13), DARPA plans to select some promising ones for further investigation and eventual prototyping within 90 days. Successful applicants will be awarded up to $40,000 to conduct a feasibility study, up to $70,000 for prototype construction and up to $20,000 for prototype evaluation. If you want to know more, DARPA is hosting a webcast on Improv on March 29 and 30.

"DARPA's mission is to create strategic surprise, and the agency primarily does so by pursuing radically innovative and even seemingly impossible technologies," Main said. "Improv is being launched in recognition that strategic surprise can also come from more familiar technologies, adapted and applied in novel ways."

Source: ZDNet

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Zulnam:

Terminalchaos:

Doozie:
Wow, what a shitty thing to ask humanity to do. Spread peace not war, buddy!

You do realize sufficient war leads to world peace?

Well, OBVIOUSLY. Just look at all the world peace after over two millenniums of war!

Good job spreading the word, Escapist. It's always good to keep people informed that they can be rewarded for their desire to kill. Civilization done right.

It hasn't been SUFFICIENT war yet. Sufficient war would result in world peace since there would be no one left to fight.

Edit: Society did a decent job of rewarding high functioning sociopaths since the beginning of history.

Terminalchaos:

Doozie:
Wow, what a shitty thing to ask humanity to do. Spread peace not war, buddy!

You do realize sufficient war leads to world peace?

Well, OBVIOUSLY. Just look at all the world peace after over two millenniums of war!

Good job spreading the word, Escapist. It's always good to keep people informed that they can be rewarded for their desire to kill. Civilization done right.

WinterWyvern:
....So... telling people "Hey, turn things into weapons. Everything. ANYTHING! Remember kids: think murder!" and rewarding them for doing so... is a good thing?
And they wonder why there's a school shooting every month in America.

Where do you get the impression DARPA is specifically targeting children? Only people with sufficient knowledge of engineering and technology to build weapons in the first place are even encouraged to apply. And what does this have to do with school shootings? School shootings are carried out with guns, not improvised weapons or devices.

---

Anyway, when I first read the headline I had the funny image in my head of DARPA luring out backyard bomb makers and promptly arresting them, (since I thought that sort of thing was kind of illegal) but the reasoning behind the program is sound. My only worry is that the viable concepts might be too easy to build or use and then the related products might get pulled from shelves or have sales restricted.

Doozie:
Wow, what a shitty thing to ask humanity to do. Spread peace not war, buddy!

You do realize sufficient war leads to world peace?

Is darpa trying to show how anything can be weaponized so they can justify restricting everything?

Wow, what a shitty thing to ask humanity to do. Spread peace not war, buddy!

Tortilla the Hun:
I don't really see what's pictured in #5 as being "off-the-shelf" but maybe we just have different stores here.

Are you telling me they don't sell tank shells at your nearby Walmart? Where the heck do you live?

WinterWyvern:
....So... telling people "Hey, turn things into weapons. Everything. ANYTHING! Remember kids: think murder!" and rewarding them for doing so... is a good thing?
And they wonder why there's a school shooting every month in America.

It looks like they're screening even the applicants themselves first before they even have a chance to submit a single word to them. So yeah, not gonna be accepting any kids or really anyone without an engineering or science degree it looks like.

....So... telling people "Hey, turn things into weapons. Everything. ANYTHING! Remember kids: think murder!" and rewarding them for doing so... is a good thing?
And they wonder why there's a school shooting every month in America.

Would it count if I welded a big knife to a macbook and thus turn it into a deadly melee weapon?

Tortilla the Hun:
I don't really see what's pictured in #5 as being "off-the-shelf" but maybe we just have different stores here.

They didn't use a ruler for scale, but those are rustic massagers.

In other unrelated news, Macaulay Culkin was revealed to be last years top paid DARPA consultant.

I don't really see what's pictured in #5 as being "off-the-shelf" but maybe we just have different stores here.

DARPA Calls For Creative Individuals to Weaponize Common Items

darpa 4

Do you want to be a MacGyver and turn everyday household items into Decepticons? Then DARPA's new Improv program wants you.

This sounds like a Transformers movie. Or a MacGyver episode. Heck, this could even be a precursor to Skynet and future Terminators. OK, that last one may not apply, but a new DARPA program wants people who can weaponize a toaster.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a program called Improv and is soliciting creative minds to submit proposals on how common off-the-shelf, internet-connected items can be used as weapons.

"DARPA often looks at the world from the point of view of our potential adversaries to predict what they might do with available technology," DARPA Program Manager John Main. "Historically, we did this by pulling together a small group of technical experts, but the easy availability in today's world of an enormous range of powerful technologies means that any group of experts only covers a small slice of the available possibilities. In Improv, we are reaching out to the full range of technical experts to involve them in a critical national security issue."

Once the proposals have been accepted (the deadline is April 13), DARPA plans to select some promising ones for further investigation and eventual prototyping within 90 days. Successful applicants will be awarded up to $40,000 to conduct a feasibility study, up to $70,000 for prototype construction and up to $20,000 for prototype evaluation. If you want to know more, DARPA is hosting a webcast on Improv on March 29 and 30.

"DARPA's mission is to create strategic surprise, and the agency primarily does so by pursuing radically innovative and even seemingly impossible technologies," Main said. "Improv is being launched in recognition that strategic surprise can also come from more familiar technologies, adapted and applied in novel ways."

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Source: ZDNet

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